I made a vow to limit this blog, at least for the duration of My Tunes – The Albums Project, to music and album reviews and discussions. I said I’d throw in an occasional food and wine thought… Organic, sustainable food and gardening is the key to saving our land and ourselves… French wine ages significantly better than California wine… There, see… And maybe something else from time to time.
Today, I have to do something else. There will still be an album later, but I need to process. I don’t think I have ever shifted emotions so quickly as I just did in the last hour.
I went to the dentist this morning and it’s in the same building as my daughter’s pediatrician. The dentist validates, so I park in the lot. Her doctor does not, so we park on the street. Am I cheap? A bit, I guess… but paying for parking is something that just peeves me. We make every effort to park on the same side as the building, as there is no cross walk and it is a busy street. If we do, no big deal. You safely walk 20 steps and you’re inside. Every once in a while, if there are no spaces, we park on the other side the street and make the mad dash across. Never again.
I got into my car, gums swollen from the sharp, piercing tools and my obviously bad flossing habits… You know it’s never good when the hygienist asks if you take blood thinners… Yeah, okay… I promise yet again to be better about flossing. And while I am thinking of it… the paste tastes nothing like Cookies and Cream!
I did not hear anything as I gave the attendant my ticket, but as I looked up, about to exit out to the right, I saw an older man lying in the middle of the street. He was in the fetal position and he was not moving. It’s odd that I did not hear anything… I saw a rather distraught woman, with an “Oh My G-d!” expression in her body and face… But still no sounds… I saw a beautiful white Lexus, both it and its driver forever scarred with a huge dent in the hood and who knows what kind of never-leaving guilt. I decided to turn left and immediately pulled over and called 911. I was going to walk over, but there were already too many people hovering around him. The woman who hit him was pacing and frantic. Again, I heard none of this.
I got on the freeway and headed home. The tears came immediately. I think I just saw someone die. Thankfully I did not see the actual impact, but seeing the aftermath and that motionless body was and is haunting. I wiped my tears, put on the shades and ran into Trader Joe’s for some brown rice sushi for lunch. I got back in the car… More tears…
And then a call. It was Mike Thomas from the Chicago Sun Times. Stephen Colbert is speaking at Northwestern’s Commencement and he is doing a story on the No Fun Mud Piranhas, a comedy group we were in together. Being able to talk about Stephen and comedy and my time at school was what I needed to get away from that other place. As I listened to myself talk, I could hear the excitement and passion about comedy and improv… Something I have tucked away for a while. I am sure if you were looking at me, my whole body would have changed. That is proof positive of how important it is to pursue your bliss. Mike was great and we found a lot of common ground in intelligent humor, how satirists and comedians are too often left behind come award season and how important it is, especially in this crazy world, to laugh at ourselves. That is only part of Stephen’s genius.
Life is obviously short. I am more aware of this than ever before. My only daughter just turned 11. My grandmother is 99… My Dad just had a birthday. My Mom has a big one coming up. Me, too. I have regrets about what I have or have not accomplished, but regrets in the middle of your life are either a waste of time, or perhaps a wake up call. I had them and have them, so I’ll take the latter. It is never too late. We need to make money in this world. We need to take care of ourselves and our family, but we need to be happy. The world needs and deserves to be happy. Making people laugh is a joy. Comedy is a virtue and an absolute necessity. To make someone smile, whether it be an audience worldwide or the one person in front of you is a gift.
Mark Twain said that “the human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
Charlie Chaplin said “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
So don’t waste a moment… live fully, laugh loudly and always be happy.