Telluride Daily Planet, Sunday, January 6, 2013
Life is not at all like a box of chocolates, because if you’re clever you do know what you’re going to get. In that box. Or there might be a diagram. Anyway, right now life is a box of chocolates to give up. I’m done. The holidays are over and it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions — which I know I tell people I don’t believe in — that I prefer setting intentions — but yeah right now it’s a gavel to bring down, smashing sugar cubes and all that other stuff I’ve been thinking about changing but never writing down the way I know I’m supposed to. With a pen that feels good in my hand and makes me want to write instead of type, which I’m too good at and which doesn’t seem to serve all the time because for one thing it’s just not that intimate.
No, I need a flow chart, that’s really what I need – which you don’t have a choice but to create with a pen or pencil — with bigger stuff trickling down into pinpointed details, sharp as tacks. Up at the very top, one thing would be Sugar, sub-resolutions to include No Medjool dates, which are over-the-top sweet, and No pretending stuff isn’t sugar, like unfiltered honey or energy bars or chocolate covered raisins. But, I mean, didn’t Raisinettes get so much healthier by giving them a dark coating?
Maybe I should wear less dark clothing. Like mom used to say way back when we ate lots of sugar and never had to make resolutions about it. With that tired sound of a mother who irons too many shirts and waxes floors for days at a time with that waxing machine I could never believe we even owned. “It makes you look so somber.” She turns off the spinning brushes. Stops waxing. “Can’t you wear something more cheerful?” I was not a cheerful kid, I was miserable and I wanted people to know it. Was I that miserable, though? Maybe it was all that sugar yanking me up and then dragging me down that made me less cheerful. Now I don’t know.
So right next to Sugar at the top of the flow chart is Cheerful. Sub-topics include Saluting the sun in my heart of hearts, and Pinning a small Mona Lisa smile on my face, even in times of substantial inner turmoil and challenge. Top of the chart Fake it, bottom of the chart Make it. I don’t know what the intermediary steps are except some kind of Suspension of disbelief and maybe a good meal, one where you take a lot of time to eat and have good conversations with nice people.
On the suspension bridge of disbelief (which is undulating on the cold, dark water of childhood), we can go beyond the usual resolution making while trying not to set ourselves up for failure with over-prognostication and trying too hard. Right? Top of the chart Poetry mansions, bottom of the chart, Metaphor furniture. Top of the chart Kale, bottom of the chart Better blood and bones. Top of the chart Be nicer, bottom of the chart, Heart emoji.
God, I can’t believe I just said that and saw a smiley face in my mind’s eye! Take the emojicons off your phone, that’s resolution whatever, in bold, on the right side of the page where the flowchart isn’t. No more Hearts or Thumbs up or Cupcakes or Checkered flags when you text. How can you even be texting, let alone texting little cartoon images? If you’re going to do it, then just forget the letters and use nothing but the symbols, at least that shows gumption. Half moon, Clover leaf, Coffee, Airplane? Answer: French fry symbol colon Stoplight. Is this what we have become?
You should come up with your own emoji. Scribbly marks. Splattered rain. Box of baking soda. Frye boots. Old turquoise pickup. Eye on top of pyramid. Lemon slice. Crow.
You should do this, you should do that. Stop using should, top of the chart, intersecting with mid-flowchart Ordinary cheerful action and connecting to bottom of the chart, Just do it.
Just do it. Hahaha. Just do it. Cheerfully. And without sugar. That about covers it for now.