Tuesday, December 24, 2002

December 24, 2002
Soggy and soaked. Sky socked in with clouds. Still dark (6:54 a.m.). Expecting snow on Black Mountain. Thought is might snow all the way down, but I went out for the paper and it’s just mighty juicy out.

Rained all day yesterday. Wore a wool vest and tie. Big business pow-wow at two. The Daiss, The Brinks, R.G. and the Bells went over plans for 2003. Very promising and productive. Afterwards called Bob McCubbin on a conference call and told him the news. He was quite receptive and we are all on the same page.

I read a very insightful interview with comedian Bernie Mack in the current Rolling Stone. The question was, “When did you feel like you finally nailed your act?” His answer: “I stopped listening to other people. And that’s when I came into my own. I was honest with myself and became honest with my comedy. You ever had a fight, and you’re scared to death, and the other guy throws a punch, and every punch he hits you with ain’t fazing you, and the next thing you know everyone’s around you going, ‘Man, you knocked the shit outta him,’ but you can’t remember what you did? That’s what happened. It just clicked, man, and I didn’t look back. I became Bernie Mack.”

This anecdote triggered a similar memory. When I turned 30 I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t seem to get it. A friend told me, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” After another failed relationship, I found myself at a wake and there were bonfires in barrels in the front yard. I felt alone, vulnerable, unsure of myself. Well-meaning people were giving me advice: “be nice, be gentle, be diplomatic.” Instead, I started yelling that I had a pickup and a big cock (in actuality a rooster). Most of the women closest to me recoiled in disgust and moved away. One pretty girl hung with me for a while, and traded zany comments, but I was on fire, burning white hot and she couldn’t take the heat and finally moved off into the darkness. I stood in the doorway of the house and continued yelling. Mourners were fleeing in cars and on foot. Others shook their heads in dismay, but I kept going, turning off even my longtime friends from Kingman. One person didn’t flee, wasn’t grossed out and actually thought I was funny. It was Kathy.

When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best --that is inspiration.”

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