Yesterday, on my 44th birthday (or, as my father would have said, on the first day of my 45th year of life), I paused to reflect on some of the characters in this made-for-TV-afternoon-special that I’ve met in the past days, weeks and months.
There was the cast of the acid-inspired-Burning-Man-by-the-Sea-carnival in which the leading rolls were played by folks who would have all been perfectly cast to play themselves – Puck , Slutty Drunk, Blind Seer, Irish Working Class hero and the American who, when told that he has ‘that Israeli thing going on’ by a British-almost-drunk-enough-to-convince-to-sleep-with-him American Idol wannabe responded in a smooth, maybe-this-will-get-her-into-bed voice ‘yes, I’ve been told that before’ – all played out at 3am under a giant concrete octopus-roof covering a beach-side bar lit up with black lights to resemble an underseas Jules Verne odyssey.
There was the brilliant-yet-understated medical-marijuana-growing, self-described redneck whose family history and own life would make for a brilliant Hollywood screenplay worthy of Oscar nomination. I sat and listened to his amazing and inspirational tale for four hours, totally captivated.
There was the Israeli psycho-bio graduate who, on his post-army world tour, reached India and, less than a week later, flew to Thailand, having decided that he ‘just didn’t get’ India.
There was a British girl who suffered a pretty severe motorcycle road-burn injury on her right temple / forehead who, miraculously, completely healed up not two days later — I had a similar injury on my chest that STILL hasn’t completely healed … more than two MONTHS later.
And, of course, let’s not forget skull-crushing, sanity-deprived, human-parts-trafficking Indian Special Forces sniper-and-Pixar-cartoonist-wannabe on mental-health leave from his behind-enemy-lines posting in Pakistan who could only get a hard-on when his girlfriends would get dangerous violent with him.
But what I’m coming to appreciate even more is the insanity and beauty of all the people in my life … you are some brilliant, passionate, quirky and often totally-fucked-up wackos, whose idiosyncrasies, insecurities, talents, brilliance, lusts, courage and joyousness continue to boggle and inspire. Seven billion people on this planet. Seven billion unique universes – shaped by attitudes, perspectives, ideas – at any given time, and that’s just one species.
It’s amazing to be on this ride together. I’m humbled, grateful, and … shit … late for a meeting.