Sunday, March 01, 2009

Gee, Thanks, Say My Buddies

Iceberg <span class=Image via Wikipedia

It's always entertaining to return next day to a late-night post -- particularly those written on fumes -- since such posts really do exemplify the iceberg nature of blogging, your ideas sitting there low in the water with all those dangerous implications inevitably lurking below.

A reader approaches and then: Crunch! Ouch!! That wasn't nice!!!

It would appear that I said in my previous post that I enjoy my league buddies because they odd, strange, borderline weird and off the chart. That's what I do mean, actually, but the hidden part of that statement -- the iceberg part; back to the metaphor! -- is that I was raised up in a fundamentalist home in the High South, and there was such a white-bread sameness to what I did and the people I knew.

And god help me, then I went to Whooping Jesus Bible College and damn that was tedious and grim. Graduate school was slightly more interesting, but my nose was in a book. My first teaching job -- that was better, but too many of my colleagues wanted to "talk bibliography."

It was only after I lost that job and we moved to the big city of Atlanta and I got into journalism that I began to bump up against folks who were so very different from those folks I had known before, and I began to relish the spectacle, to almost regard myself as a minor character in a novel -- Dickensian? George Eliotish? -- and to really enjoy life as a spectator sport.

See, the point is that if you were born bland, so many things add spice to your life. It's subjective, of course. At times it's overwhelming. And it's limiting. One is perhaps too content with small successes in one's own life, partly because one is so dazzled by the lives of others, by what seems to be an essential sophistication one can only dream of.

But back to my league buddies. Time to set the record straight, to adjust the lens. They are all good guys, regular guys, definitely okay guys, relatively solid citizens all living under their real names and not under indictment or otherwise on the lam. I find them fascinating, though. I'm still just a country mouse, easily impressed and quickly delighted.

Here's one of my favorite passages from Byron's 'Don Juan':

Thrice happy he who, after a survey
Of the good company, can win a corner,
A door that's in or boudoir out of the way,
Where he may fix himself like small "Jack Horner,"
And let the Babel round run as it may,
And look on as a mourner, or a scorner,
Or an approver, or a mere spectator,
Yawning a little as the night grows later.
That's an attitude I only aspire to. I'm not a mourner, scorner, a "mere" spectator or a yawner. I'm not precisely an approver, either. I'm everyone's ideal audience, amazed I've been let in the door and endlessly intrigued by the "otherness" of others, their exuberance, their wonderful quality of not being me.

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1 comment:

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