Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kid Stuff

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Boys of Summer
Once Upon a Time
By the time Big Red’s tuberculosis was in remission, I was four years old. Doctors had relieved her of one of her lungs stemming from the infection that she had inherited from her first husband (deceased: same malady), and she had recently taken up smoking Pall Mall unfiltered cigarettes. Go figure.
Red went to regularly scheduled check ups at the free hospital in our town ( Bellvue Hospital, New York City) and being that babysitting in the daytime had yet to be invented, I was taken along. As a ritual Red would meet up with other women that she had been patients with and over coffee at a nearby diner they would shoot the breeze before appointment time.
At my young age, (and long before and after) I had ants in my pants, mischief in my soul and to keep me still and quiet, Big Red did what mothers have done from time immemorial, she got me something to divert my attention, something to put in my mouth.
While she and her cohorts commiserated over coffee and toast, she had delivered to petite moi, by waitress express, an English muffin and a cup of cocoa. Like my elders, I dunked my buttered toast in my hot beverage
We lived in five rooms on the tenth floor of the Elliot Housing Projects on Twenty-seventh Street and Tenth Avenue; my father and mother and my two older sisters and me. When I was five years old my kid brother was born; later there would be a younger sister along, but that had to wait for the third husband whom we referred to simply as ‘The Greek’.
Whether it was my propensity for trouble or the world around us, life was only frenzied at best; the rest of the time it was pure madness. Had I know at the time how un-natural a chaotic life was, I might have found it a bit odd that everything that could go awry around me, in fact, did. Feuds were commonplace among the extended family members and neighbors, tempers flared, violence erupted and grudges were kept and nurtured like a sour dough bread starter. Passions were exhibited in high drama and decibels exceeding out and out armed conflict.
We were a rough lot, children as well as adults, in those days; women formed cliques and alliances, the men were just back from killing other men in a World War and had short tempers; children played games in the streets both competitive and cruel. Teenagers formed gangs and warred with eachother for territory carved out in blocks and half blocks. Rock and Roll was born and whipped youngsters into dancing frenzies. Teenage girls wore their skirts above their knees or became ‘dungaree dolls’ and encouraged the raging hormones of their boyfriends past, present and future. For recreation the adults would while away evenings in bars drinking hard alcohol and amusing themselves as best they could. Anyone that couldn’t or wouldn’t conform to accepted social mores was considered a weirdo, a communist or a homosexual.
Sophistication was not a recognized concept except in movies; my life consisted of movie stars and people like us.
Kids my age never fit anywhere, we were always too young or too old. I don’t know how it happened but there was a between age of us that never, and even to this day, ever fit in. The older kids were jaded at an early age and the younger ones were born cynics. We were naive and malleable.
Neighborhoods had identities and residential areas were for the rich; anyone that had more money than the welfare checks that served as lifeline to us was rich. Living in the projects put us in the upper echelon of the surrounding areas of the dirt poor in New York City in the forties and fifties. My elders all had first hand knowledge of the Great Depression. We all brimmed over with attitude.
The seasons for me were separated into kite, tops, marbles, beach, stickball, school and snowball. When we were bored we pitched pennies, played cards or listened to the radio. There were group games with names like Red Rover, Ring-a-levio and Rattlesnake as well as the more commonplace Tag or Hide-and Seek. We shot bottle caps into designated spaces chalked on the sidewalk, girls played jacks or jumped ropes, boys built scooters from skates and wooden soft drink cases and shot homemade carpet-guns, we'd bounce Spalding balls to songs. Skates could be adjusted with a ‘skate key’ to fit all and we collected and flipped baseball cards. We threw old shoe heels into hop-scotch squares and in the summer we ‘borrowed’ monkey wrenches and turned on fire hydrants to cool off. There was a public swimming pool on Twenty-eighth St, where I almost drowned once or twice. After Christmas we burned trees in the street. There was grass at Central Park and an ice skating rink, rumor had it, but we had to wait until we were bigger to see for ourselves.
We were ignorant of world affairs, national affairs or any other kind of affairs. We didn’t know what went on on television because only two families in the building had one. One friend confided in me in later years that she didn’t know that she was Jewish until she was ten because she thought that the world was made up of either Yankees or Dodgers.
