Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.
Like the fellow who the cops came and took away the other day. He was in his early twenties. He was working hard to look urban and hard, he ware the tiny jeans and the sway and swagger, a yellow shirt and a blue baseball cap perched at a ridiculous angle on his braids.
His success in life was paralleled by his success in growing a beard. His beard and mustache were indistinct smears that make his face look smeared and blurry instead of masculine.
He had a tattoo but it wasn't cool. It was more a fifties sailor tattoo than an urban statement. The kind of tattoo they invented laser removal for.
In line behind him was a guy running up to sixty and sixty didn't want him. He has ebon black skin and a better mustache and deep wrinkles instead of the blurry beard. He and the kid are dressed in the same wannabee urban style. On the kid it looks just sad and silly. On an older man it looks desperate and frightenly illogical.
Both man and kid work to project that hard edge urban toughness. They haven't had the experience. They've never been to the city let alone lived in the asphalt and steel. So their interpretation of the attitude comes across as weak meanness smothered in rudeness.
This doesn't mean they don't have guns and needs. It doesn't make them less dangerous. Maybe it makes them more dangerous as they're incapable of understanding the world and their reactions to it.
I'm the manager of of an internet cafe except the main purpose is internet sweepstakes, which plays out like bogus video slots. I manage the most popular "casino" "slots parlor" in the town. I ride herd on the obese women who spend their tip money and paychecks trying to win $500 for a quarter or $1,000 for fifty cents all the way up to $13k for $6.50. Even when they win and discover that $500 or even $13,000 is never going to change their lives or improve their worlds they still keep coming back. Most of them every day.
They sit at cheap e-machine computers and click a mouse that spins jpgs of fruit and symbols for hours and sometimes days chasing a whisper of hope.
The job debilitates me. It wears me down to the last layer of skin before the muscle and skin break through and bleed. It fatigues me to groin level depths of weakness.
My wife is finally down here. The dogs are finally all together. We're stepping all over each other while we search for something livable. It should be a happy time and it is.
I'm watching movies and listening to music and petting the puppies and laughing at them. In this little space the world is good if flawed. The flaws aren't fatal and will vanish soon enough.
I haven't had the energy to update this thing. I've paid a price for it. Now that I've typed out these thoughts about my customers I've banished them from my memory. I have no more need to keep them in my thoughts. I can focus more clearly on what's important to me and the life of my little family.
I'm a brooder. I think and rethink things holding on to them until I reach a conclusion. Writing them down makes things fait accompli. Over and done.
Silly but sillier still to defy truth. I'm not a 21st Century Republican.
I'm going to try and update more often. Right now I'm in dire straits physically. I've got the frozen shoulder again. This time in my right shoulder. It messes with my body badly. Yesterday I woke up and my legs were swollen about 3 inches larger all the way around. I slept on the floor with my feet up and got my legs down to merely swollen this morning. I took the dogs out in the pouring rain and my feet didn't hurt.
My shoulder keeps me from sleeping well. The pain is still the worst I've ever had to deal with. Worse than a heart attack.
' How happy am I to have my family with me can be measured by the fact I haven't lost my sense of happiness.