Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shoshone The Magic Pony

Reposting This because I found it and it is vey personal. I hope you enjoy it again.

In 1953, when I was about five years old, my parents took me to see Shoshone the Magic Pony.

That was also the year that my brother drown in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast. That same year Hank Williams, along with Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, had checked out of the mortal motel, quite possibly unaware that the other party had been there to begin with. Hank fried his brains and heart and other internal organs for our sins, using eleven different herbs and spices. Julius and Ethel, charged with spying for Russia, were fried by our government and died declaring their innocence and their love for each other. Hank's songs declared his love and his innocence, inexplicably, for people. It is doubtful whether Hank or the Rosenbergs had anything in common at all, except that a small boy in Texas had not cried when each of them had died. He had cried when he learned that he would never see his younger brother again.

The boy had not cried the year before when Adlai Stevenson had lost the potato-sack hop at the company picnic to good ol' Ike, the Garth Brooks of all presidents, who turned out to be the most significant leader we'd had since Millard Fillmore and remained as popular as the bottle of ketchup on the kitchen table of America, even if Lenny Bruce and Judy Garland, who were destined to die on toilets, like Elvis, remained in their rooms for the entire two terms of his presidency. The kid seemed to cry alot back then, because of the absence of his brother, but fortunately, the other human tragedies of this sort never cut into his otherwise happy childhood.

When he grew up, he continued to cry at times, though the tears were no longer visable to the naked eye, for he never again let human tragedies of this sort cut into his cocktail hour. But during his childhood, it is very likely that his parents noticed the tears. That may have been the reason they took him to see Shoshone the Magic Pony.

Now I find myself looking out at the cool spring evening and dreaming in the daytime like Lawrence of Arabia. At last I could afford to daydream. I looked out over the evening and my mind went back to 1953. Shoshone the Magic Pony had just been announced over the loud speaker of the little rodeo arena near Wellington, Texas. My mother, my father, my uncle and my grandparents were all sitting on splintery bleachers. Suddenly, all of our eyes were on the center of the arena. Shoshone came out prancing, led by an old cowboy with a grey beard. He took the reins and Shoshone began to bow several times to the audience.

The old cowboy stood back and music began, it was "Waltz Across Texas" and Shoshone the Magic Pony began to dance. It was apparent from the outset, even to us children in the crowd, that there were two men inside of Shoshone. You could tell by the clever, intricate soft shoe routine she was performing, by the fact that she often appeared to be moving in two directions at once, and by the funny and very unponylike way she now and again humped and arched her back to the music. I was laughing so hard I forgot for the moment about my brother, and Hank Williams, Adlai Stevenson, the Rosenbergs, and myself. Whoever was inside there was good, I even forgot that they were inside there. Then "Waltz Across Texas" was over. Shoshone took a deep theatrical bow. Everybody laughed and clapped and cheered. The old cowboy took off his hat. Then he took off his beard. Then he took off the old cowboy mask he was wearing and we saw to our amazement that the old-timer was in reality a very pretty young girl. She took off Shoshone's saddle. Then she took off her saddle blanket. And there, to my total astonishment, stood only Shoshone the Magic Pony. Shoshone was a real pony.

"So you see," I said to know one in particular, "there is a lesson in all this." "Nothing is what it appears to be and no one is who they appear to be." "And sometimes a dark and lonely street is just a dark and lonely street."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I looked in the rearview mirror at the deserted highway that had once been the business route of Route 66, all I saw was a ragged old man with a bottle in his hand vomiting in the gutter. Could've been Edgar Allan Poe, or Ira Hayes or Stephen Foster. Could've been me, I thought, given the wrong blood lines and the right heartbreak. By the time I got to the corner where the old drugstore once stood, the people and the shadows had gone and so had just about everything else in the neighborhood. The old store stood somber as a shipwreck on some forgotten floor of some uncharted sea that Columbus had missed on his way to discovering the Bank of America.

It was growing dark by the time I pulled over to the side of the street to look at the vacant buildings. It wasn't the kind of neighborhood you'd really want to be in after dark, or any other time for that matter. There was a time back in the 40's, 50's & 60's that all the big names played the Nat Ballroom across the corner. Now there were several different kinds of clubs up and down the block. The street seemed to become a little more populated, if you wanted to call it that. The people seemed to cling to the shadows and the shadows seemed to cling to the people. Like heathens or whores or other biblical types, they huddled together beneath burned out street lights waiting for the sun to take them away.

