Archive for October, 2010

so i thought about your funeral today

10/28/2010

I said that to my friend the other night. Her face = priceless.

How often do you think of your friends and family dying? Dead. Kaput. Deceased. Pushing up daises. The people around you won’t be around you forever. They may not be around tomorrow. That trip to the grocery store your husband’s making tomorrow? …better tell him you love him, because he’s not gonna see that black SUV before it T-bones him in the intersection.

Uncomfortable yet? Good.

So anyways, I was thinking about my friend’s funeral, like I said, and I decided I was going to get up and give a speech at said funeral. In my speech I decided I was going to characterize her with some of my favorite quotes of hers, some of the things she says that I just find so “endearing.” I started laughing aloud when they came to mind. That, in and of itself, made me appreciate her so much more than I would have otherwise.

i walked into the church…

And I was alone.

I told my family I didn’t want to walk in with them. I wanted – needed – to be by myself. I see our friends out of my periphery but I do not acknowledge them. I can’t acknowledge them.

Not everybody’s seated yet. People are still trickling into the church, the older folks crossing themselves with holy water, but the casket’s up on the altar. I know that’s not normal for it to be up there yet, but for some reason the pallbearers are already seated. I had requested not to be a pallbearer.

As if in a dream I walk slowly up to the altar, seeing her smiling picture in a big frame resting upon a black tri-pod next to dozens upon dozens of flowers in every hue imaginable. I take the first step up the steps to the casket, my fingertips tingling. I take the second step up, breaking every imaginable funeral protocol. But nobody’s stopping me. In fact, all eyes are on me. The church has gone silent, although this is a peripheral thought.

I reach the coffin and put my hand out to feel the brown pine on my fingertips, no longer tingling, but experiencing the sensations the smooth wood is proffering. I slowly lower my palm to the wood and really feel the encasement in which my friend is interred. I drop my eyes and shake my head as a deep, throaty laugh begins to arise. “You bitch,” I say, and I laugh that much harder, trying to keep it relatively quiet for the sake of the congregation, but I know the front rows can hear me. I hear the recognizable laughter of a couple of our mutual friends, and I realize that I called her a bitch a little louder than I should have.

The tears that I didn’t realize were flowing have now started to drip off my chin and onto the maroon carpeting of the altar, but these tears are not comprised solely of sadness . . . as I know this woman was an amazing woman, making so many lives that much better for her existence. And I am happy.

my freedom

I will literally imagine things like this at times – granted, this example is a little extreme and I don’t think I’ve ever envisioned a funeral to quite a level of detail, but for some reason my mind took me there the other day. It helps me to realize how much I care for the people around me.

We as human beings take each other for granted way too often. We use and abuse and consider it refuse and move on – it’s part of our inherent selfishness. We may not realize we’re doing this, but we are – granted, not with everybody and not all the time, but with enough people to make that broad, overarching statement feasible.

In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden says you have to lose everything before you’re free to do anything.

Accepting my death and the inevitability of others’ is my freedom. What’s yours?

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i wanna go crazy with you

10/15/2010

A friend told me this past summer that everybody is always looking for love. I thought it to be an interesting perspective, if a little bit simplistic. But then, most times the simplest way is the most sensible way.

Lately I’ve been listening to Tim McGraw’s new single “Felt Good on My Lips,” and it brings to mind again this concept of everybody always looking for love.

I want your thoughts on this, but allow me to offer my perspective first (I mean, it is my blog after all):

I wouldn’t say I’m looking for love, per se. I’m looking for someone I can go crazy with. Someone with whom I can cut loose, do things I wouldn’t normally do on my own, and enjoy the things more that I DO normally do on my own. Is that what love’s about?

I’m not sure. But this song isn’t about love, at least in its classical definition. It’s about living wild and free in the moment, enjoying life for the simple pleasures. Whether it be the sound of someone’s name, singing the lyrics of a song you don’t know, drinking an unfamiliar drink or kissing unfamiliar lips.

an unforgettable night

I did exactly that just this past weekend. I went to dinner with a girl to a place I never would have gone on my own (or even found, in all likelihood). We went to a hole-in-the-wall bar afterward where they let you smoke inside, and just lost ourselves in a couple games of pool, a few good songs and each other’s company. It’s an incredible feeling, just living for the night and flipping the bird to tomorrow. We swing danced, we sang, we smoked cigarettes as we lined up our shot on the pool table. It was raw, innocent and pure, untarnished by senses of self-worth, superficial misgivings and reality television.

