Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catch 23

You know, sometimes I feel like I only learn things after the damage is done. Like you only learn that you don't know math until after you've bombed the test. You only know you cannot write until after you've flunked the paper. You know you can't communicate until after you're told to shut up, and so, and so forth. 

I guess every time it happens, I am stuck with the same question of why. Why can't I just learn from Kyle, he does this crap all the time? Or Justin, he's a good one, messes up like everyday? Why is it that I must learn after mistakes are made? Ahhh.

And it seems that the more I go without stepping on toes, or getting pulled over, or over drafting, the more I'm called naive, ignorant and young. I can't understand why respect only comes from being stupid and making the same mistakes as everyone else.

So here I am, stuck, messing up, trying to learn, but she already walked out. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pedestrians on Corners

Dude, you will not believe what happened. I was in the middle of a police sting operation, oh yes. It was incredible. Absolutely. But, I'll say it like I usually do, you know, start somewhere and end up somewhere you weren't thinking. I figure I like to do this with my writing because it makes it less like writing and more like designing a roller coaster. You think you're going to go on just another ride when I know the whole thing was designed to hopefully make you puke. Maybe that's actually stupid and kind of selfish. Well, either way, you're probably going to keep reading huh? Sucker. K, back to the cops.

So I was driving down the street. Well, actually riding in a car that my friend was driving. We saw this guy walk up to a cross walk, and we were just too dang close to the cross walk by the time he got to the corner to stop. No big deal. This happens all the time right? People walk to cross walks and wait for a pretty good opening, or if a driver sees them waiting, obviously wanting to cross, the driver stops, and then the pedestrian heads out there. Usually if a driver sees a person walking in the cross walk they stop and let them keep going. Well, not today, oh no, today was the day to end all, "Driver sees them waiting, obviously wanting to cross." No, today was the day that you were supposed to screech your brakes and see if that sucker was going to walk across the street or not. It was a sting. Complete illegal entrapment. The guy who had walked to the corner right as we passed the rational point-of-no-return, was a cop, in street clothes, and there was a convenient motorcycle cop there just waiting to write a ticket. Sometimes the government isn't a government at all, but more like a big brother who's only aim is to find a reason to beat you up. 

What happened next is half way to where we are supposed to be. My friend, let's call her Rachel, she was amazing. By the time old tight pants had walked up to the car, she was already meticulously articulating the most pristine argument for why the event that had just happened was in fact not a violation of any law and that it was absurd to have wasted everyone's time in pulling us over. She was incredible. I hadn't seen so much pure resilience since my friend Tyler stood up to this bully Max when I was a kid. The cop wrote her a ticket, I was told to look up the definition of entrapment, and we were on our way. I did look it up. I wasn't wrong. 

Entrapment, according to; the luring by a law-enforcement agent of a person into committing a crime.

Had the pedestrian not been on the police department's payroll, it probably wouldn't have been entrapment. 

I hadn't seen somebody like this for a while. Like I said, since Tyler taking on Max. I saw a person in a tough situation be tough. She didn't cry. She didn't get pissed. She just was tough. There it is, it was so refreshing. For so long now, people just keep saying tough things can't be solved, or they just spit the word "change" around. But maybe it isn't about the solving at all, maybe its more just about being tough. Seeing her like that, with no apologies, it was so empowering. If she can be tough to cops and time-wasting injustice, then I can be tough too. Tough to ridiculous political ads, tough to professors, tough to haters, and tough on myself when I'm being a wusse. If we all lose all the time, which most of us do, then shouldn't we start focusing on something other then winning? Maybe like that you played a tough game, or made a great pass, that you stood up to the bully even though he broke your nose and gave you a black eye. If winning were everything than wouldn't we like cheaters a lot more? Doesn't that retrospectively put more emphasis on honesty? I don't know. I just know when I saw Rachel be tough, it did something for me.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

School Shoes

You know, there is something I miss when it comes to going back to school after the summer; new shoes. To me, now, as I reflect, it was always such a way to indicate that you had had purpose, the fact that you had worn out a pair of shoes. In 5th grade, I needed two pairs of shoes; my school shoes and my soccer shoes.  I would have worn my school shoes for soccer if the grass hadn't been so slick. My school shoes were everything. They were my runners, my hikers, my explorers, my detention shoes, my walk home shoes, my get-nervous-when-you-see-that-one-girl shoes, and through it all they wore out. But now, now is a different story. 

I can't remember the last time I bought new shoes because the last ones had worn out. Now I buy shoes for work, and another pair for running, maybe two pairs for running, and another pair for Saturday night, and another to walk around the house in, and another pair to hike in, and another pair to get-nervous-when-you-see-that-one-girl-in, and another pair for summer, and another for when it snows, and another for when it rains, and then all those in black and brown, so I can appease my mood. All of them likely to be given to charity, not because they've worn out, but because I'm too busy wearing a different pair. This sounds like a sermon, but I'm not bothered, I'm religious. I see pretty good parallels. I think a great indication of how distracted we are in our lives, or maybe how afraid of commitment we are, or maybe a bunch of other things, is according to how many unworn pairs of shoes we own. The ones that just clutter up our closets. 

But there is more. I think, coupled with it, is how often we go looking for a different pair when we have a perfectly good pair at home. Why we look is really where we should focus. I think the truth is we look because we are told to look. In 5th grade, I didn't listen to anyone, I was my own man, as indicated by my shoes. But now, now I'm some other suckers man. Society's man. As indicated by my shoes. I think my respect goes out to the guy you only see in the shoe store around August, because he's the one who remembers when you need to buy shoes; once a year, with your mom, right before 6th grade starts, hoping to find the toughest pair, with a little bit of cool in them, because the ones on your feet are being held together by glue.