A friend of mine called me to ask if I’d fill out a questionairre about her leadership abilities for class project. Of course I agreed. She was supposed to stop by on the way to work but she got delayed. So she called and asked if I could come in to Divas, where she works at, and fill it out. No problem.
When I walked into the door I was greeted by hugs. Its been a month and a half since I left and I get comments like “we can’t believe you left, we wish you didn’t leave, we hate it here without you,” etc… While I’m sure some are made to make me feel good, I do not doubt the sincerity of some of the comments. What makes me even happier is that I was not always a nice guy. If a person truly needed coming down on I would do it, I would draw a line in the sand and I’ve pissed off quite a few people. But I’ve also gone the distance to help them as well and have tried to be fair also. I’ve told the girls from day one that I didn’t buy into the idea of the stereotypical strippers (dumb, drugs, sex addicts, irresponsible). Any stereotype if kept around long enough and not challenged can gradually be accepted as the truth.
Anyway. I was asked to fill out the white board again. There is a large whiteboard and every Sunday I would erase it and fill it up with quotes or an essay and sometimes some drawings. Always the quotes and essays had to do with purpose, direction, leadership, responsibility… meaning. Several of the girls that work there have my admiration because I know what they do and why. But again, when the world looks at you and sees that you are a stripper you get the cold shoulder a lot, and it is not fair. So the dignity of existence and meaning in life were common themes to my quotes and essays. When I quit I was asked by a few people about who would continue the board. I told them that they would, for that is the purpose of my essays, that they could take over their own lives. For whatever reason, I was asked to fill out the board again tonight. My last one was good, how would I top it?
I took the board and sat down. The night before I had watched “A Clockwork Orange” and all day I’d been whistling Beethoven’s 9th. Wait… I am always whistling Beethoven’s 9th. On a curious note (no pun intended), why is it that the character who takes such joy from violence and sex, object so strongly when Beethoven was played during his treatment? I feel that this is a key point in the movie but I’ve not figured it out yet. Suppose I should spend more than five minutes on the thought though.
I sat there thinking about what to write. Then I had it. I drew a rough picture of the inside of the Hult Center (based on memory from an ink doodle in my journal from a Gershwin concert). I began with writing about a single note. It was, by itself, really insignificant and short. Add a couple more and it perhaps you could remember it, such as the famous opening line from Beethoven’s 5th. But I asked the reader to think of a song that really touched their heart. What was it about that song that did so? There weren’t any new notes invented. We suddenly didn’t have an M note to go along with A C E D F G B. It was the combination of notes and how they were used. I made the point here, somewhat early in the essay, that one should pick one’s friends as critically as any major purchase (house, car) and indeed more so. For these were the notes that made up the symphony of one’s life. Then I moved on to another point. I went to the use of Beethoven and how the 9th symphony had a purpose in mind when Beethoven wrote it (I am assuming so), that each note was chosen for how it was to work with the other notes (Beethoven was a genius at instrumentation), and that in the 9th symphony one could hear anxiety, sadness, happiness, idleness, sorrow… all the emotions until the end with rapturous joy. The life is like a symphony that is being composed with every breath, every day, every act and thought. Cry if you must, laugh often, but never cheat the music inside. Live your sympony so that when the curtain finally closes, the audience will leap to their feet in thunderous applause.
I am not happy with the essay. I was put on the spot and so I hadn’t had ample time to order my thoughts well. When I write something such as that (as contrasted starkly from my journaling) I will sit for a while and let the overall whole compose its essence within me, then when I feel I’ve got it I’ll write it out start to finish. Such was not the case with this one and I am not happy at the choppiness of the essay, it doesn’t flow well and one must make jumps in logic backwards and forwards and the analogies are dangling. The girls loved it and one cried over and ove again that I should become a writer and that she would be my biggest fan. I don’t know about that. Reading my current selection now (Brothers…) I am acutely aware of shortcommings that I have.
Another reason that I am unhappy with the essay is that it is poetry. While I use logic in these poetic analogies of mine to concrete my point, it sometimes runs counter to my philosophy. Purpose in life? Is there? How do I know? I’ve not answered that question for myself yet.
Oh well… I am very tired. It is dreadfully late, my eyes hurt from need for sleep, and I am having difficulty in focusing