Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of air from the east these days. First it was me hanging in jolly olde Scotland with a Boston crew. Then, this weekend, it was some friends of M.’s from the fair city of Cambridge.
Interesting. And, for me a bit puzzling.
I’m tossing a chicken-egg-egg-chicken thing through my brain. Mostly, ‘cuz, there ain’t nothing like tossing cliched phrases through your head and then being boring enough to write that out. I’m dull, and I embrace it.
Here’s the real deal. I consider myself not completely, droolingly retarded. I mean, I got the drool under control. And, thanks to the birthright of an Academy-Award level of drama and sarcasm (like if they gave a snarky Oscar) from my mater, I have an edge, a wit, a sense of bitchy entitlement. Or at least entitled enough to belittle or otherwise address with bon mots. I’m fucking proud of my quickness, and I love cynicism and pessimism in the face of life’s uncertainties.
But, I’m feeling rocky on these bedrock values. What if, deep down, in truth, in some kind of cosmic joke, I’m a Californian at heart? Maybe I was meant to leave the snow and bitterness and wallowing in the negative behind afterall. My destiny, my fate all tied up in some kind of California dreamin’. What the fuck?
The reason for this self-doubt is some rather foolish blather over a couple of visits with North-easterners this week. The question was: how am I adjusting to the phoniness and vapidity that are the stereotypes of the Left Coast? Um, I guess, I must have lost some sneer on the drive over to this coast, because I’m not feeling it. Sure, there’s some dickheads, and I still laugh at the way store clerks who really, earnestly seem to be inquiring, beseeching whenever you enter a store. “How ARE you, today?”
But the tradeoff is so many fewer people here seem to give enough of a fuck to want to constantly remind me of my place. Maybe it’s phony or less genuine than, say, a typical New Englanders need to point out why you might fail or certainly aren’t deserving of success. Maybe it’s the sun, but as M. points out, I think no one cares. You mostly can just “do your own thing” like the 70s cliche.
The other question seemed to be one of intellectualism. The implication was do M. and I miss having intellectual discussions. This question is fucked up on two levels. One, I’m rather an idiot who would rather talk about something fun, so I’m not convinced I’ve ever had an intellectual discussion. No, let me re-state that, I go out of my way to derail that which smells like intellectualism for the sake of it. If I wanted a circle jerk, I’d buy some lube.
The second circle of fuckedupedness is seriously, why do folks in Cambridge think they’ve cornered the market on thinking? Yeah, there’re some schools there and there’s the conceit of the “hub of the universe” embedded in the sidewalk at Downtown Crossing in Boston, but I’ve done an unscientific sampling. There’s a fair amount of morons running in the streets, on par with the moron quota in every other area. Arguably, with the number of unemployed/underemployed grad students draining latte cups and bloviating, or any number of unfunny quote stand up comedians unquote in Cambridge, the moron quota might be running high.
I don’t miss that phenomenon, which I really think is quite phony. Or disingenuous anyway.
The final question of whether I’m fitting in and doing alright seemed to be “Am I happy?” Happy I moved, happy to live here, happy with my job, happy with M. You know, light-hearted questions that get to the core of did I fuck up my life in moving. I’m pretty sure I’ll understand “Happiness” as an abstract, divorced from specific actions and causes, about three seconds before I breathe my last breath, when I see clearly where I fucked up and where I didn’t. All I know now is we have a shitload of fruit in the house, and fresh produce makes me happy. And Nick’s kissing our legal asses put a smile on my face.
The real question is has California softened or changed me, or was the me that I am destined to live here?