I was working some overtime on a Saturday when I had an anxiety spell.
One of those kinds where as you stand perfectly healthy, you watch as your skin turns a pastel purple...
Then weakness sets in...
Heart flutters, dulling of the nerves from head to toe like you've been sucking down pure oxygen...
Then a feeling in your head that something phantasmal is trying to occupy that same spot, but look through your eyes...
I don't like feeling like this, so I did what I could at short notice and asked my coworker, who had a little experience with medical matters of the heart, for advice. Describing what happened, she stated it sounded very much like an anxiety attack. Yay me! But why? As she ran down the list of things I knew, but wasn't considering at the time, that contributed to the sitch I felt the stress breaker inside my head trigger, and the tears flowed. Kid's maladies, wife's maladies, second kid on the way, manipulative coworkers that would like nothing better than to get me to quit because of some stupid, petty reason or another, etc. etc...
I needed that. I need more people to be that kind, and not just for my own selfish and self-absorbed needs. I appreciate the simple fact I know this person and her own uniqueness overrides the general surrounding bullshit that affects anyone on a general basis.
Then the “backhanded comment” came. I won't even apply a [sic] after that; it pleasantly struck me as if I'd been slapped. I was told I was “Terminally Unique”, and although “not everyone gets me, there are those few who are able to understand my genius.” Partially paraphrasing – but you get the gist.
I normally don't care for ego-inflation as my ego is too full of itself to recognize a genuine compliment unless applied liberally via figurative force. It fucking well pulled me off the goddamn ceiling and got me thinking.
How much time do I have left to find more kindness? Consider me odd (you probably do already, thankyouverymuchforthat), but I have prophetic dreams. Not the kind that represents the worries of one's mind being displayed in a safe, “What-IF” fashion. Instead, the kind of dreams that almost come true. I've seen how I die several times. I've falsified the first five or six, avoided two, and have one left to dodge unless something else comes along. I die at 38 (2015) from a heart attack. So how much time have I got left to go searching?
Less than 4 years.
Barring such facts as the region of the U.S. I live in and the like, I started to consider the simple fact that humans are assholes. All of us. At one point or another, all of us HAVE to be. It's a survival instinct that sadly has become commonplace. We were brought to this point by so many variables I could write several treatises on them, whether or not they were published in any science journals or magazines.
Such kindness – out of the blue – that renders a person dumbstruck because of one's exposure to the commonplace is rare, and I truly cherish such things. The sharp contrast is enlightening, but begs the question, “Where the hell's the rest of it?”
What happened to simple kindness? Courtesy? Manners? The shit we see in filmstrips from the '50's how everything is so fucking pleasant? All we have now are a bunch of bluetooth-jacked, texter's-tunnel-vision-having, self-absorbed, buck-chasing, in it to win it by beating it, fucksticks.
What happened to communes where the only rule was to give more than you take? What happened to being asked to go to a barbeque where the only worry was, “what should I bring?” (Instead of: Who's going to be there and how much better should I dress than they?) These exist, but so seldom can we find them or be part of them that they become a shocking pleasantry at best.
My wife and I have an agreement: On my 39th birthday, o' shall we have such a party. The Last Death is dodged, 'now I can get on with really living my life without fear of it' kind of shindig. Yet, I want more than 'party'. I want a different kind of dream. One I won't wake up from until I see there's a smile on everyone's face.
Bear with me.
Scene: a very large park. Grilling of assorted meats and vegetables is allowed. Open containers? Meh. Only if we can actually get away with it without the cops coming down on us and ruining the skive. One where those doing the drinking know very fucking well that someone else will eject their ass to the street if they so much as try to ruin our good time. The object of this barbeque is to have a good time, help others do the same, and BE KIND together.
Then my over-inflated sense of ego says, “go bigger, asshole!”
So, okay, let's try this one on: there's less than 4 years to plan this shit. Seems a lot of time, but not really. So let's see why. Open to all comers with only three rules: You are there to share fun and kindness. You are not there to make a buck, to break Commandments (any or all 10 unless the 1% rule is satisfied), or anything else which would detract from the first rule. Finally, you shall bring a greater contribution than you expect to take away (Food, services without a price tag, musicians, furniture, cookers, lending a hand serving others, etc.)
I'd love to know some stranger came in with his septic service truck and dropped a bunch of job-jonnys off gratis, and for a burger and a glass of beer every couple of hours, will get his staff to switch 'em out when full. Another stranger and their high school or college friends come across pocket change amongst them, and only can afford a packet of hotdogs and bus fare to get to the place. As a result: they jump in line to help serve others on the food line and have a good time doing it. Because they want to.
Strangers just showing up because they heard a party is on and they had the scratch to chip in so others can have a better time. Like-minded strangers that leave this thing even more like-minded, but no longer strangers.
I'd love to find out useable supplies were donated by stores and businesses without so much as their logo being stamped on the packaging. There are no “sponsors” or “sponsored by” present. These things were given because they wanted to. Not because they'd end up in a dumpster if not dropped in someone's lap.
I'd love to see the locals mixing it up with people from as far as the other coast. Hell; other countries.
I know this is pushing it, but for some reason, I've always wanted to see a Neo-Nazi Skinhead hand a Jewish/Black/LGBT person a kosher hotdog with a genuine welcoming smile (devoid of any fear there's something more in the hotdog than the usual ingredients we're so scared of). As if either party were saying, “Why not? We're not here to hate. Wanna dance?”
I'd love to find out that by midday there's more food than anyone present could eat, and the destitute in the general vicinity are graciously welcomed in and handed a cold drink and a meal, just because those doing the serving want to. I believe that when you haven't had something for so long as simple as a Good Time, you tend to appreciate it more.
I'd love to talk with people. Anyone. Nothing about my book or my blog or the lesser things, but rather to learn more of those I speak with. How are they? Where are they from? Is it nice there? What kind of stories can they tell, and are they open enough to share them? And nobody is rude enough to interrupt.
Visiting musicians take whatever passes for The Stage and start cranking out assorted music because they know what “jam session” really means. Really means. No hat is passed unless people want to. If so, the money collected is used in kindness, for kindness, and is appreciated. And, yes, I recognize the fact some asshole will ask for Freebird at least three times during the event. I'm waiting to see a three-piece band consisting of a banjo, a bongo, and a kazoo player make such an attempt. Credibly.
I'd love to watch a passerby look on with skepticism at this crowd of people all being kind to each other like a bunch of hippies, and by the end of their passing-by say, “Fuck it. I really didn't need to be where I was going so badly, and this looks like fun!”
The dream is nice, and I like the visuals. Would it happen? Dunno. It'd be kind of neat to see, dig?
So, I turn 39 on February 9th, 2015. No presents needed. No desires except to breathe in and out and have a properly grilled bacon cheeseburger without fear of my arteries complaining. I want a hug from each of my wife and kids, and a good day to follow.
I'm thinking I'll be some place like I described: sunny, and open, and where I'll be able to grill.
In 2015, wanna share in this dream and be kind together?