Michael Bolton was on a talk show this morning, discussing his new book and his not so new collaboration with the SNL boys for their Lonely Island project.
Despite his obvious talent, I was too wannabe punk-rock/new-wave during the peak of his fame and popularity to appreciate his music, but I did feel defensive today while listening to the hosts of the show put enough emphasis on his hair to almost completely devalue his skill, accomplishments, and billions of albums sold.
I wasn’t really watching so much as eavesdropping with my back turned to the TV and my eyes on my phone, perusing peoples’ fascinating social media updates about Easter chocolate, and baby barf, and life changing dilemmas about hair colour, micro-suede upholstered sofas versus utility fabrics and leather, and whether it’s too late to eat breakfast or too early to start drinking, when the interview caught my full attention.
Michael (yeah, we’re tight like that, all first name basis) was talking about the difficulty he has relating to people without real life experience and he said (I forget his exact wording) something along the lines of:
It’s a pitiful person who hasn’t known struggle
I have say. I’m inclined to agree.
I’ve certainly longed for a life free of worry and wondered what bliss it must be like to have survived to adulthood without having had a hard day in life.
But now that I’ve met actual real live people like that, I’m not so sure anymore…
It’s not that they aren’t stressed out, they are. It’s just that the things that turn them upside-down seem so ridiculously trivial that I have to fight the urge to wrap my hands around their necks and shake them, screaming
“ARE YOU FOR FUCKING REAL???”
and settle for taking a deep breath and asking them in a fake concerned and certainly transparently condescending tone,
“You know that facebook isn’t real life right?”.
Fortunately I don’t deal with these people often. I don’t know if it’s because there aren’t many of them left or if I just instinctively avoid trespassing on their natural habitat.
Maybe we broken people are the majority.
Or maybe we are drawn to each others pain, (a picture of the horseshoe magnet that collects those metal shavings just came to mind), in such numbers that we seem bigger than we are, but there never seems to be a shortage of us.
And they, they seem few and far between. And when I cross them, they make my head tilt and my eyebrows meet like a dog does when you whisper
Because honestly, HONESTLY. I don’t get them. I mean, even if they haven’t actually accumulated any life experience themselves, they are surrounded by it every single day. Right?
I mean, are their eyes and ears closed?
Have they taken a walk outside their worlds even once?
Haven’t they no friends?
Have they never even once watched an episode of Law and Order Special Victims unit?
How did they get this far in life without ever having had a hard day?
I don’t mean a – Oh my God, I’ve been on my feet all day. I could really go for a massage – day.
Or a – Seriously, this cat is so annoying. He refuses to use a dirty litter box, I have to scoop poop at least twice a day – day.
or a – We have to change the break-pads again?? That’s like the 3rd time in I don’t know when. They must be misaligned, this car is seriously nickle and diming us. – day.
I know, I know, it’s all relative but come on.
I mean a real honest HARD DAY.
I mean a day that involves bailiffs, bedbugs, bankruptcy claims, heroin, natural disaster, psych evaluations, Chlamydia, DNR orders, court orders, restraining orders, midnight moving, and/or being incapable of making simple decisions like whether or not to have the funeral reception catered, because your brain is broken and all you’ve eaten in a week and a half is Gin.
That kind of day.
People who have that kind of day seem to be the only kind of people I can truly relate to and, I don’t know what this says about me but, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
It’s not that I want to surround myself with negativity and grief or anything. I like positive energy and light and patchouli shower gel as much as the next guy.
It’s just that I feel like philosophizing with somebody whose biggest problem in life is the reoccurring cat turd in the middle of the laundry room floor, is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit of a colossal waste of my fucking time.
Is that wrong?
So here’s the thing.
Maybe I’m almost all alone in thinking that way.
And maybe I should go spend a week or 12 at a Buddhist retreat to get Zenified and all-accepting and shit.
But I can’t afford to take the time off work without being evicted and having all my utilities disconnected and consequently having at least one of my kids taken away by youth protection because that’s REAL LIFE people.
But I’m not entirely alone. There is at least one person on this planet who feels me. So, as a sign of solidarity, even though I really don’t care for his style of music, and even though the only song of his I listen to is a parody and is co-performed with the boys of Saturday Night Live, I’m going to find a copy of his book,The Soul of It All.
And I’m even going to read it.