We all need to cut loose and go crazy sometimes, losing ourselves in the lucid oblivion of present circumstance. While we’re young, be young and stupid. If we’re old, become young and stupid again, even if just for a moment.

WITH as opposed to a mere with

And sometimes…sometimes we understand that it’s nice to go crazy with someone else. And I don’t just mean with someone else, I mean WITH someone else. To feel the sun on your shoulders and the wind at your back with someone at your side. It reminds me of Bob Seger’s “Roll Me Away.” This guy takes his motorcycle for a ride, stops in at a bar and meets a girl who decides to ride with him for a time. They end up not lasting the duration of the song, but that’s not the point. The point is that they had that time together in the first place. They celebrated their lives WITH someone, as opposed to with someone.

There’s definitely a romanticism to being alone, rolling down the highway with your only concern being your personal Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. “Here I Go Again On My Own” has always resonated with me, but there comes a time when being a lone wolf just isn’t enough. There comes a time when going crazy WITH someone else is exactly what you need.

Your thoughts?

DISCLAIMER
I wrote this post in the dead of night and in less than 10 minutes. A famous writer once said you never have to change something you got up in the middle of the night to write, so I’m not changing anything. Straight from the heart right onto the computer screen. No hesitation (aside from a little editing, but I’m an OU PR kid – editing is in the marrow of my bones. And if some grammar nut reads this and noticed me ending the second sentence in the fourth paragraph with the word “with”, shove it). This shit’s authentic. Hah! Now go do something fucking stupid, like writing “fucking” in a blog that you know your boss reads.

it rained on her wedding day

10/05/2010

(This is kind of a follow-up post to a spring posting.)

It rained on her wedding day.

Photo by Mike Lotz

It poured, in fact. All weekend. Without repose. And it’s still going.

Wedding pictures needed umbrellas. Bridesmaids were covered in goosebumps as they shivered with the groomsmen’s jackets draped around their shoulders.

There’s a sort of ephemeral elegance in rain on a wedding day, an intangible sense of the intrinsic nature of love. The soft pattering of raindrops on your face as you’re racing from photo shoot to photo shoot. The water accumulating in your hair til you give it a good dog-like shake and splatter anyone within a ten-foot radius. It reminds you that marriage isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It’s bickering. It’s burning dinner. It’s the mistakes made. It’s weathering storms.

lost in a moment

The wedding day should never be perfect. For it is in the imperfection that we find perfection. That one crystalline moment where all in the world is right as rain, pun very much intended. Ideally, we can make all of our moments like that, but that would require me delving into meditation and enlightenment, which is not the purpose of this blog post. So for now, for the unenlightened masses of which we are all a part, we have to feel that moment where we are present and everything is perfect in its imperfection.

Personally, I prefer rain on the wedding day. I’ve never been a huge fan of the white wedding. I think it’s superficial and overly extravagant, and opportunistic people who know they can profit from them capitalize without remorse. Twelve-year-old girls are taught to fantasize about their wedding and are looking at wedding dresses by the time they’re 18. They imagine this incredibly perfect day where everything goes right, everybody gets along and the sun is a shining starburst in a clear blue sky. And then they get married and those beautiful storm clouds roll in and the cold, fat raindrops start to fall. It’s a dose of reality right when the bride and groom probably need it most. After all, you have to have rain to have a rainbow.

my moment of (im)perfection

It was my sister’s wedding this past weekend, but here is my moment of (im)perfection. I say it’s imperfect because when it happened, my head went in between my brother and sister’s and the one thought that briefly went through my head was, “Jessie’s head should be in the middle.” 🙂

This took place after the three of us cleared the dance floor and danced to an Irish drinking song by Buck-O-Nine. And then, of course, this naturally followed:

Muscle beers! Yeah!

We keep it classy, folks.