We rode buses and subways where we put pennies in Chiclet machines, we ate Sabrette hot dogs and drank Nedick’s orange drinks or Mission sodas. We spent our pittances on knishes or chestnuts from carts or penny candies. I sold newspapers in bars on Eighth Avenue when I was twelve and turned over the money to Big Red. I hitched rides on the backs of trucks and caught belts regularly for infractions both real and imagined.
For any dinner that we had there was always multiple shops to visit. The young shopper (me) needed to know their way around the green grocer, the meat market, the fish-monger’s and the delicatessen. We all ran errands for our elders cigarettes, beers, racing forms. When you grew up you could boss the kids around and rightfully so; what did they know?
People of my age now consider that a simpler time. Phones had rotary dials, manuscripts were written on typewriters and kids were old enough to smoke when they could pay for their own cigarettes.
Big Red outlived her three husbands and around me the kids that I knew are getting older and older. Nobody remembers anything any more. But I remember; I remember a small boy sitting in a booth surrounded by women and the epifanic taste of a buttered English muffin being dunked into steaming hot cocoa.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

June Advice for New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
June Goon
Gone Fishing
Booze and pills and powders; tablets, tinctures and teas --- there aint no cure for the summertime blues. Yep, just in time for the first day of the rest of your ever-confusing life, June is busting out all over. There’s an old song whose lyrics state that “It’s June in January because I’m in love…” Don’t believe it; it’s not June until after the thirty-second of May and that’s just before the twelfth of never.
In June, spring is over, Easter bonnets are collecting dust, Jazz Fest is a recent memory and hurricane season has officially started. Congratulations, you’ve made it back to the gates of summer hell.
Why hell? Maybe because another picture perfect season where you should be enjoying easy living (fish are jumpin’, cotton is high, blah blah blah), will be celebrated, at best, by a weekend getaway or two, or possibly a cook out on a weekend and then the next thing you know, you’re setting the clocks back an hour and getting out your corduroys. BAM! Note: there’s a rumor that a certain chef has trademarked the word BAM! (OMG, Mr. Bill, I’ve said it again!).
So, you’ll be at work or taking those summer school make up classes and there will not be a way to avoid the heat even with your air conditioner set to the ‘hang meat’ setting; your mind will, at least a few times, harken back to simpler times.
Work your fingers to the bone, whaddya get? Boney fingers! I’ll bet that you probably didn’t think that growing up was going to be like this, did’ja?
Harken back, if you will, (yes, harken, harken!) and recall the time… remember when (this is another ‘remember when’ story): your hair was just a bit thicker, your body parts were a bit perkier, you were lighter on your feet and nothing hurt you for very long, except unrequited love.
You were indestructible and when summertime rolled around you were ready for some freedom and action! The beach, the park, the woods or just up the block on the corner; time was on your side. You could wander somewhere for a cold drink and, if you were like me, sit on your stoop and commiserate with your peers and peeps about how bored you were with nothing much to do and all the time in the world to do it and wasn’t it hotter this year than last and do you think it will rain and cool things off and how about a crawfish boil this weekend?
Remember when you came running up from the beach and your mama told you to hose that sand off you before you got in the car or the mystery and adventure of a couple of weeks at summer camp, stops at the Waffle House or an Ice cream sundae on a stool that you swung three-sixties on or making that hideous sucking sound at the bottom of a cool glass of drug store soda? You were a kid for Christ sakes, you wore your attitudes like badges: defiance, recklessness, invincibility, daring!
Or were you an unfortunate that only got to play jacks or sand lot ball and swing on ropes from trees and when was the last time you caught fire flies and put ‘em in a jar? What happened? And when, exactly, did you get too old for such things and start turning into your parents?
Battery operated radios, breakneck bike rides, swings and see saws, kites, jump rope and spinning around in a circle until you got real dizzy and fell down laughing.
Of course I’m not talking about you. You are about to take the summer off, aren’t you? No laundry, rent, dishes, cat litter or walking the dog for you, right? No yard work, housework or any other kind of work will make it to your agenda starting June first and going on until Labor Day; not if you can help it, right? That’s better known as ‘fat chance’ right?
Well, you’re going to thank me, or not, because I’m going to push this article out to the blog earlier than June. Of course, it won’t be published until June but you‘ll have a jump. This is what you should do starting right now: stop spending any money on anything except essentials and sock the rest away for your summer vacation. Decide to go somewhere, anywhere, just somewhere for at least a month. Buy tickets, find somewhere to stay, rent a room somewhere and take some time off. Yes, YOU!
