The Bearded Man With the Green Honky

Old Man with the Green Honky

The bus is undeniably a place of judgement. Every time someone’s eye sweeps over you, you can be sure you’re being judged, even if when you do it you’re just giving your eyes a good old roll-about. You’re no good at it of course. People are either business men, children, or weird. There seems to be an abundance of weird people on the bus-maybe busses are weird people’s favourite mode of transportation? That girl with bright pink lipstick and hacked away hair. Well, at least she’s interesting to look at. You wonder what demons in her consciousness convened to create such a notion. Then your head jerks, and it’s time for you to go to sleep.
Sound familiar? It probably happens to you everyday monday to friday, or it feels like it happens to you monday to friday, even if you only take the bus the last day of every month to visit your parents. But that’s not what happens today. Your head homes onto its customary spot on your shoulder (shoulders stick out from your body so you can rest your head on them. It’s true.) and snuggles in, like a pigeon into its nest…
And it’s interrupted! Drat! Because out of the monotony a honk blares from some unseen corner of the bus. No, something that shrill has to be a squeak. It sounds like a giant stepped on a squeaky toy, partially because it shatters your midday reveries and partly because you still have no idea where it came from. And then you finally look where everyone tries not to look on the bus, in fear of being called a stalker. You look straight ahead. And there it is. It’s the last thing you expect. The squeak emitted from a green horn. The green horn was attached to a handlebar. The handlebar was attached to a bike. And the bike was attached to an old man!
All eyes sticker onto this man. (He had a beard. He meant serious business.) He’s only in conversation with the young man across from him (PHOTO: red pants), but everyone’s eyes make conversation, too (if everyone staring at the same thing without staring even once at each other can be considered conversation). Is the bike attached to the man, or is the man attached to the bike? Was there ever a worse time to ponder the greatest of seven wonders, grammar? The effort of figuring this out can be seen in the bulge of everyone’s (avoidant) eyes. Golly, most people on this bus know sounds emit from electronic devices, not hand-held green plastic doohickeys. Is he engaging in a phone-ringtone show off? Sending or receiving SMS, which his tires then write in morse code on the ground? The man he’s honking it at is dancing on his feet. Pretty soon someone will have to call the ambulance for asphyxiation by laughter. The man wasn’t just honking his horn. He was honking it deliberately. Like a wolf springing just short of his elk prey until the poor animal is run down, the man honks as if he has innate knowledge of the tides of his laughter. That’s not all. No one else on the bus laughed aloud, but it was as if he could read each and every one of our minds. He honked his mini green bike horn every time one of us laughed inside. It was magic I tell you! With one honk he had everyone awake.

The hilarity of the moment climaxed and declined. It was just an old man and a cheap plastic horn that his grandchild probably gave him for his 70th birthday for surviving that long despite his parent’s continuous attempts to snuff him out with unabated arguments. It was really funny-who would’ve known? but for those who’ve dealt with younger, very naive children play with rubber duckies, well, it was as if that annoying spirit had been transmuted to a larger more ungainly form and come back to haunt you. Eventually the man reaches his spot and giving one last light hearted SQUEAK! carted his gallant stead off the bus, leaving a trail of fairy dust.
Some people went back to sleep, but not me. Sensing a chance for a few cents, I snapped this photo before he left (Sorry about the butt, if it makes you feel better, you can take a picture of mine anytime-I can squat 2X my body weight everyday, although I eat 3X my body weight in food everyday, too) and immediately uploaded to my nuckeriter bro’s. They all agreed this made a great story. So we hijacked this production, the only one we were able to hijack without getting arrest warnings.
We hoped you enjoyed this story.

Writing

My grasp of words is often times so shaky, so easily malleable, I wonder if I were meant to hold them at all. There are so many other beautiful things in this world. If only I didn’t have to pick and choose. There is much more to me than words, even if it those words that link them altogether. Or perhaps they are all part of an interconnected web I could not untangle if I wanted to, not with hands. Hands, like words, are shaky and their skill is malleable; faced with  a new knot, it is hard to distinguish the practiced from the rookie.

But what am I saying? It is through words that I have thus far lived my life. If I were to go against words I would need to go against everything else I cherish as well; as my hands sometimes replace words, my words are my hands with which I explore and untangle the world.

