I was telling a friend visiting from Berkeley that one of the nicest things about New York is restaurant delivery. You can have anything you want almost any time. It's like room service in a hotel, but better, cheaper and faster, with more variety. And with the advent of delivery.com and seamlessweb.com, you don't have to wait on hold to explain your order to some guy who doesn't care and doesn't speak English. It works because there's lots of competition. That doesn't mean, of course, that the food is good -- it might just sound good in the writeup. The other day I saw there was a new Italian place on delivery.com, at triple the price of my regular place. Decided to try it. After all -- maybe there's something really great about a $16 spaghetti and meatballs -- when the price at Pizza Mercato is $6. Turns out not so, the $6 plate is better and bigger than the $16 one.
Thanksgiving posts are a tradition here on scripting.com. I might have skipped a year here and there, but ever since the beginning, in 1994 (arrrgh!) the one holiday I usually didn't miss here was this one. It's a good holiday for American bloggers. It's a holiday we share with our friends to the north, but they for some reason think it should be a few months before ours.
Thanksgiving is an American thing, with a universal theme -- thank you! We're not celebrating one religion or political philosophy triumphing over another. There's something phony (to me) about the good cheer people show around Christmas. New Year's Day is good, but it's kind of arbitrary. But giving thanks -- it's a good thing to set aside one day just for that purpose. The end of November seems just the right time. It's a clear time of change and in the change, there is a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes we forget.
Recently I read a story about the inventor Buckminster Fuller, who at age 32, despondent about business failures, contemplated suicide. He decided that instead of dying, he would live the remainder of his life as if he had died. I wonder if this sounds like a foreign concept to you, because it's familiar to me. In 2002, I came home from the hospital to a house that felt like it belonged to a dead relative. I recognized the possessions as mine, at an intellectual level, but they seemed from some other person's life, as I had recognized the things in my grandmother's house after she died. These things are all familiar, but the person they belonged to is gone.
After such a shift your priorities change. Before that, I cared a lot about what people thought of me. I still do, but there's a twist. As I'm processing the insecure feeling that comes from disrespect, I remind myself that I'm gone, I'm dead -- the person they're dissing doesn't exist. Of course they forgot about me, I'm dead. I know it must sound weird, but that's where I'm at. If my Wikipedia page is wrong, well, no one is going to care after I'm gone, so ipso facto, no one cares.
Hard to write about, except on this one day. Because all there is to say is that I'm thankful for this day. I have no future and I don't remember my past. This is all there is. Finally those words make sense, in the way a mathematic theorum makes sense. No matter which direction you approach it from you get to the same place.
Moving across the country from a big house to a small apartment, from an ideal climate to one of extremes, time slows down. Thanks for that. It's hard to believe that we celebrated last year's Thanksgiving in Berkeley. This year -- Brooklyn.
Thanks for the winter that's coming. I love walking in the city when it's cold. Bundled up with only my eyes and mouth exposed, each breath brings cold freshness into my core. My eyes see other bold explorers dressed as I am. Hello there. If there's slush on the ground (coming soon I think) every step is taken with thought. This let's your mind drift in interesting ways while your body is occupied with movement and safety.
Thanks for living as if you were dead, I think that's not just a good place for a person to be, but it might be a good approach for the country, even the world, to adopt. It looks like the US is approaching the end of our empire. From here-on, we have many equals -- both in economics and in war. Maybe even "equal" is a lot to hope for. Even so, we flirt with disaster, seem to welcome it, judging by the leaders we elect.
But are the woes of one country anything compared to the brink we, as a planet, find ourselves on? It would be better if we gave credence to the idea that we live on a dead planet. If not, as a person who is on the brink would, we should prepare our papers and archives for the obvious and inevitable outcome.