This corner was as quiet as a country graveyard.

I took out my flashlight and headed for the door of the dark and forsaken old structure. It didn't look like a major B&E job because the front door was standing open off its hinges. 40- 50-60 years ago this place had been brimming with guys and girls, juke box music, sodas, milk shakes and malts, love, laughter and intrigue. You didn't have to say, "Joe sent me." to get in. I wasn't sure who had sent me, but whoever it was had a pretty sick sense of humor. It was a stretch to imagine that there could be any relic of the past still around the inside of this old building.

The flashlight revealed years of disuse and abuse. It looked like a crack house that had seen better days. On the floor instead of furniture, were boxes, blankets, broken wine bottles, butane lighters, dirty chore boy, and an old shopping cart that stood in a cobwebbed corner. It was asleep, waiting for a happy suburban shopper to roll it home.

I worked my way back to where the soda fountain once stood. I had to duck around old water pipes some still leaking water where the floor was rotting away. It was like watching ancient gnarled limbs leaking the lifeblood of a bygone era.

On a dusty shelf nearby was a rain soaked makeup bag and cosmetics kit, possibly left by street prostitutes who had come here to get high between tricks, Then I shined the light to the corner and saw the beauty herself, she'd probably been to long and heavy to carry away like everything else that had once been in the place. It was the old fashioned soda fountain counter that as a teen I had made root beer floats, served countless sodas, after school and on weekends. I propped up the counter so I could look at the top of it. I found an old rag and began wiping off years of dirt, grime and dust. As unlikely as it seemed, even time had not erased the initials carved into the counter top so many years ago.

I couldn't shop at the old corner drug store anymore. Just about everything has been forgotten within the dusty book jackets of what we call history. Of course yesterdays triumphs and tragedies may well be tomorrows' trivia. Who could tell the difference? Walking down these lonely dark streets? Maybe you would find what you were looking for. Maybe you thought that you'd been following your stars then one dark and lonely night, just like this one, you looked up at the clear Texas moonlit night and found that it was none of the above.

After a few blocks the old buildings became busier, trendier, authentic places populated by last years people. I like last years people I decided. Maybe I had been wrong, maybe it wasn't dark outside after all, maybe it was just the mere absence of the human spirit. Time passed slowly like rush hour traffic of the mind.

My eyes lowered to the sidewalk, some little things always tend to slip through the cracks in the sidewalk and our souls. I walked in the direction the sun had gone down, once this had been a great neighborhood. About 80 years ago my father had spent a summer working for a Polish man selling vegetables to housewives. The polish guy had a horse and cart and loaded it up with fresh vegetables from the farmers market, then proceeded down the streets and alleys shouting out the produce available. My dad rode a top the cart.

Clotheslines hung like medieval banners across every backyard as the horse and cart plodded along. My father ran the purchases to the housewives as they wiped their hands on their aprons.
My dad told me the one word the peddler yelled most often. The word was kartofle. It means potato in Polish.

Now 80 years later my fathers oldest son was walking down the same streets, looking no doubt at the same buildings now boarded up clinging to each other for dear life.

The vegetable peddler was gone. The housewives were gone. The clotheslines were gone. My father was gone. All that remained were some trashy vacant lots, a few sad buildings, and an occasional alley leading from nowhere to nowhere.

I paused and looked around the once alive neighborhood. The air turned an almost primordial cold that seemed to come from somebody else's iceage. I peered out at the desolate landscape where every now and then the dull glint of old buried railroad tracks became visable below the dirt like scarred, submerged hard to find veins of a dying junkie.

"Kartofle", I said.

There was no one to hear me except some street person sitting on the steps of a darkened doorway, he just kept his eyes down.

Either he wasn't polish or he didn't want any potatoes.

My mind was still at work, even in its troubled and confused state, it was processing the past looking for an answer from a world that didn't give a damn.

A light rain began to fall and in the ancient glow of the streetlights, there seemed to form a canopy of hope over the city and the world. There are five and a half billion people and four hundred gorillas left, I thought, and though I wasn't exactly sure which group I'd rather hang out with, I was finally beginning to have some fun at the party.

