Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Sixteen

Posted by ilbebe on December 24, 2008

Have you ever seen Don’t Look Back, the documentary about Bob Dylan’s tour of England in early 1965? I find it fascinating on many levels, and I came to understand the events captured in the film much better after reading a review of Chronicles volume one by Nick Hornby. I was living in Oakland, in the first room of my own I had there, it was a summer sublet of a basement room in a house on a hill near a freeway. Hornby said that in reading Chronicles, he finally realized God, this is just how this guy’s mind works.

What a thrill, to realize how yr own mind works, let alone anyone else’s. Sometimes you cannot see yr own tree fr the forest. Y’ can’t tell if yr elm or oak, possibly even beech or maple. This is how I had to train myself to be late.

In high school, I was one of the first people in my group of friends to get a car, so thus I had to pick everyone up when we were going places. One of my friends had difficulty having pants on when I arrived at the agreed-upon time, let alone being otherwise ready to go. I have spent countless minutes waiting for this friend to finish IM conversations with people he has never met so that we can get in the car and go pick up tangible bodies encasing friends we know personally. This bothered the hell out of me, so I started showing up earlier and earlier.

When I was in high school, it took about an hour to get into San Francisco unless there was unusually bad traffic. One time two friends and I were stuck in merge traffic at the Caldecott Tunnel in my Studebaker, a car which never gave me many problems but was certainly of an era where a mysterious problem arising wasn’t out of the question. My friend Jake asked me a question from the backseat, and I thought he had said Your Car Is Smoking. I replied WHAT?!?! and he said Never Mind. I said NO, I Need To Know!, Where Is It Smoking, and he started laughing. He explained between laughter that he had asked Is There Smoking In Yr Car. I then laughed and told him sure, just roll the window down.

Perhaps if we had left on time and avoided that traffic, I wouldn’t have that story. This sort of thing guided me in my post-college years, where I worked on being late to things. It is not hard. Just don’t show up on time. If you find yourself on time, go to a yarn store to browse, or stop and get beer for later. You’ll never regret buying beer, or at least I haven’t. It’s the same way I’m trying to feel about everything these days- this is my life. Why would any of it upset me?

It has, but I’m not gonna let it any more. I wrote this earlier than I thought I would…

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