You can do it; summer is really slow here and your boss will be glad to cut back on his workforce. Use the computer to find a space: is a good place to start, but American or International Youth Hostels may suit you, or check out craigslist; use your and brain think creatively; the world is your oyster. Maybe do an apartment swap with someone; cool, huh?
A friend of mine and of my age laid one on me the other day about working your life long and then at a certain age getting put to pasture (pasteurized?). She told me that now that she has all the time in the world, she’s pretty much too tired to do much; succinctly she stated “retirement is wasted on the old”. Period. Can I say it any better than that? There is no future in all work and no summer vacation.
And you know, I’m not just blowing smoke here and it might be too late for me to accomplish it this year BUT (although I am taking a planned week off) I promise you that next year I’m shooting for a full month of time off; that is, a full month at least.
Just like my last few holidays, this year my tickets were paid for well in advance, credit cards were paid off and lodgings secured. We’re traveling light and keeping our spending monies adequate enough to have a real good time.
[ …Lastly, a couple of words about saving money and spending money only on essentials. It is essential to not live like a hermit for eleven months for the sake of one month of freedom. That’s sick and wrong. Just cut back, say, 10% a month and you’ll have enough to take a real break while still having your fun. All you need to do then is decide what the perfect vacation will be for you and go for it! ] Amen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And More Cosmic Debris in New Orleans

Po boy views
Phil LaMancusa
Legends And Lies
How I Won The War
Lost in a Sunday morning reverie at the shop between customers and the reading of The New York Times Book Review.
Between coffee and clientele, I fell down the rabbit hole of literature; as the articles and reviews ran into one another, a different book emerged; with WWOZ playing Bob Dylan on the speakers, Hip Hop coming from passing cars and memories of stale cigarette whiskey breath, I entered the zone chronicled below. One where we are all mad.
Now, a book review is a book review is a book review, but when you get a score of them all at once, and you try to digest them all at once you are asking for literary indigestion. With all of those reviewers trying to outdo one another for content and critique it does have my information 'in box' apporoaching overload. I'm not saying anything (and I wish my blog had spell check here) derogitory about the reviewers, they're doing one hell of a job, BUT my advice would be that unless you're going to review the reviews as I have done, just read one at a time. Remember the lesson of trying to read more than one of Flannery O'Conner's short stories at a time? If you knew then....
So here's what happens when you sit down and glut yourself on magnificent words strung together by intelligent people and your short attention span dummy gets placed in the ring with your reading comprehension genius with the electrodes of your brain synapses screaming "CLEAR!!!".
It’s a view, a Po Boy View if you will. It’s a written contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction taking several wrong directions. One of those ‘you had to be there’ and be grateful that I wasn’t reading the rotogravure. The proper nouns have been changed to project the ignorance. Cheers.
There was a time when I was sent north to nursing school and when I came back I refused to marry the rich doctor and instead opened a school for orphans, my life was hard then and I was a victim of post-Soviet yearning; my family having been deported from North Ossetia and the odor of unfulfilled fantasies soon translated into acts of tenderness. At that time the angels were actually beautiful and iridescent monsters asking me why, as a white person, I wasn’t trying to pass for black. I intended to counter with “what’s so bad about ending up alone?” But instead I married someone with a widow’s peak and a weird laugh. The hero in me was long overdue and I was looking to find the symptoms of an imaginary illness called “informational ennui”; my own research and invention are impressive, although I avoid the false tension of interrupted conversation. Needless to say, lost in the grips of a passion for homemade spirits, I hobbied hard; and after three sips, my mouth was numb.
In truth, satire remains alive across most of American media; clearly it has the power to captivate, not only the in belly laughs but also the sadness attendant upon the cultural failure that it describes. Publishing it has always been risky business.
Is it true then that the study of dead librarians is more interesting than that of any other type of dead person? It is an anguished intimacy with a region’s peoples and their secret and mythic pasts. It is with the slurred clamor of a startled heartbeat, the humid conspiracy of a grandmother and the lumpy wodge of stirabout that is cereal left too long in its bowl of milk, that I speak, for am I not hither drawn?
Intermezzo: take a breath.
