The less I say, the more they Like me

I was at the gym today playing basketball. It's been a long time since I've said those words. I could do an entire post on the emotions I feel when people ask me if I do indeed play, "the basketball", as one guy put it while I was at the local Costco a few weeks back. But no. Not here, not now. Rather what I found interesting was my demeanor while sitting on the couch catching up on 'Parks and Rec'.

In my lukewarm, semi sleepy, achy muscle, state of mind, I felt like I was at some sort of equilibrium. I don't know how to describe it but basically I could just tell I was at just the right amount of awake to be both mentally sharp, but not overly talkative. It is weird to say but I almost felt better than normal? I imagine it is what Jay-Z often feels like. Un-rushed because there isn't anyone who won't wait for him, completely in control because he has been for so long, and unworried because both he and his wife are rich in their own right. It's a great feeling, one I want to feel on a more regular basis. This is more than just swagger, and is exactly what they mean when they say comfortable in your own skin. I'm a super skittish person. Like embarrassingly so. One of my favorite scenes in any movie is the scene where that famous line in Apocalypse Now is uttered. As Lt.Col. Bill Kilgore squats in the Vietnamese mud, gunfire and smoke emanate from behind him and he makes the famous statement. A mortar appears to explode just a few feet behind him and it's as if he is deaf to it. To say he doesn't flinch doesn't do it justice. It is as if it didn't even happen, or better yet he knows exactly that it happened, but doesn't care. That mindset it what I'm after. It feels perfect.

Imagine the funniest thing you've ever said. You probably weren't trying to be funny. This is because your lack of effort allowed you to really nail that deadpan or emphasize the timing naturally. I think for me when I wake up I'm too wired and too attentive. There's an episode of House that fittingly enough is titles, Ignorance is bliss. Esteban Powell plays a man of prodigious intelligence who literally drugs himself to reduce his IQ. For him, life as a super genius was hard because he was so much smarter than everyone else. He literally was sketching a Toroidal helicon plasma device on a napkin once they started treatment to bring his IQ back to normal. Now I don't say all this to say I'm a super genius, or that when I go into rural areas, people talk about me as one of those, "big city" learn-ed types. What I do mean is that on a daily basis my normal disposition is geared towards getting through the day's travails as quickly as possible. I don't really take time to scan and survey all situations, I definitely rush most things, and often I wish it could be otherwise. I guess efficiency for me is measured in the number of tasks completed and not so much in the quality of what I do. This here blog is the first time I've ever attempted anything with a conscious outlook of doing everything well down to the last detail. What I think the point for me personally comes down to is, at that moment the edge was taken off. I wasn't "scanning on all channels", there was no high alert, no need to alarm. If you know me personally you know I don't shy away from fights or conflict. Kinda. I enjoy arguing and conflict because the level of agitation implicit in those situations just brings people up to where my mind already is. A famous hockey player once said that "when I get into fights on the ice, my blood pressure doesn't go up." That makes sense to me. I've always felt my "calling" if there is such a thing, was to fight for a cause, like the rights of those who are less fortunate than I. I try to stay honest, I try to gain knowledge, and I was born looking for a fight. I don't think anyone who has seen me either all the way pissed off, or just at my best arguing a point would have trouble envisioning me as some sort of civil liberties lawyer. I'm not saying that's what I want to do with my life, but I've heard the complaint more than once, that I don't know how to drop a subject, or let something go...Which is exactly what the poor, and under represented need on their side right. =)
I am also fairly patient considering this disposition of mine. I find that I am either completely impatient, or too patient. As always there is little moderation in my life but this is an important point. I don't lose my patience just because I am pissed. I actually gain more I think? That day on the couch I figure there was a certain amount of adrenaline in my blood from the workout, seratonin and dopamine were hard at work, and endorphins probably were in abundance as well. So basically I was on my natural high in a way that even my beloved fentanyl couldn't provide. But was it the perfect mix of chemicals in my brain that made me cool out, or is that a persona of mine that is there but I only see at times? I don't think Jay-Z learned to be cool over night, I imagine he has always had that much cool in him, but the circumstances around him allow for it to be his everyday and not just his sometimes.
All I can say is that when I wake up everyday I assume that extra level of gusto I seem to have for things is just my cross to bear. I was made this one so that hopefully I can oneday fight on behalf of those who are unable, even if that just means my and my friends. We all have some natural talents and I see this as mine. What makes it interesting is that this state I was in wasn't a reduction of that skill, if anything it was enhanced because I was more calm and able to think slowly or more accurately, more effortlessly. The last thing Kilgore says after his remarks fully embodies the tone of this feeling I had. He says simply, "Someday this war will be over."

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