Rockin’ in the Free World
I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings and endings lately. Beginnings are beautiful and amazing, and endings are sad and disgusting. Even endings that need to happen. Even endings that conclude something bad because then all you are left with is hindsight and all hindsight leaves you with is a gnawing feeling of stupidity.
For instance, in hindsight I realize that I should have written this edit note a week ago, I should never have bought those six tomatoes at Wegman’s thinking I could use them the next time I cooked, and I definitely should have just kissed Matthew Ward on the playground that one day after school. Instead I am left writing an edit note one hour before it’s due, I am left with six rotten tomatoes in my fridge (and as I throw them out I will think to myself: “when do I ever cook?”), and I am left wondering if Matthew Ward was the one meant for me!
I can remember this one night in Italy after a full evening of clubbing. My friend Joe picked up a rose from the floor of the tiny bathroom we were both using to wash our faces, and handed it to me. He found a rose, torn and tattered—someone else’s discarded gesture—and he handed it to me! But that was us. I looked at the curled and wilting petals, fading from deep red, to crimson, to a brown that could be seen creeping around the edge. Immediately, I was offended. I didn’t want hand-me-downs, used and thrown away. I wasn’t there simply for sloppy seconds, I didn’t want to be his secret on the side, and I didn’t want his stupid rose, given to me only because it was lying there and I was standing here. But, in a second, all this passes. I take the rose and feel touched by his gesture of…something. I feel touched by his effort at trying to make a gesture. I look at him and smile because a rose is a rose is a rose.
In hindsight I realize I should have just listened to my initial instinct. I should have said, “fuck you,” and walked out of the bathroom. But had I done that I probably would have felt like a total bitch in hindsight. Hindsight sucks. What exactly is the point of realizing just how wrong you are after the fact? Do you really think you are going to learn a lesson and change your ways? Let me tell you something: next week I am going to walk right into Wegman’s, buy six tomatoes and walk right out again!