Like Zeus, I tormented my wives; having spent my life in the pursuit of the infinities and hopelessly bungling the finite. Dear life is what I could never quite get the hang of. An unprecedented combination, this ethnic complexity is aggravated by tribal divisions and by an unruly spillage of religions, and I respond with outstanding energy and courage for I know not only from whence I speak, but why. A shameful examination of my sources and my soul; whatever my protestations to the contrary, my heart remains part Turkish.
How do you write an English village novel—if you ever wanted to do such a thing?
Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialog, never use the words ‘suddenly’ or ‘all hell broke loose’ but indeed it is what happened. You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and overexposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Suddenly, all hell broke loose.
She arose at the crack of noon and assembled the fragments of her shattered dreams. She thought of going in to town to the florist. She thought of lighting a cigarette. She considered her life without the prospect of love. She imagined stepping in front of an oncoming metro. "In any case", she figured "I'd better put some clothes on".
The village shop is in the hands of a family of Pakistani origin. He wanted to lve the life of a librarian. That love can overcome cultural barriers is no new theme, but it should be presented with a great intensity and delicacy. We want this couple to find romance—and they do.
another breath
The fall of the Soviet Union, this was, the death of analog; the beginning of aggressively marketed nachos. Jack thrashes about trying to stay afloat while he luxuriates in his growing despair and resentment. He was frozen out by his quite friendly but unapologetically adulterous wife, Rita; even disrespected by his penis-obsessed preschooler. To make matters worse, he has an illegitimate son, Ron—a viciously angry Iraq war amputee. What matters most is a world free of flimflam, hype or irrational exuberance, what matters is putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping. And here’s something odd: the family that the Godfrey’s bought the house from are descended from a soldier ennobled by Mary, Queen of Scots, after she had “the upstart and treasonous Elizabeth Tudor” beheaded.
In fact it provoked a manhunt “that exceeded in intensity and scope any other manhunt in the chronicles of counterfeiting” precisely because his ineptitude was so bewildering. What explains the current appeal of mildly depressive small town sleuths running around in the snow?
So we settled in an empty office and she took dictation for a memoir about his stint in the early thirties as editor of The Bangkok Daily Mail. Mostly, though, they just sat and smoked, and she listened to him talk. He had an affection for lowlifes and crooks. He loved the sounds of ice cubes in a rocks glass, the stale smell of a pool hall at dawn and the curve in the small of a dame’s back.
Had enough? Nonsense you say? No pearls of wisdom or redeeming quality?
Question: have you considered our lives (your life) as a book(s) and why should you? Answer: a matter of introspect and retrospect, a view both objective and subjective; it's a good exercise. Try putting it on paper. Shouldn't our lives make more sense than what I just wrote using the subject of book reviews as a springboard? Do we, or do we not, every day, see the nonsense, satire and absurdity of our reality as a tome hiding in plain sight, viewed through a glass darkly; the mysteries of our existences a novel of breaking glass and crying women? We shouldn't, we deserve better. No, it should not and better not be. After all, are we not all writing the stories of our lives ourselves? Have we no control of the consequences of our circumstances? Each of us deserves to be able to write a cheery book about our lives; and it (the book and our lives) deserves all available prizes. And, as for happy endings, we deserve that too from the beginning to the end and at all points in between. Here's wishing you a constant happy endearing endering, my Dear, may the farce be with you.

Jazz Fest in New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Jazz Fest Redux
Vinny’s Bruddah
And this year it’s Charlie; bon vivant, raconteur and all around good time… Charlie. This year it’s ‘slick as snot on a doorknob’ Charlie who made my Jazz Fest week one that would flummox a fatherly French faith healer.
Vinny (remember Vinny from last article?) thought he would make it up to me somehow for being such a canker last year; so, this year (in time for the second Jazz Fest issue) he sends his warmest regards AND… Charlie. The email went like this:
“Yo Philly, I was thinking that since you didn’t get to spend enough time with me last year on account of my ADHD and bum leg and all, and since I know that you was counting on my company at that thing that you was going to, and since I know that you probably get lonely down there with no family or friends, (at least none that I saw), I’m sending my bro down to keep you from getting lonely. Besides, he has to lay low for a week or so till this thing that he got mixed up in blows over. Love (the MEN kind of love!!!), Vinny “
Charlie looks a lot like his brother Vinny except he wears his hair longer, never takes off his sun glasses, wears real tight jeans and a perpetual smirk, chews violet gum, walks kind of sideways with his shoulders a little hunched and a visage that says ‘who’s watchin’ me and why?’ Also he didn’t bring no dog named Whodat and he ain’t no gimp. Other than that, they’re spittin’ images; they’re kinda built like a couple of spider monkeys, if you get my drift.
