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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Idiosyncrasies



(Here's some random crap about me. All of it is true. Almost none of it is important.)

There are few things I enjoy more than working a barbecue grill. A beer in one hand, tongs in the other, with a mess of meat cooking and people walking up with empty plates onto which I can pile the fixings. Heaven.

I will never be skinny again.

If you have strong political or religious beliefs, you should probably just go ahead and assume I disagree with you. Despite this, you should also know that I like & respect you and consider you a better person than me. But don't get a big head. I think everyone is a better person than me. (I actually kind of hate myself.)

Because of a girl I knew when I was a sophomore in high school, "Boogie On Reggae Woman" is my favorite Stevie Wonder song.

I enjoy sushi. Eel, tuna, mackerel, whatever, as long as it's fresh. However, though I love eating the fruit of the sea, too much shellfish can kill me. In fact, I can barely tolerate a single bite of shrimp. But it's oh, so delicious!

The only tattoo I've ever considered getting is the name of my wife. If and when I have kids, their names could be tattoos, as well. Otherwise, no.

Because of a girl I knew in college, Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl" makes me wistful and sometimes brings tears to my eyes.

Though I love reading Shakespeare, I can barely stand watching a performance of any of his plays. Explaining this would be even more boring than this already is.

You speak, and I smile and laugh and make pleasant conversation. But what goes through my head is dark, dark, dark. If I said one percent of what I thought, I'd have been locked up long ago. Or killed.

But don't be scared. I would rather throw myself in front of a speeding bus than harm a hair on someone else's head. If you think this makes me weak, then you have no idea how much it takes to hold back my inner psycho. Sometimes, it slips out. People call this "a fit" or "being snarky." Then I somehow manage to bottle it back up and start acting normal again.

My all-time favorite shoes are Chuck Taylor All-Stars. More modern shoe technology is a mirage. Padding, tread -- it's all snake oil. OLD SCHOOL!

I am one of those people who recognizes that the world would be a horrible place if more people were like me.

I also know that people are more important than books, but not by much.

If there are better men than my father, I have never met them. My father and I don't speak very often, but his voice is always there, in my head, guiding me on. I don't always listen. But I try.

Because of another girl I knew, songs from the Aerosmith album, "Pump," always bring a smile to my face.

I like it when kids are loud, when they break things and make messes and run around acting like idiots. It cracks me up, and I honestly think it's their job. If and when I have a child of my own, I am going to spoil it rotten.

My mother's biggest disappointment is that I was never a contestant on "Jeopardy!" I wish I were making that up.

Despite what I may be going through or how I may be feeling, I am genuinely & completely glad to see you. All of you. Really I am. Connecting with other people, even for the briefest instant, is what life is all about. Whatever has happened between us in the past, it's really great to see you. And, of course, I apologize.

Because of the woman I am married to, my world is full of delight and wonder. She brings light & warmth to every room she enters.

Whenever I get asked for advice, my answer is always some variation of this: do what you think is right, which usually means engaging in a slow & difficult process of recovering & rebuilding what you just destroyed. There are no magic bullets.

I always have room for pie.

How much of a sociopath am I? Well, the easiest way to get me NOT to do something is to tell me to do it. Ask me nicely, however, and I'll gladly comply with the most difficult & unpleasant request. Even from strangers. It's sick, I know.

I also know, deep in my bones, that I am better than no one. No one. Not the most crass hypocrite, nor the sickest predator. For I see those impulses in myself.

I'm glad that looks matter less the more you get to know a person. Otherwise, no one would like me.

Now, just because I sit in judgment of no one doesn't mean I don't recognize the pettiness and malice that pervades the world around us. It's just that I try hard to look past it and stay focused on what's important. And what's important is us. All of us.

I am a happy drunk.

Writing is how I clear the debris from my mind. This is why I don't understand people who don't write. Do they just walk around with this confused tangle of half-articulated thoughts flying around the inside of their skulls? If there's a better way to quiet the chorus so I can focus on the task-at-hand, please let me know.

jjwylie@gmail.com
www.jjwylie.com


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