The Tempest Online™

~ Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. ~

Down – But By No Means Out

Posted by Daniel on July 10, 2006

There must be something going around these days. I don’t know if it’s in the air, the water or the attitude.

Our friend and contributing author, Scott, turned 40 today.

To mark this auspicious occasion, he decided to treat himself to a shot of adrenaline. Yes, he jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet. Strapped to, what I hope, was the hottest tandem jump instructor.

This occurred Saturday, while Steve and I were chainsawing our old ugly deck.

(more on that later)

Obviously, Scott survived and we received a clip from the video they shot of the actual jump. I was listening for the screaming, but all you could hear was the wind rushing by at 125 miles per hour. I did, however, see him give the thumbs-up signal as he was falling and just before the parachute opened. This tells me that he was either very excited about the jump, or that the guy he was strapped to was, indeed, hot.

When he came over yesterday, we got some of the details and he mentioned his intent to do it again.

Now I’ve gone sky-diving three times in my life, so far, and I can see where he would want to go again. It is quite a rush.

I’ll end this part (for now) and say:

Happy Birthday, Scott!!

Many Happy Returns of the Day.

I realize the stuff I’ve written above this line seems a little out of whack, but there is a point here which I’ll get to shortly.

If you read it again, you’ll notice a certain lack of ‘excitement’ in the whole “I just jumped out of a plane” thing. That wasn’t accidental.

My very good friend (and hero) jumped out of a plane…and survived. Yet I’ve never seen him more bummed out. He describes it as – and I’m paraphrasing here – “Generally, I’m just sick of everything and I don’t know why.”

He said that it’s not so much because of his 40th birthday, or his job, or his home life. It’s just an all-around feeling of being burnt out on life.

Steve and I chipped in to help pay for the video-taping of the jump as a birthday present. We also bought him a talking parrot toy that does and says some pretty amusing things. Plus, it also repeats what you say to it. My favorite line was “Ray is a big fat fuck“. We thought this would help to cheer him up a bit, but he’s still bummed.

Scott is always perky and cheerful – either on the phone or in person. It’s a rare thing for him not to be upbeat about everything. Normally I’d still chalk this up to the so-called “Mid-Life Crisis” syndrome. But I’m noticing this same mood in a lot of people these days.

Friends, neighbors and especially complete strangers seem to be more bummed out and/or grumpy. Internet buddies around the world are emailing me about how things in their lives just don’t seem to excite them anymore. Then they ask me how I stay so perky. (fuck…are they kidding??!!) Even my usual ‘targets’ at WalMart are more grumpy and unamusing than normal. This puts an enormous amount of stress on people like me, who live to clown around and laugh at or with others. It’s like being a comedian on death row.

I’d very much like to blame this sour mood virus on Bush and the fucked up world he’s so diligently trying to creat. In a ‘trickle-down’ sort of way, that probably has something to do with it. Maybe it’s the subconscious thought of having even more fresh nukes pointed at us and the person entrusted to talk those targeting us down from that ledge is – for lack of a more delicate term – a Dumbshit who is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

Whatever the cause (Bush), I know the effect. I’ve been seeing it firsthand for months now. I don’t like to see people – especially those close to me – down in the dumps.

Anyone who knows me will tell you, there is nothing I won’t do to make people laugh. My sweetheart Steve and making others smile, whatever my personal expense, is what actually keeps me from “#31“. Well, mostly Steve. And when people are too bummed even to laugh, you have to wonder what’s happening in the world. I know I do.

Now that I’m better – yes, I’ve been sick guys, but you can stop sending get-well emails now (smile) – maybe I can do some research on whatever is causing this grumpy mood around the world.

Anybody have any clues or advice?

UPDATE:

I’m at work right now. Just minutes after finishing this post, we had a delivery from one of our regular drivers. Mind you, this man has never said one word to me…he’s kind of the silent type.

Today, he decides to speak,

He: “Man, you must drink a lot of beer.”

Me: “No, I don’t drink beer. Why do you say that?”

He: “Well, I never noticed before, but you have a very muscular body, but you also have a beer gut.”

Mind you, this guy’s no prize himself.

Me: “It’s a side-affect from a medication that causes Lypodystrophy. You either get it as a small hump on the back of your neck, or on the stomach, which makes you look a tad bloated.”

He: “Well, whatever it is, it’s still a beer-gut.”

Before I could make a comeback by complimenting the mole on his neck that looks like a parasitic twin, he was gone.

Coincidence?  I think not.

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2 Responses to “Down – But By No Means Out”

  1. Scott said

    I want to repeat…by no means out!

    Turning 40 was just another day, work hasn’t changed for 15 years, house has been the same for 7 years (there was that one year away), and Ray for 6 years (changing every day, he is by far not the man from 6 years ago and I’m not saying that’s good or bad), and this year marked 15 years since Tony has been gone. Jumping out of the plane was the best thing I have ever done…almost cleansing.

    I think I realized part of what’s been going on with me. I was supposed to be gone long before now (according to information/medicine available in 1984 to 1994) and everyone always said “take each day as a gift”. Now that I look back on the last 15 years I wonder if I have done that…am I happy with the decisions I made, did I take the chances, and have I treated this time as a gift.

    Hell no I haven’t. No person who wants to plan for tomorrow has to work their butt off to make sure tomorrow happens. I realize that I have simply continued to plod through life waiting for judgment day and a chance to rest. During this time I have worked my butt off for little to no measurable “step-up”, went through lots of trash before finally meeting Ray, and taken the most horrible medications that completely f*cked up my body (information/medicine available since 1994) so that I can CONTINUE THIS PATH GOING NO WHERE. Tell me, where is sanity or justice in this.

    Really, tell me…this is the question that I am having a hard time answering and why I’m beginning to re-think every decision I ever made.

    So, maybe it was turning 40, maybe it’s being alive with HIV (bagged and tagged as I now refer to it since everyone can see the humps as the delivery man so nicely pointed out), or maybe I just realized that surviving is all the reward we will ever get.

  2. atari_age said

    It’s the clowns!!! They’re EVIL!!!

    I dunno… maybe we all need a big vacation.

    Or , since there may be something to your trickle-down hypothesis, maybe maybe we just need some hope.

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