Sunday, November 17, 2013

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 17 November

Cold Valentine

Good Morning Jacob…

You know who it is that writes on all those walls in bathroom stalls in every coffee shop, truck stop and neighborhood bar – everywhere that’s within walking distance of a parked car?  Elmer Fudd.  Surprised?  Come on.  You’ve known it all along.  Think about it.  After all, who is Elmer Fudd, really?  Yeah, he’s the guy made to look stupid, right?  He’s looking for the wabbit.  Where’s the furry little bunny?  Why should he care?  Because he’s wearing that funny hat that lets everyone know, “I’m on a sehweeus mission.  I’m going to shot that wabbit, I am.  Be vehwee, vehwee quiet.”

I’ve talked with Elmer Fudd on more than one occasion.  I can tell you I know something about what makes him tick.  How would I know?  Because I see a good deal of me in Elmer Fudd.  I want to find the hat that I can wear and people will see it and they will know I’m the real deal.  I’m on a serious mission.  So far, though, all the hats I wear don’t seem to fit me right.  They just kind of slump down over the top of my ears so it looks like I’m having to grow some more so I can fit into what it is I’m wanting to be.  You know how frustrating that is?  My closet is filled with clothes from all kinds of stores.  Look at me.  See?  I’m an adventurer today.  I’m a rugged man’s man, climbing rocks in the outback in search of grizzly.  Maybe tomorrow I will step outside in a fine three-piece, pinstripe suit and be a captain of industry on an evening stroll about the neighborhood.  Possibly.  On the other hand I’m beginning to feel like deck shoes without socks, white slacks and a Hawaiian shirt with Bird of Paradise over a field of black.  I’m stunningly casual, right?  Anyway, that’s what the sales clerk told me.

Ever notice how some people can fix their eyes on yours and take your hand and walk you into whatever dream they want you to believe and you go along because they are so sincere and so smart and just incredibly confident and satisfied with who it is they are.  I’m amazed there really are people like this.  How do they do it?  Ask me to do the same thing and I wind up looking at your shirt and flubbing my lines.  I don’t make any sense.  I find a reason to excuse myself and go sit alone in a corner filling up on cookies.  It’s not fair.  I really, really need to be someone I’m not. 

Some people have it all figured out.  They’re the celebrities talking about their latest passion on late night TV talk shows.  They’ve redecorated their kitchen or something.  Some fabulous new someone has become the love of their life and they’re about to tour Europe for the entire summer.  Sometimes they’re people that just seem kind of quiet.  They don’t have much to say because they speak only to other geniuses.  They spend their days filling blackboards with equations that reveal miracles of science.  Sometimes they’re the guy your aunt is always talking about.  How many times have you heard her say, “Everything he ever did turned to money.  He just has a way.  My, what marvelous ideas he has.”

If only I could come up with one of those ideas I could be really happy.  I’d pay my bills on time.  I’d be someone to somebody.  I could go out to eat and take someone with me.  I’d pick up the tab and pay the tip, too.  I’d be very generous because my life would be blessed.  People would tell their friends about me.  “You know who I want you to meet?  He’s so clever.  And he’s fun, too.  Too bad he’s so busy flying about here and there taking care of business and solving difficult problems.  He’s such a nice man.  What a shame it is he has so little time for himself.  That’s the downside of being so badly needed.  You’d love him.”

It ain’t going to happen for me.  I know it.  What a crummy deal. 

I’m headed to the mall.  Maybe there’s something I can wear that lets me feel the way I want myself to be.  I’m thinking possibly expensive jeans with a western belt, a double-pocket shirt with metal buttons and pointed-toed boots.  I’m Hud.  I won’t have to talk to be the part.  I’ll just walk around with a knowing, cynical look.  Actually, it doesn’t really matter how I show my face.  People take one look at me and they know.  I can’t shake it.  I’m Elmer Fudd.  Be vehwee quiet.  I’m hunting for wabbit.


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