Friday, April 17, 2009

One Time While Dying

The whole experience seemed like something from a movie. The kind you want to get up and walk out of.

I looked out over the bed I was lying in and looked down on the ashes of my misbegotten youth. It was like looking over an open grave. I didn't know whether to curse or pray as my mind went back a million years to a somewhat celestial nightmare. Moments of magic, decades of destruction, fragile, tender, star-crossed, deathbound, heroic, beautiful, hopeless, immortal, mortal. Dancing with angels, struggling with demons, and finally understanding the wisdom of the Roger Miller song, Don't Write Letters To My Dog.

It makes you stop and consider what your life might be worth. Somwtimes your life runs out before you do, that is what happens when you realize you have spent your entire life operating your brain on one cylinder most of the time. How in the hell did death sneak up on me like this?

The body can quit working I discovered, but that doesn't mean the mind does. I wasn't about to deny HIS existence at this time. No man is an atheist when he thinks he is dying. It was quite ridiculous when you think about it.

I felt a giddy flashback of backyards 1950's summertime in Texas. Childhood pranks, Christmas tree forts, stirring up a hornets nest then running for your life. No matter who you are, running for your life can be dangerous, tiresome work, I reflected very briefly, but it sure beat jogging. The veil of childhood lifted, blood began returning to my heart and stain my dreams. I felt strangely at peace.
An unfamiliar voice asked, "How do you feel?'

I whispered as best I could, "This dream is short. But this dream is happy."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Glass Heart

Glass Heart

Center City........ The annual downtown festival sponsored by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce. An attempt to breathe some life into a decaying rotting lifeless inner city of small town Texas. I parked a block away, at a weekday unneeded and unused parking lot and made my way to 8th and Polk Street. Polk Street, Main Street anywhere else. I stood momentarily at the corner observing the hordes of revelers flow around and past me-tourists, hucksters, pickpockets, and students, Gypsy urchins sniffing glue, and snatching purses, drug dealers, cops, young lovers, and peddlers of every common place and oddity. Old people, holding hands and drifting back in memory 50 years when they strolled hand and hand in their youth. Pointing at each storefront recalling what was there a lifetime ago. In many ways like the old days, Hope in bed with despair.

I turned toward 9th, when I saw her emerge from Brewsters Pub, she wasn't looking my way and she began walking south towards the end of the block where the neon sign of The Blue Note Bar and Grill loomed glowing softly in the rosy light of a static dust. She allowed herself to be dragged along with the throng among the carousers. Following behind her like Humphrey Bogart staking out Peter Lorre in a 1950-s thriller. Catching the bob of her blonde hair and the glow from the street lamps highlighted her once familiar beauty. .
I could feel the pounding of an anxious heart, spilling blood. She paused in front of the Blue Note. Standing there as if lost in thought, the gentle breeze of days fading light tugged at the hem of her cotton dress. I dipped into the foyer of an old closed up building. I faced the dread were she to see me and turn back to speak. As the last time I looked into her eyes set in motion the final scenes of a drama which she had a decisive and leading role. I looked down at the sidewalk as newspapers drifted against my shoes. I exhaled the smoke of a cigarette, watched the smoke rise and imagined that with it all the things in my life that had gone wrong, and the mistakes I had made were drifting upward like flotsam on the swirling eddies of the smokes current.
As the last grasping rays of twilight cast their rays on ghostly silhouettes, she disappeared into a place where I had taught her the two-step and The West Texas Waltz, so many months ago.

I stopped at the window to the live Texas music side of the club, where in a few hours the dance floor would be filled with couples. The dance floor was viewable from the sidewalk outside. As the bruised ego of the coming evening cast a shadow on the wooden floor, the sudden urge to go inside over whelmed me. An impulse I struggled to supress. I swallowed hard, and for a moment at least, fought off an unshakable sadness.
Part Two

LoneStar was pure small-town Texas, and despite his degrees and his years of travel, he would always be small-town Texas, deep down in the well that was his real nature. Tall and lean, he neared the end of years of a storied life. The ice from his drink was pudding around his glass. He had strung himself out in stories to the breaking point, playing roles inside his head for so long that the distinctions between who he was and who he pretended to be were bleeding together. He made mistakes by revealing too much of himself. Exposed, his friends began to think of him as damaged goods. People who so distanced that they didn't understand this so well. In fact it could be argued that more often than not, damaged goods, were simply thrown away.

