January 25, 1999

Other Stuff
January 25, 1999
Nice Guys Finish Last

That song is my anthem. Along with My Hero by the Foo Fighters.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He’s ordinary

Not to mention my feelings for this little ditty:

17 seconds of compassion
17 seconds of peace
17 seconds to remember love is the energy behind          which all is created
17 seconds to remember all that is good
17 seconds to forget all your hurt and pain
17 seconds of faith
17 seconds to trust you again
17 seconds of radiance
17 seconds to send a prayer up
17 seconds is all you really need

That’s not actually a song. It’s on the liner notes of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore CD. But there is a song on the CD only 17 seconds long. Presumably to give us all the time in the world to do those things listed and much more. 17 seconds is all you really need. Entire lives change in less than one second. Just think what we can do with seventeen of those bastards.

I was dipping out a good dose of nostalgia this weekend and thinking back to the year 1994.
(Cue dreamy chime sound)
I was living it up in Biloxi, Mississippi. Right there where the sea air passes under the C-130s’ wings as they lift off from Keesler Air Force Base. Little did I know, while I taking the sight of those planes taking off across the street from my home for granted, that within six months my entire life would be turned upside down. In six months my grandfather would get deathly sick, I’d leave everything I’d built for years in Biloxi behind in order to move to Alabama so my mom could take care of him. Leaving the only place I’d ever really been able to call home, all of my friends, the people who stood by us when my father was in Korea and my brother was ill…

The bonds were broken, the roots pulled out of the ground and thrown into the toilet.

Every little thing counts. And last night, while standing on Mount Bonnel, I thought to myself, “If you had told me five years ago that I’d be standing on a hill overlooking Waterloo (Austin), starting over once again, and described in detail the Hell I’d travelled through to get to that hill, there is no way I could have believed you.

Although I loved my time in Biloxi and still believe it was one of the best times in my life, I was notaware. I wasn’t on the level I am now. And I’m not saying I’m more intelligent or really any better for the experiences I’ve gone through since living in Biloxi, but they have changed me, and I like to believe they’ve edged me toward the better more than the worse. I didn’t see things in the same light.

Are you ready for the fallout?

The changes, the experiences, the hatred, the mistakes, everything I went through while living in Alabama… has affected me on a large scale. It has changed, not only the course of my life, but my being. Had we stayed in Biloxi, I wouldn’t be living in Austin right now. I wouldn’t have realized that I can live on my own without a great base of friends to support me. That’s not saying I want to live without a good friends surrounding me, but that Ican if everything goes to Hell.

When I look out on the horizon,
I see far beyond this place called home.
Every time I try to explain it,
I end up feeling so alone.
You don’t want to walk in my shoes…

In life, there’s more than enough room for mistakes. You make yours, I’ll make mine and someday we’ll play host to an ale and trade secrets.

Is this the prize I’ve waited for?

Just because I’ve changed doesn’t mean anyone else has. I still get blown off on a regular basis. I don’t expect anyone else to be able to see how much I’ve grown. No one here knows how far I’ve come. And no one knows how far I’ve got to go. But don’t ask yourself what I’m talking about in reference to me. Ask yourself how far you’ve got to go.

Have I got a long way to run?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel — it’s called death. And a lot like the way it hid in bushes in Vietnam and jumped out at soldiers when they least expected to take away their futures, that light can be upon us at any time. We fight our own personal wars each and every day.

Good morning, Vietnam!

On a final note, I wanted to once again mention my job and try to put into perspective why I seem to dislike it. It’s not an intense dislike or anything — the people are all great — it’s just nowhere near my dream. It’s not even on the path to my dream. But I’ll work it in. Don’t you worry about me, I’m still painting the future.

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