Sunday, I watched my college basketball team – compete. Before, I watched them – compete – in truth, I had resolved in my tiny brain that they were going to lose. I mean, all the talking-head ‘experts’ thought the other team would win. It did not matter that my short, pasty-white self would not in anyway effect the outcome. It did not matter that the modern taping device, the DVR – would allow me to fast forward through the endless erectile dysfunction, newest hypersonic auto, and low-calorie beer commercials. And I know one thing; I hope never to be the face of some dread disease.
But it was the best way to trick my brain to simply press the red record button, shrug and skate off to a food truck festival and then engorge my body with all sorts of culinary magic. I will not comment about my inability to tolerate spicy South Western food because it’s embarrassing, and with all the thick hair I was genetically gifted, hot, spicy food tends to – POOF – my currently brownish mange into a lovely televangelist bouffant. Alas, I would be rich by now if I had chosen a more religiously dramatic career path. But my grandfather was a real pastor, so I know better – he would not have approved, and would have guaranteed that upon my demise I would have a whole new appreciation for being hot, and spicy being poked at by a pitch fork throughout eternity.
My point, I think the easy way in life is to not have any expectations, or, simply accept that you are going to lose, so why even try, right? I mean, it is a guaranteed result and besides it will eliminate any needless stress. Think about it, you get to be the Winnie-the-Pooh character, Eeyore – for 24-hours a day. It would allow you to go to sleep at night and not worry that the planets orbit might stray off from the Goldilocks Zone and get just a bit too close to the Sun, and then we’d all be incinerated. “Oh, golly, we’re all goin’ to die, I guess- oh well.”
So, a few hours later, I came back home lost in a carbohydrate-narcoleptic haze, and for some reason I decided to accept the basketball fates over taking a well-deserved nap. Instead, I pressed the remote control right pointing arrow ‘play’ button. But a funny thing happened on the way to fast forwarding through the same commercials over, and over again and my certain disappointment, a bunch of 18 and 19 year old young men – competed – and they won the game – barely. I think the key word is – compete. I think you have to learn to compete in life and not worry about the outcome, to embrace the joy of feeling competition – your heart thumps, your face flushed a lovely crimson as you scream at the mindless one way modern convenience – “THAT’S NOT A FOUL! THIS IS A CONSPIRACY!”, or “WHY GOD?! WHY?” (As if the universal higher power cares about two evenly matched teams in a made for TV athletic docudrama geared to market – stuff – and as each second ticks off the clock as if Jack Bauer is trying to untangle the nuclear device under the arena, your heart becomes entangled in this epic drama, only to be interrupted at under 16, 12, 8 and 4 minute automatic commercial time-outs – as you pray your DVR does not catch-up with the live action.) WHEW!
I think you will note, to me, it does not matter which team I cheered for hiding behind the couch to only spy murky sections of the game. It did not matter that I grabbed a delicate part of my anatomy, pointed my left forefinger at Jupiter, and repeated the ABC’s backwards three times. I felt the emotion that only comes from competition, the feeling that you are alive. For me, there is nothing like writing novels, or writing down my thoughts and sharing them with the world. And yes, I accept I might get ‘hammered by a tomahawk dunk’, but you know something, you never know, you never know unless you compete and try, because sometimes, believe it or not, magic happens.