She sat at the same table they had sat at so many months before. Though there was a vast age difference between them she had loved him, still loved him, and she new him well, she also knew she got only a part of him. He kept a percentage to himself. But she had known that going in, and she had accepted it, though she had to admit toward the end it had become to have an effect on the relationship. It was nothing insurmountable. It was that the small part he kept to himself sometimes defined more of what happened between them than she would like. Her smile faded, and she stared into space with an unsteady tilt of her head.

He cut his eyes at the Club across the street. He had taken a window seat in Amigo's Restaurant. His eyes returning to the space across from him, where emptiness sat. He wondered what it was about women that made them so romantic about their relationships. She wondered why men so bravely proclaim their independence from such attachments.

In the simplicity of his inebriation, LoneStar thought, they know a small story. With his elbow resting on the table, he raised his hand in front of his face and squeezed his forefinger and thumb together. "About that much. The least little scrap of me." He whispered to himself, and his blue-green eyes squinted blankly looking nowhere. At some point only the man deepest in understood everything, and it wasn't a rare thing for him to keep some part of it stored forever in that small percentage of himself that he never shared with everyone.

She seemed to be unable to think of anything else. She was completely aware, feeling the effects of the gin, which had been creeping up on her with every fresh drink. She stood slowly, her voice started low.

"You .....son.......of.....a ...........BITCH!" she screamed, and without thinking she grabbed the edge of the table cloth and jerked it with all her might, sending everything on the table flying across the room, crashing, rattling on the floor, behind her as she stalked out of the Bar, and into the sultry, mean heat of the night.

Part Three

Desolate in her depression, she felt like a life long whore who after years of abstinence had returned again to loveless sheets, preferring even one moment of counterfeit affection to endless nights of genuine loneliness. Nothing compared to moral failure in its resulting isolation. For momentary comfort she had left me with only the sour after taste of regret. She had fallen to her death long ago, and in doing so she had grasped at my heart in an effort to save herself. The plunge killed us both.

As I watched her thru the cafe window, disappearing into the fog of the evening. Only one last thought prevailed in my mind. Her leaving was as sure and final and symbolic as death. The only thing I know that last forever.
Part Four

The last drink they had together months ago ended with words and feelings unlocked from too many doubts and insecurities of past loves for both of them. The linger of her perfume had mingled with the rising smoke of his cigarette. Tonight through the haze he wondered which set of tail lights leaving the parking lot was hers. He ordered another drink as his finger drew imaginary circles on the table cloth.
As a bid to her fidelity she had proclaimed her anger when it was only through a friend that worked in admissions had informed her where he had been for several weeks. He had been released when she came to visit. His deception she felt was a complex pattern of lies. He had betrayed her with his silence. They were playing word games now. The syntax had to be massaged to the point where each of them could live with an acceptable ambiguity. That was the apparent game. The darker game, the subtext, was one that made his face and chest burn as though he had a fever. To her she was at the point at which all of the invested interests and time came together finally. She had wanted him to insure that those interests were secure. Whatever he had thought, he had been mistaken.

He had felt the strange but familiar stirrings of excitement, a mixture of fervor and foreboding-that eventually rose to the surface. Something he was not sure he could control. It was not like any other emotional experience, at once elemental and sophisticated. It was the simple challenge of survival and as complex as aberrant sexuality. It had been an open-ended invitation to risk the unknown. He thought he was just trying to protect her from her youthful exuberance.

The evening had brought a thick fog with it. The crowds were growing smaller but the bars were filling up fast. At least he had avoided her and had gone unseen.

Two years later

For reasons unknown to himself, he was drawn to enter the bar where he had once shared drinks with a vision. It had been her twenty-first birthday, and it seemed a lifetime ago. In reality it had been only two years since that festive evening. He was staring at the pattern of the woodwork of the table when a shadow cast over him. He looked up.

"May I sit down?" she asked.

He nodded yes.

"Do you believe in love, cowboy?"

I suppose I do, he nodded.

