Its 10:00 on a Sunday night and I am listening to my new neighbors raise a little hell. They are young and unmarried and just moved in and all of their friends are over to celebrate. They have not one care in the world. I watched them today and heard their conversations and what they talk about has no meaning, really. They talk about the pizza that they ordered or what the water in the pool feels like, warm or cold. Silly stuff. It's only silly because they have nothing really important going on, no kids, no big worries, at least none that I can see, and basically, life has not given them a huge dose of reality yet, but it will.
My household, except for myself, is asleep right now. My oldest son has a cold, and I am worrying that it will turn into a fever, and if it turns into a fever, I worry that his fever may get too high, so then we have to go to the Emergency Room. We do that when it gets too high because he has had a kidney transplant and high fevers don't bode well for a transplanted kidney. We spent 15 days in the hospital last summer with pneumonia and I am trying to avoid that shit again at all cost. My two other sons are asleep. They are 5 years old and 6 months old. My wife just went to bed, She is breastfeeding, so she gets pretty exhausted from all the pumping and feeding and whatnot. And so I am reading Hemingway and working on my book and drinking a Budweiser and sort of waiting for the next shoe to drop.
I am not bitching, I have chosen all of this and what comes with it, comes with it. When you are young, in your 20's, you feel invincible, you feel as though what happens to your parents or to others will not happen to you. But it does. Things just come up, they arise and if you can deal with it, you deal. Those that can't, recede into drugs or alcohol, or they just get the hell out of Dodge. One thing that I have realized over the years is that one should never get too cocky or arrogant. Why? Because it is coming, life is coming and if you haven't gotten it's full force yet, you will. Someone that you don't think that you can live with out will go. Your brother or sister will let you down in an amazingly hurtful way. Your best friend will sleep with your girlfriend.Someone that you love will get cancer, or have a heart attack. Something is coming and Jim Morrison was so right: Nobody ever gets out of here alive.
I laugh when I here athletes being interviewed and they act like they are the most important person in the world, Really? You ain't even close, son. I love sports, but I know the real world. My son's urologist is the most humble guy that I have ever been around and he has performed hundreds if not thousands of operations, and these operations are on children, no less. Now that is a hero, a god on earth, a real man. Falling to your knees because you won a tennis tournament doesn't mean much in the big scheme of things compared to that type of reality.
And that's what irritates me, I think. That with all the stuff that is really important in life, we have gone the other way on what we focus on. I mean, Tom Cruise? I really don't care about Tom Cruise one bit, but I know that there are folks all over this country right now who are struggling just to eat , and maybe they should be on the cover of People Magazine, not Tom.Tom is not real, and the problem is that reality isn't a reality show, but reality is the guy who is struggling against all of the shit that happens everyday to him. I can think off of the top of my head some serious stuff that just my close friends have dealt with lately with their families and with themselves: rehab, drunk driving, cancer, heart attacks, car wrecks, and the list goes on. Now that is the kind of stuff that life throws at you.
Where am I going with this? I don't know where I am going. I am just thinking, and I guess that I am pissed off that my new , young neighbors are having such a good time. It's just the way that it is, isn't it?
The best solution that I have found for all of this is to enjoy little singular moments that somehow, when they are happening, you know are special. Like your son's first smile, your son's first hit in a baseball game, seeing an old friend , hearing a song that reminds you of someone, having your dog curl up in your lap. And then when stuff gets really bad, you go back to those times in your head, get lost in them. And you can lean on those good times that make all of life's struggles worthwhile.