This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Thoughts That I Lie with At Night

Question: Which version of lay is correct?
"I better go lay down?"
"I better go lie down?"
The Michiko Sato Rule

"I call this “The Michiko Sato Rule” because she invented that quick little way to make sure she always got it right in quizzes and exercises (and life).
When Michiko, who lived in Tokyo but has since married and moved to the Boston area, was a student here, she would always write six words — three atop the other three — on her quizzes and exercises (we did 'em on paper then).

Lie Lay Lain
Lay Laid Laid

And she never got 'em wrong. Never!
I, therefore, being the smart guy that I am, developed the theory that if it worked for a student whose first language was Japanese, it would work for everyone. Give it a try."



Last night I fell asleep pretty quickly, but not before I laid there creating more bogeymen to fear. Or maybe I was acquainting myself with the bogeymen I've created already.

..."Greetings, my name is Dr. Frankenstein..."

I am talked to, a lot, about fear. I am told that I create fearsome futures in my mind and that I needn't.

..."Duh.
...Hand me that wrench"...

The bogeymen were doing their nighttime jig, limbs flopping like drunken fish on their torsos. Technicolor hues of vicious scarlet and putrescence. Singing like those pink elephants in that movie. Their lyrics, which I make up so effortlessly that they seem to come from some outside maleficent source, went something like:

Give it up now. You'll never get recognition.
You won't do something big. You're an
Office Worker. That's what you know.
You've done it more than anything else.
Give it up now. You won't be a writer.
You won't be a traveler. You won't be a healer.
You won't be Unconventional. You're not
a poet. You won't aim for the corner
Office or save enough for a holiday.
You're doing what you're going to do.
This is it. Give it up now. You're not going
to change anything but the small sphere you move in.
Don't be too sad. It's enough for most people.
Take this on now, this is your life, be happy.
This is what you do and just be happy
you've got that.


..."Is anyone else outraged? Does anyone else agree that that's hogwash?"...

But I'm scared it isn't.

..."You're way to too young to give up now. Aren't you the one always pushing your Dad to follow his dreams, even though he's lived one lifetime already?"...

Those bogeypeople. They're assholes aren't they? I can't decide what's worse:
trying to accept what I have and be happy with it OR
never allowing myself to settle, never giving up no matter how hard, never being satisfied until I'm satisfied.


..."There's a middle ground in there, isn't there?"...



What did Dumbo do? He accepted his big ears and made them into something joyous. Are my big ears this office life? 9-5 by day and eccentric by night? Or are my big ears, which I must learn to use and make joyous, my dreams that eat at me the way they do?

I really don't know, but that is the question.


What makes me laugh right now is thinking of a scene from the movie Hamlet 2 (watched it last night, hilarious) in which the eccentric drama teacher who won't quit, even when he's fired, is at his computer writing a screen play.
Picture It:
The scene is shot from behind and over the flat screen monitor. You're looking at his face. He's crying and twisting his features up as he gloriously bears the torture, yet release, it is to write his opus.


It's fucking perfect.
I've been laughing at a lot of parodies of writers lately. We are a great bunch of fools.
In what way, I have yet to decide.

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