Thursday, October 10, 2013

Border Patrol

Happy Echo Day!  Do not look for a card at the local Hallmark store for I doubt any exist.  I suspect I just invented it.  It seems to be the sort of low-hanging fruit, half-assed, irrelevant nonsense about which I could be the creative force.  Even if I am not its creator, I am claiming to be.  As the great Elvis Costello once observed, "Even in a perfect world where everyone is equal, I'd still own the film rights and keep working on the sequel...."  

Alas to day is not a "Echo Trifecta Day", which it would be if the month/day/year were all aligned numerically.  For reasons known perhaps only to me, I recall how I spent Echo Trifecta Day when tens were wild.  10/10/10 was a Sunday.  I spent it (or 25 minutes of it thereabouts) in Deal, New Jersey running a 5K race.  Nice town.  A town where the size and upkeep of the homes suggest that every resident is sitting atop a heaping pile of "Fuck you, everybody and the horses you all rode in on" money.  I wonder if that makes Deal a good place for pony rides?  Given how my oldest brother Bill always has his heart set on one, I should look into that for him. 

Oh - before you pooh-pooh my acknowledgement of "Echo Trifecta Day" consider this:  The overwhelming majority of those of us alive today (including all of your dopey bastards who are frittering away a portion of your remaining time on Earth reading this pointless blather) will not live long enough to see the next one.  For those of you so overcome by angst and sorrow at that thought that you just stopped reading this so that you could sprint to the highest point you know and hurl yourself off into the abyss, thanks for stopping by. 

I have long suspected that the people with whom I work spend a portion of their day conducting an informal mental status examination on Yours truly.  Given how much time certain of them spend wandering around the office not otherwise doing a single useful thing, I would be relieved to learn that at least a small portion of their day-to-day is spent in an apparently worthwhile pursuit.  When the men in the white coats descend upon my space and forcibly remove me from it, I presume that Exhibit A at the hearing regarding my involuntary commitment will be my computer monitor. 

For those of you reading this in black and white, two things.  First, the 21st Century is on the phone inviting you to join it.  Second, the things lining the monitor are yellow Post-Its.  Technically speaking they are little yellow sticky message notes.  Somewhere a couple of years back whoever is in charge of such things here at the Firm determined that it was more cost-effective to buy Staples house brand - "Stickies" - than genuine Post-Its.  Personally, if there is a difference in the quality of the product it is lost on my untrained eye.  We apparently use of lot of these things at the Firm.  Some of us more than others. 

While my handwriting is so dreadful that I typed all of my law school exams the final 2 1/2 years at Seton Hall and I typed my New Jersey Bar Exam, the little yellow life preservers that form the border of my computer monitor are works on which I am the scrivener.  I am the scrivener but I am not the source of the material written on them.   There are in fact multiple sources, ranging from Cicero to Dr. Seuss and from Pete Hamill to my brother Bill.  To your eye they may appear to be visually distracting.  To me they are anything but.  The words written on them serve as navigational buoys - assistive devices if you will - helping me make my way through my day-to-day.  Each contains a thought worth thinking each and every day. 

The one or ones on which I rely on a particular day depends very much on where my head is at on that day.  From one day to the next - for me at least - there is no guarantee as to where that might be.  I know not whether it is my Irish blood or simply my own DNA but my entire life I have been subject to what I would call bouts of melancholy.  When they come, they come.  Their arrival might be known only to me - given my generally less than sunny disposition on a day in, day out basis.  So what?  To this point in my life - with forty-six-plus years of tread on the tires - I have successfully battled through every one of them.  It is nothing more and nothing less than each of us does however often we have to - even if it is every day. 

I had not noticed until a few days ago - although they have been where they are for longer than I can recall - that two of the smartest Irishmen I know are side-by-side.  My eye (mind's and otherwise) has been drawn to them quite a bit lately.  The great Pete Hamill offers, "Sometimes no Truth is more Powerful than one expressed in Anger by a Melancholy man."  His next-door neighbor - my brother Bill - contributes, "Very often the Difference between a Rut and a Grave is the Depth of the Habit." 

Wise men.  Wise words.  The lessons to be learned from them.  

All in a day's work. 


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