And no one has told me to pick and choose. It is a mentality formed by the very words which I use to carry out my life: singulars, closed-ended one answer questions, fill in the blanks. The frightening thing is the power of words used in those situations are the same as that which I claim to one day declare mastery over to the general public.

a plastic medal on a fancy lanyard

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Here’s a thought I had all season that slinked unconsciously at the back of my mind, not ready to be brewed until now.

~

I had kept the season pass in my pocket all year so it occurred to me that I had bought the lanyard redundantly. Yes, I had to buy it-$2.50 in fact. Why? It did not really make sense; it wasn’t me to overpay what I delineated should be free, and only if my memory were shot like my grandma’s would I need to carry it around my neck. Well, it turned out those unconscious presumptions were both at least half true. The other is that any piece was still a piece when it came to my mountain. It was probably set up in my mind something like this; lanyard, $2.50, toque, at least quadruple, probably 8X that, $20, a T shirt, well, I did not even have a tier high enough for that in my 1 tier system. So Lanyard it was-pretty blue, plastered with logos, guaranteed to make you look like a flashy ad if worn. Well I never did wear it, no, over the course of five months, even when my pockets were full, especially not that time I forgot it. It nested between my phone and wallet, and attempted to do wacky things with my earphone cables when I stupidly stuffed my mp3 in my pocket instead of a free, unconquered pocket on my other side. It happened. Okay, the instance was nowhere near as rare as I hope to imply.

So yes, the lanyard was a choice I paid for. But if I have learned anything, you will be made to pay more than what is due, and then a loyal puppy tax. They have the cherry on top so they can make you bark for it. But that’s okay; most people would have used the lanyard or not bought it. I look back and see why-it was a tool, not a thing. It got me in; I wouldn’t hang my hands or forks around my neck, both of which are useful tools; it’s clear they belong in my pockets. Still, a new impulse has emerged once they ceased being tools and demanded to be delegated as relics. Other people have medals that they can wear proudly around their necks. But sooner or later the medal goes back into its case and join a shelf of similar looking discs. This is the way it is; success is a fleeting moment and being a champion is, too. What does it feel like to have that weight around your neck? Do they ever wish they could wear them year round? Is it fortifying to rub one’s medal in one’s pocket in the face of adversity? The first step to answering these questions is first championing oneself, to string evidence of past successes in front of you, to wear that lanyard. To be a champion one must first look into the mirror and see a champion, maybe not one that necessarily won anyone’s first place, but championed their own dreams.

The lanyard still should have been free.

15 Reasons

(edit: we seem to have lost reasons 12-14…but rest assured, there were reasons 12-14, too. 🙂 )

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if I had gone all the way-rooted out all the reasons-I may have gone incredibly deep. 15 is nothing. Maybe I would have had to gone to 100 to even find the words I needed. I don’t have 100 images though. And I don’t feel like going deep, I feel like going to sleep.

this is the end

Okay, so here I am because the ski season has ended. It’s been the best five months of my life so far, and it’s really hard to understand that I’ll have to find something else to do for the rest of the year. I am mad that I even have to spend a bit of time pounding these sparse, terrible lines out instead of being out in that which I describe. It’s just an ode, a time marker. Nothing more. A handful of months and we will be back.

this is the end

of thundering hearts

and straining skies full of you and your friend’s cries

this is the end

of snow capped thoughts

and ideas taking root through the thin layer of board and boot

this is the end

of fear that makes the earth inside your heart shift

an avalanche, a catharsis

this is the end

of an era where we learned to grow bold

from the ghostly substance with which we protect our hearts from growing old.

some words, in opening

Okay, so you’re working hard, making some breaks-but did you ever stop and think, Am I enjoying this ? Is it still your passion fuelling you, or just some blind drive to achieve something someone else can see?

We don’t grow up in a vacuum. We’re constantly inspired by other people, people who have made it, and aspire to that. Anyone who tells you they are original are lying. They are making a life of something that existed before. They are making something new out of it, but the essence is the same. And this essence has survived because it’s worth the effort. No matter how many times you get banged up, how many litres of tears, in the end the journey would be something you’d be proud of, that made you know yourself better. If it makes you feel like you’re deviating from yourself, or know yourself less, step back. Not all is lost. The trouble isn’t automatically jumping ship to find a new passion. It’s to find a new passion for that passion, a new way to approach it, because once you give up, you give up on everything else too. There’s multiple passions, because there’s multiple people. But there’s only one fuel in life-passion -and that’s the one you’ve got to stick with all the way through or you won’t be able to admit to yourself at night that you were living your life satisfactorily.