Charlie also keeps a toothpick in his mouth, a cigarette behind his ear and a bay leaf in his shoe. That’s right, I said a bay leaf in his shoe.
“Veritas Vos Liberabit” pronounces Charlie when asked about anything he doesn’t want or is not equipped to talk about. If you could mispronounce that saying in the worst possible way, you would be giving it far better justice than Charlie does. The first time that I heard him massacre it was when I asked him about the bay leaf in his shoe. When pressed, he told me that it was something that he learned in ‘the joint’; (it happens to be an old New Orleans superstition to ward away enemies; you already knew that).
Unlike Vinny, Charlie did not arrive by taxi by way of the Trailways bus station. He kind of just appeared outside my house leaning against that light post that comes on and goes off whenever it takes a fancy to. He was wearing a black hoodie and the dogs were on high alert. I was late coming in from my night gig and saw the glow from his cigarette; I put my hands in my pockets and prepared for the worst. The light post had flickered off.
Just then a car came down the street and illuminated him with it’s headlights; he didn’t move. He said….“Yo”. Keeping up my end of the conversation I replied…. “Yo”.
I couldn’t do nuthin’ for Charlie; Charlie did for me. On his first day in (Tuesday) the coffee seemingly made itself, likewise the beer was chilled, the pizza got delivered and my phone started working again. I asked him if he could fix my computer and he said “nah, your computer is over you.” And that became the source of my contention; I didn’t need my life explained in those terms. Black and white.
“Why did my alarm clock not go off?” -- “It hates you.”
“Awww, the flower pot fell.”--“Nah, it got freaked out and jumped.”
“My razor’s gone dull.” --“It’s just not into you anymore.”
“Where’d you get Brass Passes?”--“Some dude.”
Yep, Brass Passes, back stage passes and beer coupons; and here come my laundry clean, folded and delivered by a young woman.-- “She needed sumthin’ to do.”
Somehow Charlie made friends fast, it was he that had cars coming for him after the Fest to go to Tip’s and dropping him off at all hours of the morning. Charlie had women calling him; Charlie had the life. The neighbors loved him.
Charlie never seemed to sleep; he was up all hours, early, late and all the times in between. He never needed a shave, didn’t take up time in the bathroom, his bed was always made; he moved quietly and would usually approach me at some blind spot that he had created and tap me on the arm with the back of his hand. Charlie was the perfect guest, even my cat who hates everyone liked Charlie. Charlie was driving me crazy.
In return, I was determined to find out the secret to Charlie’s popularity; I found myself ignoring the good time that I was supposed to be having and instead I hung out with Charlie all weekend.
We had coffee, after the first day, at CafĂ© Du Monde or Croissant D’or. We had ice cream at Brocato’s, we perused the sculpture garden at City Park we had oysters at Acme and strolled the River Walk. We were up to the Maple Leaf for live local music after dinner at Jacques Imo’s and we went to book signings and gallery openings I never would have known about; plus, we went to the Fest every day.
And by Sunday night I had him grokked; by Monday morning Charlie was gone.
And this is what Charlie taught me. In life, to be an engaging person to be around, you have to engage in life. --“Life’s not a spectator sport, Sport.” Charlie draws live people to him because he is alive and living life instead of letting life pass by;--“y’aint getting’ any younger, Bud”. And lastly, things happen around Charlie because he makes them happen; --“if you don’t like the news, make some of your own.” I’m gonna throw rocks at Vinny next time I see him.
Monday morning on my desk there was a bottle of really good champagne with two glasses, there was a gift certificate for a cooking class at The New Orleans Cooking Experience and a note; --“P. It’s been real, you don’t get out enough, C.”
Oh, yeah, when I put on my shoe there was a bay leaf in it; “Veritas Vos Liberabit” and Happy Fest!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cosmic Debris in New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Bread and Bones
Sacka Wacka Crackerjack
Big Red would say, when one or more of us kids were disappointed with our lot in life, “well, what do ya want, egg in your beer?” It used to really piss me off when she said that. Now, is that just me or might that be a normal normal person’s reaction when someone has the nerve to tell them to accept their fates?
