Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pleasant people in New Orleans

Po-Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Master Thespian
According To Me
I was told today that the simplest things are the most complex to achieve. I’ve also been told that it takes a really smart person to know how stupid that they are. Compounding that, an ex-con of my acquaintance who had found solace in the prison library, laid this one on me: “read a book--- get a clue”. Or, as I find, read a newspaper and have absolutely no clue whatsoever!
So, I’m sitting here, trying to sidetrack a cold by eating a quart of Hot and Sour soup, wishing that I could be home in my jammys… coloring. Instead, I’m at the shop, waiting for and on customers and I’ve got…the newspaper. One thing for sure; there is so much hullabaloo going on outside my little world that I just want to go home, get into my jammys and …. Color. Newspapers are generally the repositories of misery, anguish, defeat and death unless you read the reports on how we are striving to overcome the inevitable hardships that as humans we are destined to live in and with; that or unbearably bear witness to and I can barely do that and maintain a normal blood pressure.
How do you like your unemployment statistics? What do you think about whose war, where and ‘we don’t really think that the killing will stop until we have reached a peace accord’ baloney; and, ‘the floggings will continue until morale improves’ philosophy?
Read the newspaper. Are we still thinking that a march on City Hall will stop us from being the murder capital of the free world? Or: ‘another un-armed man shot by police’--- whew--- at least this time it’s in California--- NIMBY to the rescue on that potential meltdown.
Really, have you read the rags lately? Gloom and doom, riots and rebellions, fear and loathing, the economy has tanked, the Dow is like a moving target and into the fray has waded “The Black Guy With The Worst Job On The Planet” doing everything but knocking heads together to get stuff done.
I doubt if I’m in shape for the Crescent City Classic and I’m finagling time off for the Tennessee Williams Festival (see next month for a feature from Deb and me) and what’s a fellow to do but find solace in faith, fellowship, fun, fantasy and food and thank heavens that I have that in abundance here, or at least where I live--- in my own little world.
No kidding, last night I dreamt that the mayor had issued an executive order that all establishments in this city serve gumbo at dinner time… no exceptions. In my dream I witnessed a man getting pulled over for speeding by the cops and pleading what had become known as the ‘Gumbo Defense’. “I’m sorry officer, but I wasn’t offered gumbo tonight….”
I’m a big believer in dreams, make believe and sleight of hand. I’m still fooled by magic tricks, mesmerized by song lyrics and a sucker for a smile from a pretty woman (especially if she’s handing me a cold beer). And I think that living in my own world is the main factor that gives my sanity any equilibrium; or as the man said: “if I wasn’t crazy, I’d probably go nuts!”
The most pleasant people I know are the ones who can let life wash over them and filter out the noise and hear mainly the celestial music of life. Their smiles are genuine, their laughter clean and their eyes clear and when they’re not feeling up to par it’s usually nobody’s bizness but they’re own.
You know people like that. The ones who very seldom resort to profanity to make a point, the ones who defer to others and still maintain their true identities, the ones who you would seek out with a problem for logic and intelligence. I want to be like that when I grow up, when they feel the sniffles coming on they stay home in their jammys and color.
If you were an ice cream flavor what would you be? Name your favorite color, cookie and curiosity. A lot of times I dis-remember the simpler things that keep me happy: how much I love my home, my job (yes, I do), my neighbors and my life. And when I remember, I swear that I’m never going to let that go and then those little and big things start to hem me in again: the news, the sniffles… money money money money.
It’s not easy to keep track of the simpler things and It is the simpler things that let us be happy and allow ourselves, as we define ourselves, to be ourselves. Having food, clothing and shelter is a biggie and once that is taken care of what on this earth more can you possibly ask for? Me? A LOT!!! And that’s where the trouble starts. Patience flies out the window and I want things… NOW! Things and stuff and there I go again forgetting what I have that is my happiness.
So, from the beginning: I was told today that the simplest things are the most complex to achieve. I’ve also been told that it takes a really smart person to know how stupid that they are. A very smart person that I know noticed that a lot of times we forget to breathe properly. Could it be as simple as that? I mean, when you get upset doesn’t someone suggest to take a breath and count to ten? That seems simple.
And dreaming.
And reminding yourself how good your life is.
And letting that special person know how very happy that they let you be, just by the way that they treat you. Let them know that you love them and care.
And believe that you will get … everything that you deserve.
And love. And I can’t recommend this enough: and love.
And live. If not you…who? If not now…when?
And laugh. You have power above anything that you can laugh at.
Now go color.

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