Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Scene

I'd consider becoming a Freemason if I didn't think it all so very boring. The craft itself, of course, can be a hoot and all study, in all fields, must be applauded. I've asked my friends who go to lodge and they've outlined the basic tack and I've read some books and drafted some charts but if I had a friday evening off every month, I may want to do something else.
    If I moved to another town, I'm sure it would be a great way to meet the community of retirees. I'd also try the local church not every sunday but occasionally. I think about these things because I hardly radiate outwards more than a few blocks from my home and office. So I fantasize about making the scene in some small town. I'd have to be careful, I'm prone to eye contact and nodding to strangers. If I waltzed into your town I may make the grave mistake of befriending the wrong people. Then what ? All downhill from there. Best to keep a low profile with eyes open. See who is who. Imagine the gossip, 'you know that new guy?' 'what about him?' 'we'll he fell in with the Millers' 'oh boy'. You see ? Nobody needs that, especially the new guy.
    I've never been the new guy. I'm so totally the old guy, it's wearing me down. I've eroded grooves in the sidewalks around here. I'm taken for granted, the perennial local. Always here. Never much anyplace else. I've too often imagined what it would be like to disappear without a word. Not ditch my family, just slip away for a sabbatical without the acquaintances knowing. Let's see how long it takes before someone notices. Hey, how would I know ? I can't leave and keep tabs on the effect my leaving is having. That's ego-tripping big time. But that's the fantasy, I leave and I come back to a changed world. The coffee shop has changed hands, there's a whole new set of cool kids, hell, there's a whole new set of ex cool kids. The elders are different. I'd come back invisible. I'd look around and no one would say hi to me like they do now.
    I live around the corner from Sesame Street. Everybody knows everybody. The revolving door does spin quickly around here and the new crop of kids keep to themselves until they can suss out who is detrimental to their fostered reputation. It's all a fiction anyway. Eyes flitting away quickly in case they get locked in with some hoary old local like me. Then they're done with. The last thing a cool kid needs is to be in with someone who is in with postal workers and bus drivers and merchants and can collectors. Cultivating exclusivity is the very trade of cool. You can't be cool with a silly grin on your face, waving to people. That doesn't work. You gotta be like you don't give a shit you don't know anybody and you're so lonely you just wish you could say hi to those guys, they must be in a band. Who doesn't want to be in with the guys in the band ?
    I'll tell you who, the guy who owns the club. He couldn't give a shit. Everyone he sees is in a band. Everyone I see is a head and a heart walking around wanting to belong. Somewhere if not here. If not here, then where ? A small town with a good bookstore, a twenty minute walk to some water, a decent café, and a population of former cool kids that are done with scenes. I'd go there. If there wasn't a lodge in that town, I sure as hell wouldn't start one but I would go to the open mic at the café and see if anyone there had the spark.