Well, yeah, I do want egg in my beer. I also want cream in my coffee, icing on my cake and a chicken in my pot. I want a little sugar in my bowl and a little steam in my clothes. I want love that’s better than chocolate and I want my life situations to be a piece of cake. I want lime de in de coconut, is that wrong?
Don’t you get tired of hearing me kvetch? Yeah, me too; but what would we do if we were comfortable with our lives? Would we play the lottery, the horses or the video crack machine? Would we plan that vacation, cruise or weekend getaway? Would we clean up for company, look for a better job or take a class in hula hooping? Would the monkeys have climbed down from the baobab tree and taken over the planet if life among the bananas was all that?
And yet, life itself is not in the habit of letting us get comfortable, is it? There’s always some slip up, roadblock or speed bump… idn’t there? Did you ever hear the saying that “life is hard and then you die”? Now, doesn’t that blow goat? Whoever came up with that one should have their Winn Dixie card taken away from them.
One would think that at some juncture people as a people would look around and realize that WE are all in the same boat and that WE should be kinder to eachother. If you ask me, it’s all that damn monkey’s fault, I mean, how bad was it up in that tree?
Opposing thumbs, the use of tools and walking upright; is that so special? No. It leads to diet, exercise and makeup. It leads to deep frying turkeys, and how weird is that? And smoking tobacco… don’t get me started. Do you think that when Prometheus gave man fire that he had that kind of thinking in mind?
Orrrrrr… are you the one that believes that there was a ‘Higher Power’ that started, and is responsible for, our collective human fiasco. What is your cosmic theory of the creation of humans?
1. Created from dust,
2. Never having not existed,
3. Pulled from a celestial navel,
4. A rib or…
5. ever heard of the Great Arklesneeze? Yep, we came right out of God’s nose.
Big Bang anyone? The Hopi and the Sumerians believe that the creator of man was a woman, how’s that fly with you? Does any of that give you great pause or are you just as happy as a clam to be here? Blissful as a hog drinking beer, contented as a cow or just ducky? Are you as free as a bird, did you catch the early worm and is the world your oyster? Any of the above animals describe you?
Of course not, you’re a canary in a coal mine, same as me. Whatever can go right is by pure chance; whatever can go wrong… will.
No, it doesn’t matter if you are passive aggressive, impressive compulsive, attention deficient or a cockeyed optimist; as you go skipping through life, the universe will trip you up and have a good laugh about it. Consider God sitting somewhere (comfortably) with a TV remote and every once in a while flipping to your channel to see what’s up with your situation comedy before getting bored and finding something else to do to you, like breaking your refrigerator, getting your car booted or getting laid off from work. Or the cat hocks a hairball into your new shoes, or you run out of toilet paper at the wrong moment, or you overdrew your account by some teensy weensy amount and the fee is thirty-five bucks? Well, whaddya want, egg in yer beer?
No, if I’m like you, I want answers. I don’t want spaghetti in a bucket, chicken in a basket or pigs in a blanket; I am not container oriented. The fundamental difference between me and them monkey-types is that somewhere in this thing that we call evolution my brain pan got stuck on “why?”
I think that that’s the same as you or you wouldn’t have put up with me for this long; or perhaps I’m wrong (and I’ve been wrong before) and you don’t want comprehensive so you’ll settle for superficial. You may not want to believe that your dreams mean something. You may not believe in luck, destiny or magic. Immortality. Kismet.
You may not think that you should have more control on the things that befall you in your short journey on this physical plane; it just so happens that I want a say in what goes on in my life. From my mouth to god’s ear, eh?
Not so fast, Buster, it’s more like: in life ‘you pays you money and you takes your chances’ and whether you like it or not, the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.
In that case the only future lies in agnosticism, atheism and cynicism. Existentialism, hedonism and selfishness. Good guys finish last, look out for number one, give no quarter and take no prisoners. Well, of course we don’t believe that, do we?
We believe in physics, don’t we? And more specifically we believe in the theory of String Physics, which can neither be proven nor disproved. And furthermore here’s the qualifier: String Physics is based on faith, go on, look it up.
Now here’s what saved me, and Lord I’m saved; the theory of String Physics has us believe that each of us exists and performs on multiple planes. We exist in parallel universes, simultaneously; at least nine at last count. This theory does not let you ask why, it just is. So that gives rise to the other portion of my brain that says “does that mean…?”