Oftentimes I’m reminded of the scene from Goodfellas where, at the end of all the sex and violence and bloodletting, the main handsome gangster is standing on the doorstep of his new suburban (government sponsored, witness protection provided) home, picking up a newspaper the paper boy just lobbed on his front porch, and his voiceover states “…now I’m just like every other schmuck” as his stunning blue eyes survey the landscape.
Or at least something like that happened at the end of that film. For once, I refuse to use the wonder-killer (phone and or Google search) to get the correct detail, instead relying solely on my hazy, drug-addled memory.
Not out of laziness mind you, but rather in protest of the wonder killer in all its nefarious forms.
Also, I don’t do drugs, but I like using the word “addled.”
I remember this Goodfellas scene each morning as I’m walking my over-sniffing dog in the mist, waiting for him to defecate on the neighbor’s lawn. There I awkwardly stand, total schmuck.
I should say this scene reminds me of me minus the handsomeness, former glamourous gangster lifestyle, piles of cash buried in the backyard, amazing suits and thick, rich, luxurious, perfectly coiffed, slightly greased hair.
Thus, in the midst of lockdown I’m trying to figure out ways to be cooler. Frankly, I’d be in this bind (trying to figure out how to be cool) even if there wasn’t a lockdown.
How are you cool? What do you do to keep things cool nowadays?
Okay don’t answer that I don’t care. That was a knee-jerk reaction to pretend to be engaging and not totally self-involved, which seems to be a common tactic used in marketing communications from corporations these days. I’m not saying they’re not genuine, I’m saying I’m not genuine.
Wait, is this why corporations don’t want to hire me and I’m rarely if ever invited to rooftop cocktail parties with a double-bass player and beautiful people dancing really smoothly like I think they did in the Roaring Twenties? I was a shy kid, the kind of kid who’d do what he was told with minimal pushback. But something happened when I turned about 28. I realized that I didn’t value conformity and salesmanship (I see it as hucksterism) and poltik-ing and corporate-speak and “very important meetings” and status and parties where you go not to have fun but to be seen and hang out with certain people and be seen hanging out with certain people.
I’m way older than 28 now, just so there’s no confusion. I wouldn’t say I’m past my prime, but let’s just say my ankle hurts secondary to just standing and walking, as does my back. And I frequently drive the exact speed limit, worry about safety when it comes to utensils and never leave a dirty dish in the sink.
Ah, the good old days, life was so much simpler.
Really the point of all this is (for me and you, if like-minded) to not worry about not fitting in, to not worry about not being satisfied with the current system, to not worry about not liking your job (but understanding it’s necessary so don’t be bummed out about having to do it), to not worry about having an edge and expressing it.
Because all this is where great ideas come from, great lives are led, and great amounts of people are helped, believe it or not. By being you. And me being me.