Ten years ago, I worked with a guy who really "grabbed The Bull by the horns", you might say. He was such a live-life-to-its-fullest kind of person, that I wouldn't be surprised if you called me and told me that he was in Spain last weekend and he had wrestled an actual bull by its actual horns. I would just answer, "Oh geez, that guy...".
Our cubicles were across from each other and part of a typical day would have proceeded like this:
Me: I just read the latest Stephen King novel/Sting interview/Arthur Miller play. It was awesome.
Bull Wrangler: Yeah?
Me: Yeah. I wish I could tell him how great it was.
Bull Wrangler: Well then let's figure out how to get him on the phone. I think I know a guy who works with his publisher...
Me: I really like Ernest Hemingway's work, too.
Bull Wrangler: We should call him up.
Me: He's dead.
Bull Wrangler: I know, but don't let that stop you. If you really want to talk to him, you can find. a. way...
Oh all right, he never actually said any of that - but that is an example of how just about any conversation with him would conclude. Nothing was impossible.
One time, I was driving him to the airport and we were running late. Traffic wasn't moving and the terminal seemed like a million miles around the corner, although we were just on the other side of our destination. We were soclose! He was afraid that he was going to miss his flight, so he jumped out of the car, ran across the freeway and hopped over the fence into long term parking.
I watched him run through isles of parked cars, toting his leather overnight bag and laptop case. He disappeared into the airport jungle.
But he made his flight.
I pass that airport on my way home, when I pick up my kids after work. I've been thinking about all kinds of funny things that have happened during this decade and that was one of them.
A few other things that made my list (in no particular order):
*I got married to my High School Sweetheart.
We're still married.
*I drove into "The City".
Whatever. Go ahead and judge - you probably drive into whatever big city you're near all the time. I, however, have been freaked out about making that trip since I saw "Adventures in Babysitting", in 1987.
Elizabeth Shue was brilliant in that movie...
*I had kids.
Now, I don't want to sound like one of those people. You know who I mean: The people who post on Facebook three times daily about how "Susie B. Swell thinks her kids are the apple of her beautiful cerulean blue eye" or "i am so blest, idk how i got sooooooo lucky".
But seriously: having kids has been pretty much been like winning the lottery. Peanut and Bean are some kind of Energizer Bunny comedy duo. They begin performing when they open their eyes in the morning and they don't let the curtain fall until they close their eyes at their bedtime.
My daughter's wit is so acerbic and beyond her eight-and-a half-years, that sometimes she'll deliver a joke and I won't get it until several hours later, when I'm ruminating in my car. She'll just roll her eyes and walk away. I don't think any other kid on the planet can change whatever tune is on the radio into an introspective ballad/top40 hit/80's throwback about Ghengis Khan and make the song not only informative - but catchy, too.
Who knew listening to tyranny could be so much fun ?
Oh, and my son? He has the voice of a little angel. And he gives awesome hugs. And he's a snappy dresser. And he rocks at Mario Kart.
2000 - 2010 went by pretty fast. When I think about all the things that I've experienced and all the people that I've met during this decade, it feels sort of like when someone's life passes in front of their eyes in the movies.
Tell the next ten years to roll along a little more slowly, wouldja? I'm afraid I might miss something worth remembering...
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."