All of you who wish you could have my job, pay attention. I’m about to share the biggest secret of bartending (and piss off every bartending school in the country at the same time): how to get my job. Not mine, mind you. I like my job. But a job just like it. Or at least passingly similar — maybe it won’t be as much fun, and you won’t be able to drink on the job or tell your customers that you’ll feed them that bottle if they have a problem, and you might even have to wear a tie. But it’ll be close enough that you’ll understand why I kept telling you you didn’t really want my job.
If you’re standing on my side of the bar, invariably you hear someone say, “I wish I could do what you do.”
After wincing, my response is usually: “Stick around for a few hours.”
Inspired by an old essay by Chuck Palahniuk, reread last night in the throes of insomnia:
Looking back a few years, I realize how important inertia is in a life like mine. It’s incredibly hard to stop when you’ve got years of moving fast (and non-stop) at your back — to the extent that I’ve had friends gift me with physical reminders that I need to relax.
Like, a metal sign that sits atop my computer monitor, carved to say “RELAX.” And copious amounts of Xanax.
A few months ago, I stopped, finally (though my wife might argue that point). I’ve not produced anything worth talking about in almost a year. No screenplays, no articles, no short or long fiction. No website redesigns, no films. Nothing. I’m still working 60+ hours a week between my day job as a web design guy and my night job as a provider of Cirrhosis, still playing in the band, but nothing else. I’ve been catching up on DVDs and books, playing lots of Scrabble and Tiger Woods Golf on the XBox. Relaxing, right?
Starting this week, I’m going to reestablish the progressive inertia. I don’t have anything concrete in mind yet, though (as always) I have a million ideas. Looking down the tunnel in front of me, it’s unnerving: you don’t realize how much progress you’ve made until you’ve let it slip away from you. When you’re climbing mountains, you don’t look down — it’s not important how far you’ve come as much as how much further you have to go. But stop climbing, return to the bottom (gravity never sleeps, you know), and look up to the last flag you spiked into the stone face before you quit.
Scary, yes, but invigorating. Good to know that you’ve not scaled to the summit yet, when there’s plenty more time to go.
Now listening to:
Just another mountain? Yes and no, in a world devoid of binary questions.
I think more telling than approval ratings, Congressional hearings that seem to have neither end nor real purpose, ethically dubious wars, cronyism that can result in horrible mishandling of natural disasters, or even the convenient rewritings of history where personal lives are concerned, the current administration’s blatant disdain for the Constitution and the rights it gives American citizens is the greatest sign that not one of these people is of the character to lead this country. We have an Attorney General who perjures himself every time his mouth falls open, a Vice President who would presumably as soon take you on a hunting trip as have you arrested if you dare to disagree with him or his policies, freedoms being stripped away and laws being broken on a daily basis in the name of — oh, right. In the name of those very freedoms and laws, of protecting and preserving them for future generations.