Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Worthless Glory

I can't stew any length of time without everything turning on its heels, so now I'm quite down on the whole project. I hate it with passion and prejudice. I wish I'd never heard of it. Yesterday, it seems, I was gaga over the size of the Old Faithful works, even spinning it out in my imagination as bigger than Marvel Cave, much bigger than it is. But not today! Curse it!

Today, you could say I'm sated on all the potential glory; I see more shame coming out of it than anything. I'm not trying to picture it as bigger than it is anymore, I'm just trying to picture it gone. Like everything, it is the size it is, made as big as it needed to be to get the job done. It's the law of efficiency. Why spend more money on resources than it takes to accomplish a task? There is often some glory in size, with whatever value that is to you.

Anyway, what is glory and why have it? Glory is the result of people's acclaim. You get enough people shouting out their praise, then you get to sit there in the front row waving, being hugged by the First Lady, getting a dozen roses, signing a couple of autographs. It's over in an hour. Then you're back at the curb in the dark and cold, dragging your luggage out of a cab, being strip searched in an airport before taking a midnight plane back to your pathetic hometown, only to have the plane be late and have them lose your luggage. Someone else finds it, steals it, then you're sitting at home making a list of things you need to shop for to replace what you lost.

There's other aspects of glory. News articles, TV appearances, the mayor gives you the key to the city. To which I say: 1) We're cleaning fish on newspapers tomorrow, or over time they're yellow and brittle, a fire hazard. They also have articles on perverts and thieves. Is that the kind of company you want to keep? 2) TV appearances are worthless, because now every pervert and thief knows your name, face, and where you live. And wait five minutes and you're keeping company with Billy Mays selling orange flavored soap. 3) If the mayor wants to give someone the key to the city so badly, why doesn't he come around on his own initiative? It's ludicrous that I have to live in this town all these decades and he doesn't give me the key. But as soon as I have a little media scrutiny, there he is at my door. Plus, I know he doesn't really care. The only reason mayors want to give anyone glory is so they themselves can bask in it. Before the hour's out he's at his own pathetic home, surrounded by enormous keys, watching the news for who's going to be his next parasitic host. Those keys are made in China anyway.

That glory's worthless, and I'll tell you another one, what the Chamber of Commerce does. And please, no one give them notice of my Old Faithful exhibit or they'll be here, with booze on their breath! They'll come around with their ribbon and three foot pair of scissors, taking pictures of someone cutting the ribbon. It'll be me on one side, the Chamber president on the other, holding hands in mid shake. Then we'll be flanked with other members and well wishers. They'll snap the ribbon, take the picture, and all be back in their cars on their way home in 15 minutes.

They'll rush in their doors, some of them stripping down to nothing, then getting drunk to dull their ongoing personal pain. They've got thick and heavy curtains to keep the light out. They don't want to see you, your store opening, your exhibit, or to know you. They're watching the phone, hoping it doesn't ring, so they don't have to sober up to face reality or get their picture taken with someone they don't care about. Don't write, don't call, don't wake me from this haze. This is what they say. We don't want to hear about it, we don't want to know about it. Unlike the mayor, these folks don't even see it as reflective glory to bask in; there's too many of them. But they lock up the scissors so no one steals them, just the same, because someday the phone will definitely ring.

Glory is essentially someone else's worthless opinion. Today I say lock down the exhibit! Let the grass grow around it! Cursed be the day I ever got the idea! Now I know what they're thinking in Wyoming: Thank goodness someone took this thing off our hands; finally we're home free!

I don't need anyone's opinion on anything to feel better about myself. It's fleeting and worthless.

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