Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Johnny Considers the Classics

The tallest building in my hometown is the jail. At five stories it offers premium views across the bay to the roiling Pacific for those of us nabbed breaking our societal contracts. I won't bore you with the specifics of my infractions. The truth is, once you're in, the details are unimportant. Much like a rose is a rose, time is time.

Fact: I only read inside. I just don't have much use for it when I'm out. I prefer to spend my days doing. One needs to hustle. I hustle. That said, I'll peruse the Racing Form or skim the headlines if given the chance, but I'm not going to tuck in with the Classics or explore, as my pal Frank once said, what the poets in Ghana are doing these days. Honestly, when I'm out, I don't give a good-goddamn. Incidentally, Frank was killed by a dune buggy. Ran him over. A truly unique death--something we should all aspire to. Unlike a rose is a rose or time is time, the end, my friend, is not the end. Endings merit special consideration. What the curtain falls on matters, and you're a fool if you think it doesn't. It's our last and most significant mic drop. If a book or movie has a weak ending you tell your boys, Don't bother. You don't want to seize up and quit while lying in bed staring into the abyss. Aspire to an end folks will talk about. Even better, a death that crosses over from the realm of fact to fiction: a death that becomes more fantastic with time, that they talk about down at Jimmy Dunn's for generations. Be open to immortality if the opportunity presents itself. Fall into the drum debarker at the mill and be rolled with a thousand tons of redwood trunks. Let your waders fill up with the Eel River, drag you under and out to sea. Drive your truck far out onto the south jetty and wait for a sleeper wave to wash you off. If you're lucky, it'll come.

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