Thursday, January 31, 2008

You Say Tomato


This one case I’ve got is making me squeamish.

I’m carrying extra magazines and keeping a long gun up in the front seat and changing my route to work and driving around the block a couple of times before I park anywhere and checking my mirrors and keeping my head on a swivel.

The funny thing about this is how alive it makes me feel.

Everything is sparkly and bright and vivid. I see everything. I am awake in a way that a therapist would call hyper alert but that I just call being careful.

Condition Yellow.

I like it.

And I am almost one hundred percent certain that I have nothing to fear. But you never know. And really, I should be “all up ons” all the time. The list of people who might be a little bit unhappy with me is long. Something about me rubs a certain type of person the wrong way. All I have to do is just be in the room or something and they can develop a life-long, intense hatred for me. So, yeah, I should probably be careful.

But it’s kind of fun wondering if that car is slowing down for a reason.

Like being in a suspense movie.

The Bourne Redundancy.

Then I think about my wife and kid, and I don’t like it at all anymore. I want to be a dentist or a librarian. I was watching that new show on HBO, In Treatment. Gabriel Burns is this shaggy-haired, craggy-faced, sweet, old wise man who helps broken people. Anyway, I was watching him sitting in his well-worn leather chair, a pile of books behind him, little model sailboats all around, and someone talking to him quietly, and for a second I thought that’s the way to be.



Helping, but in a quiet, peaceful way. Fifty minutes at a time.

I mean, when he drives around a parking lot for five minutes, he’s looking for a place to park.


Ah, who am I trying to kid?

It ain’t me, babe.

Another funny thing is this reminds me of my dad. Years ago he was involved in a shooting. He killed this guy who was a member of, say, a kind of a club. An association of people with similar interests. And they hatched a plot to kill my dad that got busted up. Long story. Anyway, for about a year my old man was pretty worried. He had to take a lot of precautions and it was ugly and bad and not fun at all. My situation isn’t anything like that, not by a long shot, but it does sort of remind me in a very tangible way that what I do for a living has consequences for the people who love me.

That sucks very, very much.

No, thank you.


“Open wide. This isn’t going to hurt at all. You may feel a slight pressure.”

Dentists, man.

Fuck that.



Blogger james said...

i remember olivier asking for about the third time, "is it ssfe?" and finally, desperate for a meaningful answer, dustin hoffman says yes yes it's so safe you wouldn't believe."

well, it is, and it isn't. and it's always both sides now.

good thing is, you never run out of adrenalin. or things like love. bless you, scott. there'a s lot of people, i suspect, who wold ride shotgun w/you anytime, anywhere.

5:48 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

thanks, jim. that's a hell of a nice thing to say.



12:55 PM  

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