Then he spoke. "I have a Glass Heart," he spoke matter of factly. "Do you remember I told you this before? I did not ask for it, this glass heart. It was a gift." He paused as if to let something subside-a pain, perhaps; a dizziness. "Hard is the glass heart. Nothing moves through it. It has no fragrance or softness. Cold to the touch. It hears no music, see no light..." His heart jerked in his chest, and he continued. "And yet it is fragile too, so very fragile. "
She reached across the table and kissed him softly on the cheek. The Glass Heart shattered into powder. "A Glass Heart. Hard...and fragile. I need both to survive. And in the end, to be redeemed...."

She took his hand and folded his fingers around a gold locket. In the silence that followed, he grew pale. She rose from the chair and left, the sunlight outlining her body when she opened the door and went outside into the hot Texas heat.
As the day moved steadily into the thinness of its time, he grew slack. All of a sudden he felt a stillness in the room, and he knew he was very much alone. He opened the locket to find a picture of the two of them, sitting at the very table he sat at now. The locket, a requiem of her love. A constant reminder that of all the many passions that gripped and compelled the human heart in the course of a lifetime, the greatest of them was love.


So I took yet another risk and in doing so had played a card in a hand that I increasingly feared would allow me fewer and fewer options. How many cards are left in the deck? All the spent ones lay before me, and I could remember in detail exactly how I had played them, and the small stack that remains to draw from was there too. But there is no time to count, no way to calculate what my chances are with the few cards that remain. Each day seems to move in glacial time past my frame of view. Another drama, another act, another role. It wouldn't be so bad if anything ever lasted from these theatricals. But the whole point is the ending. Correct?

It seems I always have to step over the corpses to get off the stage. I always exit alone. There is no one to talk to. The isolation is torture, as is the absence of continuity.
Do we really need someone to share a memory with, but even worse, to share the few things we wish to remember?


In the silence, in the darkness, no one could see the hurt in his face. They couldn't even imagine it. He knew the importance of trust between two people, especially the trust necessary between two people who had learned to submit to the free fall of a certain type of relationship. Where the assumption was that the other partner was securing the lifeline that would prevent the plunge from being fatal. That kind of trust came with an emotional price. He would have had to commit to her, the kind of commitment you made to the coming of night, the passage of time, and to the surety of death. He realized that there is no way to turn back the clock. Two years ago when he had made his decision, he meant it. He had made the judgement that whatever good they might be for each other, it wasn't worth the price of admission.
He took another shot of scotch. He was on the edge here. A few more sips and he wouldn't be able to think straight. He would be in that zone, that strata of self-deception where he would assume he was thinking straight, even though he wasn't. Sinking, like a pilot flying to high without oxygen, into that nether zone of absolutely believable delusion. That is where he was at this stage of his life-trying to find a balance, to linger on the edge of delusion but not step over it.
He evaluated his life at this moment...........a fucking horror show. Trying to think of just one person he meant something to, he faced his solitude and determined not one single person that mattered. He was just a mere bit of debris, blown and whipped around in the winds of his dusty past.
Spitting out irrevelant words in his ever meaningless insignificance

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The afternoon was as cold as blue eyes that didn't love you anymore.

When you go looking for something in life, sometimes you find it. Then you find it wasn't what you were looking for. Then you wonder why in the hell you went looking for it in the first place. Just curiosity you figure. You rack your brain trying to remember what curiosity did to the cat. Did it make him healthy, wealthy and wise? Did it help him be early and get the worm? Oh hell, now you recall, it killed him.

The specter of curiosity stalks across the creaky wooden vacant warehouse floor of your life.

Across a candlelit table in a restaurant that closed many years ago. Shut down by the city for being to quaint.

I took another sip of coffee as I puffed a cigaret and watched a blue wreath of smoke rise up toward the lesbian dance class up stairs. Things were pretty quiet up there just now. Maybe they were getting into their tiny lesbian leotards, or out of them, Who knew what went on upstairs in the lesbian dance class. The whole world loves a lesbian I thought, of course when you got them thundering on your ceiling even a lovable lesbian can lose a little magic.

I watch the smoke drift away like the dreams of a small child who always wanted to grow up to be a fireman. Dreams like everything else must die an early death sooner or later. I'd always hoped mine could have been a little later. Dying isn't what its cracked up to be. But in all fairness few things are. Body surfing for one.

