Thursday, October 3, 2013

I liked the restaurant business more or less immediately because of the teamwork.  People working together.  A democratic equality.  Friendship that went beyond a shift and the drink after.  I'm here because you're here.  If we offered judgment on people it was because they were assholes to us, self-important, and we cut slack for for a lot of them, because they suffered the same things we suffered from, and there was a great spirit of generosity, a buzz that happens.

What would a shrink say about Chekov, or about Lincoln?  How, to what extent, did they seek, or were they so familiar and use to such situations that they had little other natural choice to make but go along with complexity, the acceptance of the great unclarity we all ultimately live under?  Did they seek complex situations to live in in order to feel a simple satisfaction, an engagement in life as it is?  Chekhov had a love of material.  His stories are the crowning accomplishment of his depth, of his embrace of all the stuff of life, the things that do not make it into the commercial's happiness.  His best stories are personal, close to memoir.

A comfort level, by being accustomed.  A sense of humor.  Wisdom.  Familiarity with a place where things are learned, written about, studied, the humanity of political thought formulated.

I liked tending bar.  I did it for me.  It made me feel alive.  (This is where Breaking Bad is a good television event.)  It gave me a sense of the constant shifting story of life.  I started as a busboy.  I served beer and margaritas and shots of tequila, along with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, queso, chili, nachos, chicken wings.  And then later, after a lot of that, I made it into wine, honestly enough.

One of the good things was the jazz.  And the musicians sensed in some creaturely organic level that I appreciated them.  I cared about where songs came from.  I loved the people who could bring them across, the songs.  I loved the sounds of the guitars, the drums, the cymbals stroked with brushes.  I loved the beat.

Somewhere along the line, when given the Friday effect, the chance to reflect, you see that you turned into the person you wanted to be.  There you are, and the lady singer comes up to me and thanks me.  You get, better than an important tv news journalist, the little stuff, more than you would otherwise get. You get the Chekhovian, the sweet sadness that is in everyone.  Like the nice person whose husband has just passed away, who, understanding history speaks of how. before the digital ends, saints used to thoughtfully walk the earth.  And you are the person there to listen to such things, as no one else, certainly not professionally, really is.

Some teachers are good.  Some less so, in that they don't provide you a model to always enable, let, you be a teacher yourself.   They seem to blame the system.  "Well, if you want a PhD. you gotta be like this..." but they don't help you face life.  The good ones do.

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