Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today I could not wake up.

I budgeted myself several extra hours, setting my alarm early and even creating a backup, yet still I couldn’t find the willpower to move beyond reaching an arm over to poke at my cell phone to hit the snooze button… several dozen times.

Oddly enough, I got to work at my normal time, but several key activities that I wanted to get done before my working day began (pack a lunch, bike to work, hit the gym for an hour) did not materialize the way I hoped.

Of course, I only have myself to blame for this because, fundamentally, I’m a lazy person.

Packing a lunch should be a simple thing. Pop some salad into a plastic container, pop said container into a semi-insulated tote, and pop said tote into my book bag. Sure, I could’ve done most of this the night before, but I find that handling greens with my not-so-verdant thumbs and fingers causes them to wilt and decompose rather quickly. Yes, I’m probably imagining it, but there’s a reason I wait to fix my lunch. Unfortunately, my half asleep self also reckons that it’s “hella easier to buy some hard boiled eggs on the cheap in the cafeteria, health be damned. Woo! Ten more minutes of sleep!”

It was only when my car broke down that I started biking to work, despite having purchased a 12-speed several years previous to attempt just that. Now that my car is back in working order, my half asleep mind keeps making excuses for not getting up at the appointed hour by saying “oh, we can just drive to the gym in half an hour… we’ll get there at the normal time and it’ll let us sleep some more.”

And it’s only when I look in the mirror every day and see the spare tire that I’m carrying around that makes me think that I can consistently go to the gym and actually do something about getting rid of the bloody thing. But then the aches and pains of working muscles, that are normally given free rein to relax, keep me up at night and my half asleep mind tells the motivational center of my brain in a sweet whisper that “we worked out after work last night, surely we could do the same today, right?” And says this despite the fact that I wanted to get home and go to bed early.


I know I’m lazy, and I know I need to stop listening to that voice that overrides my impulse to get up and go in the morning. I know that I especially need to stop listening to it over and over again as, while it might be okay to hit the snooze button once, letting it talk me into wasting the better part of my pre-work morning is pathetic.

It’s both easy and hard to be a better person. The easy part is choosing to do it. The hard part is stopping yourself from sabotaging it.

I seem to be doing pretty bad at the latter the past couple of years.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Speech for my tenth high school reunion…. I was NOT invited.

Dear class of ’99,

I stand here before you today peering at all your faces looking for something to recognize and all I am finding are vague notions of familiarity… and only that occasionally.

We’ve grown up, we’ve moved on. Most of us look, to me, to be tremendously different to how we did ten years ago… the young, mostly clueless proto-adults about to make our way either to college or the military or the oilfield.

Me, I got a hat… and finally grew my hair out like I always wanted, added a beard to my ugly mug. Most everyone else, I see, has changed as well. We’re all older, gruffer and a helluvalot more attractive. Some of you may have been bombshells in your teens, but let me tell you… the twenties is where it’s at for hotness.

But, I digress… 

I’m not up here or even at this reunion to receive any of the token awards or rub elbows with old friends or maybe even hook up with the cheerleader that I always had a crush on. No, instead I want to talk to you about how much I forgot about high school… because, really, I forgot pretty much all of it.

And let me be clear, I’m not kidding when I say I do NOT remember much about high school at all. I’ve blanked pretty much all of it out. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but that’s the way it is.


That’s not to say I don’t remember a few things here and there… writing poetry on the chalkboard in math class, playing full contact tackle football on my lunch hour freshman year until someone got bloodied and we had to go touch (and where was the fun in that?)…. 

Mostly, I remember two things… taking physics from Debbie Prell (whom I miss dearly as a mentor)… and how horribly depressed I was all throughout my time in high school.

And I mean depressed… really depressed… horrendously depressed… the I-can’t-believe-I-wasn’t-heavily-medicated-and-institutionalized kind of depressed.

Let me tell you folks, I was in a lot of pain. There were plenty of times back then that I wanted to kill myself. There were a couple of times that I almost did.

I made it through by diving into fantasy… reading books, watching movies and playing games were my escape routes and I used them copiously.

And I survived….

Now, I’m not saying this to whine at you begging for your sympathy or rail at you for not noticing or caring. It was high school… it was shit for most, if not all, of us. And I’m not saying this to rage at you for us not being friends or confidants or even lovers. It was high school… ‘nuff said.

The reason that I AM going over this was that I wanted to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I never got to know most of you and find out about the real you… the ones who wanted to go pro or become lawyers or doctors or nurses. The one’s who wanted to be writers or mechanics or parents or chefs or social workers or….

I’m sorry I was too much the coward to try and make a meaningful connection with you, worried as I was about myself and not others. 

I’m sorry I didn’t ask several of you out… I’m sorry that I didn’t let in those of you who were trying. I’m sorry that we never became long lasting friends. I’m sorry that we never fell in love.


They say that you should live life without regrets… and that the past is the past, not to dwell on it, only learn.

Well, I say that, if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would.

I think that if someone invented a time machine and allowed me to roll back time and become the boy I was back then, knowing what I know now, it’d all be different. I’d’ve been a better student, a better person, a better friend. 

Paradox be damned.

But… that’s the beauty of hindsight, I guess. I can make grand, sweeping pronouncements of how things would be wonderful if only I could do it once more. I think we all wish it were possible at some point or another.

And all I can think is “oh well, I guess all we can do is move forward.”

Stupid time. 

I’d like to punch it in it’s stupid face, sometimes.


And, speaking of time, I think I’ve taken up enough of yours, so let me just leave you with this:

To all the people I’ve wronged, please forgive me. To all the people who may have wronged me… well, I’ve honestly forgotten it all since then, so don’t worry about it.

To the class of ’99 and the upper and lower classmen around us… I love you and wish you the best. Be good. Live your lives, love each other (and me if you get the inkling) and… forget everything that brought you pain, both then and now.

Now, I think I need a drink… who’s with me?