Friday, January 05, 2007

May All Your Dreams Come True


My mother once sent a friend of hers a book for his birthday that caused him to leave his wife. The book had been about by Paul Theroux, a brilliant travel writer, about his adventures in the South Pacific. The friend, in his early fifties, had read the book upon receiving it in the mail (he lived in New Zealand), and decided that the life he was leading, in his words, was shallow and vapid and full of mundane trivial bullshit and that he had a dream to pursue. (Um, now that I am older, the first part of that seems a little too close to home, but I shall continue!) So when my mother phoned his wife (also a close friend) a few months later, she got the whole story about his picking up and leaving and a new phone number for her friend. Your book made him leave me, the wife said. Now I'm old and fat and have nothing to show for it. Men have it made. They can do whatever the fuck they want, but women are always stuck with the worst of it. The wife reassured my mother that it was not her fault, that it was some mid-life thing that was probably inevitable, but the whole event gave me pause and made me think twice about giving people certain types of gifts, particularly anything by Mr. Theroux.

Now that the holidays have ended and we are back to ordinary time, the inevitable sadness of everyday life has time to bleed into our days. As much as I complain about the holidays, January has a bleak quality to it. Who among us has the stomach for yet more of the same? One of the scariest things I see on cards and fortune cookies is, May All Your Dreams Come True. I often dream about being on dangerous streets alone, running to the next place in hopes of being safe. I dream of the dead returning, rising out of their caskets and asking what's next. Mornings are all dim light, getting dressed for work, the inevitable disappointments and pleasures. In other words, life in this world, where the South Pacific exists, but you never see it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever... " Isak Dineson

Cocktail Hour

Drinking book suggestion: My Other Life Paul Theroux

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Friday!

12 comments:

Dream trip said...

Theroux is not without his personal foibles(who is?), but the book of his I really like is "The Pillars of Hercules," about his circling the Mediterranean Sea, starting with Spain and going all the way around and back to the Pillars of Hercules on the African side. Fantastic.

Warren Zevon said...

Re your fascinating photo, Michelle:you shouldn't immerse yourself in bloody red meat.

Tom Bailey said...

I like your blog. Very interesting stuff. I was told a quote by Theroux:

"Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing."

I like the quote for the humor.

paul said...

Cajun Q, Foxy Lady D
My dreams come true with you
And R2 C2!
O Mighty Isis
keep on writinandshootincamera
Shazammmmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. A book that could make a person leave their spouse. Sounds like an old Twilight Zone rerun. Perhaps I'll run with that idea for a short story, but my version will involve much more sinister ideas.

I'd love to see some snow like from your picture. Mount Clemens being the back drop today I believe. January does suck. Very bleak indeed. I am looking forward to this first non holiday weekend though, NO commitments.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Michelle,
Perhaps this is why I'm watching the first season of "Dead Like Me" on DVD. With the gloomy weather and daily grind, it seems so appropriate this time of month. Something about grim reapers bitching about their jobs makes for a mildly entertaining evening.

Laura said...

A shame that the man is your story should blame a book on his leaving his wife. If he truely loved her in the first place nothing could make him leave her, and if he loved her and the book made him feel he was missing out on something in some far off land, he would have took her with him. The book just gave him an excuse to do what he probably was going to do anyways. I feel sorry for your mother though. She probably gets anxiety attacks just thinking about buying gifts for people now.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, Paul T. sounds like a charming writer and that is one humourous story. Standing by Little Ben there are you planning a trip to London this year?
Laura must not know that your mother is probably not having anxiety attacks because she is in a better place or so may we pray. Do you believe in indulgences? Lovely idea when it is not abused. As is this view of you. Bravo my dear!

Tim said...

January is the longest, most depressing month of the year, made worse by dreary weather, which can sometimes keep your mind on that dark dream you'd like to forget. If there's a positive at all about the month it's that the days are getting longer now.


Very good post Michelle

GPS said...

Fort Worth, for sure. Google that diamond clock in the photo.

Anonymous said...

I agree that having all your dreams come true could be a nightmare...I'd rather just wake up. I do love the end of that quote though, "so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever..." The older I get, the more it rings true.

The Walking Man said...

I guess yesterday my dream came true. I slept for 20 hours. I would get up eat and then go back to Edwina Clarice who slept for twenty hours also (or more) and we had a fine old time of it.

I have always believed that no one should start their career until their adventures are over, even if that adventure is sleeping the first five years after high school away into infinity.

Yet I didn't do that I left, rode that wild mustang called the Atlantic ocean for three years and then traveled the four corners of the continent eventually also from north to south, granted some of the travel came after my career was in full swing but the majority of it was before I was 25.

So tell me why should I at 52 have unfulfilled dreams left? At 29 why should you have fears of the trivial Michelle, your goals are coming to fruition, your sense of self worth are pretty much on the money and life is mundane and full of mostly trivial bullshit unless you make it otherwise.

If your mom's female friend was able to give her a phone number for her ex then he didn't make it very far in his travels now did he? So it was just an excuse, a dishonest one at that because he should have said "hey I'm moving across town because we have been joined at the hip too long and I want to see what the other side looks like." which is a load of shit all in itself. Just because you travel doesn't mean you never go home again.

Thank you Jaaaaysus that the holidays are over now I can continue on with the same routine I had before and during them without the having to listen to the false bullshit people put in front of or behind every greeting Merry this or happy that.

Everyday life is not inevitably sad, for some it is a sad day, week or month or year for others it is glorious; pick your poisen and dream the dreams you dream being grateful that when you wake up it is back in this conciousness and you are still breathing. Many days i'd rather not wake up because except for a doctors visit where they are going to treat me to a camera or finger up the ass or a new scrpt for something else because i have become immune to what i was taking I have to find my own way, every single day.

Baudelier said something to the affect "work is much easier than having to find ways to amuse yourself" If you want to amuse yourself then throw off the constraints of time and go see the south sea's but not during typhoon season then that would just add to your weird dreams.

Peace

TWM