Those are just some of the things you think about when your life hangs by a thread. Maybe it continues to cling there and you continue to live. Or maybe some well meaning neurotic nurse puts down her clip board and says, "Oh honey you have a loose thread here." She picks off the thread then you die.

Then your land lord leases your apartment for a higher amount. The girl in the peach colored dress calls, hears your voice still on your answering machine and leaves a message. Then she wonders why you don't get back to her.

Serves her right for waiting so damn long to call.

Monday, April 6, 2009

blinkity blonk

The great Soviet political philosopher, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, thought he had sufficiently assessed the human condition when he wrote, "Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself." Had Solzhenitsyn met some of my friends, he would see how right he was.

In my formative years, my bags were empty when I sat out to discover the world, and myself.. They were equally void of packed excuses the day I gained my first career, my ex-wife, my days in college, my relations with my parents, my children, my teachers, my co-workers, and the list can go on.

I had long before buried what excuses I may have had for not following whatever was my calling. I embraced so deeply that the road never forked; the adventure was straight and clear. Indeed, by emptying my bag of excuses, the load only lightened. Other people I knew thought they knew me better than I did, but I knew me pretty well.

Sometimes I laugh at the retelling of the day my legend was born. Somewhere around 1966-67, the burdens of college life became so overpowering that I did what most college students do - I took a nap . . . in class. And, as my colleagues poured a lifetime of experience into the day's lecture, I passed from mere napping to deep, robust slumber; the kind of sleep that relieved my body of its duty to remember that I was seated at a desk and not prone in bed. The crash that followed left students stunned and me in a howling stupor. I learned to laugh a lot. And I learned to laugh at myself a lot since those days.

Following a High School reunion a few years ago, some of my pals, all men in my own state of decay, recalled stories. "There was Wes's overzealous attempt to gasoline-fortify a campfire, which left him with a comical set of prickly eyebrows and hairless arms." We laughed at the comedy that was the conversion of my pickup bed into a mobile swimming pool. I'm more amused at how me and my buddies were able to splash around town without drawing the attention of police.

Every day was an adventure in my world. But don't misunderstand - I'm no oaf. I believe myself to be an imaginative writer, an intelligent debater, and a lover of people. That's what I would expect most parents would hope for their offspring. I want see it in my own daughters when they find adventure in the routine of everyday life. I want to see it in my friends, those out there in cyber land and those around me in person. I try to traverse the mundane by elevating the importance of those around me. All people matter to me - all colors, religions, backgrounds, creeds and dispositions. I love the beautiful and the ugly alike. The friendly and the cranky both get my attention. I try to befriend the kind and the embittered with the same vigor. They all matter. None are up for vote. None are on the auction block of significance.

The burden that one's life might end before becoming acquainted with the majesties of the universe is the vivid backdrop to my life. It is a tapestry woven into the fabric of my being. More precisely, it is the water that quenchs my parched thirst. My adventures and my life are indistinguishable. I was me at school, football games, work and home and just knocking around. Who I am is more than a Sunday wardrobe or cultural garb.

It was a choice that became my calling, a calling that became my choice.

I see my friends still looking for who they are, recluseing themselves into tiny capsules of self loathing and tiny closets of self absorbtion by avoidng the real world as it exist, and their own lives as they exist. When I first met me many years ago, on a trip to meet myself and my future. I seemed quiet and a little nervous. That would all change. I did what I ask all my friends, known and unknown to do: ask good questions, probing questions about the world and what it is. Change your thoughts about yourself. I find you quite kind and affable. I liked you all from the beginning, you might even like yourself, if you give yourself a chance.

You cannot fathom then the profound impact that one change might have on your self awareness adventure.

I'm grateful to many. I'm grateful that the student became the teacher, the teacher became the student. You have something to share, share it.

The great Soviet philosopher was close - all men do carry bags. And such baggage packs excuses for most.

Become full of caring, compassion and adventure. Here's the real tragedy, the nugget that causes me to pause the longest:

Just five minutes alone with yourself and you will find the poor, vicious, misdirected person you think you are and the person you really are..... can become best friends. The two of you will laugh at your quirky charm and be captivated by your honest compassion. Don't be your own assassin by shortchangeing your own life in ways you probably will never know.
Be glad to spend five more minutes with yourself, laughing with yourself and laughing at yourself.