Imagine a four-headed know it all troll with a broad streak of arrogance at the helm of the Gray Pearl in the midst of the Perfect Storm, the End of the Known World dropping off into Nothing on one side, the whirlpool that almost got Ulysses on the other. If you were a hand on that ship and one of the heads screeched out:
and the others laughed, sneered, snorted and leered and then joined in the clamor with their own screams of :
What would you do? If this were a movie, you would look into the camera and connect with the audience in one of those “isn’t this ridiculous” moments that does so much to relieve tension and instill hope. Then while the troll screamed, the lowly deckhand would seize the wheel, “Fifty Men all lost at Sea …” on his lips and a flagon of ale dangling from his belt, and rip the Pearl through the Straits of Insanity into the calm periphery of the storm, where mermaids want to be girls and the Sea King looks like Yahweh.
And we would be saved.
I took economics in college and the major insight I gained from that class was that the supply and demand graph was utterly useless in any other context but the final exam. At the time I thought I was stupid and left-brained, so I went to work for the Minnesota Daily and forswore dreams of riches, houses in Europe and hot blonde chicks loungin on my boat. I left the science of economics to white guys named Tad and Todd and Coley and of course those bright young Asian students who would rather run the IT company than found it.
I felt the first stirrings in my gut when my brother told me about law school. Law school, he said, is the gateway to getting rich easy. The law itself is as arbitrary as it is unyielding and only those willing to spend the cash and time sitting through four years of law school are initiated into the Secret Ingredient:
Like when my Boy Scout master made me carve a stick and gather charms and paint my face and dance under the full moon by the Finger Lakes howling and muttering only to tell me that … the secret of the Inner Tribe is … there is no secret. I felt it coming halfway through the moonlight bootstomp, but I held out to the end that maybe, just maybe, there would be something magical and arcane at the core of it all. There wasn’t.
Boys don’t turn into girls at age 5 (who knows what could have become of me had that one not been punctured). Santa Claus ain’t real at age 7. Spuds McKenzie can’t talk at age 14 (yup, I was the Last Man Standing on that one). The Inner Tribe thing later on … telepathy and best friends forever … true love and vagabondizm for life … dragons and portals and the ties to a different world that will be revealed in my time. Obama.
A litany of shattered dreams, the pieces in a cabinet I keep along with the souls of my compatriots, safe and warm for when the time comes, if it ever does, when dreams come true and the magic I believed in as a child fills my empty belly and turns my cold tears warm with the joy of salvation from the storm. A four headed troll at the helm is me still wishing and praying that dragons will burst forth from a portal in the sky and carry me away into Azeroth or Middle Kingdom or even GG Martin’s blood soaked land of rape and horror. Anywhere but here.
Where empty illusions like the Law and Economics run a rotting ship right over the edge.
It’s not so bad, Sasch. And really, what are you dreaming of anyway? Aren’t you just trying to run away from it all and hide in the corner playing with dice and your Monstrous Compendium while achievements pass you by like old friends’ birthdays?
Yeah, it’s not so bad. I see magic here and there. I feel it on the road and in the small beautiful things that wake up next to me in the morning. Sure. If I could only keep my head down and not read my daily Seeing Alpha emails … or Daily Pfennig report on currencies and unemployment … or go check haohaoreport for the latest in shake your head sadness.
Doesn’t this human condition seem like a long series of withdrawals from positions taken when life was full of hope? I am not talking about creating stuff for people to view so my purpose on earth is validated or my standing amongst my peers (where the fuck are you guys?) is maintained. So I can avoid the death that is no death:
“Yeah, you hear about Sascha, Dude fell the fuck off. Yeah … coulda shoulda woulda … Yeah that fool’s middle name is ‘One Day” HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
like the gravediggers spitting down upon Scrooge’s grave to be.
I am talking about the sad certainty that God is a wisp in the forest constantly on my periphery giggling like a small child beckoning and calling my name and as time goes on, the voice grows dim but the longing remains and at some point, I will have to leave you all and chase him through the woods or withdraw unto Harold’s bitter hill waiting for the arrow to pierce my oculus and end it once and for all.