We ate the leftovers: the fried chicken, the mashed potatoes, the green beans. This small portion of gravy is all that remained of yesterday’s lunch. There was nothing left for its rich thickness to cover (although I think it could have used a bit more spice), except for the stark white styrofoam container in which it now resided. As I pondered over this strangely sad situation, I imagined the lyric to an imaginary song, a jazz standard that never was, most likely made most popular by Billie Holiday. I heard in my head her voice, that tiny just-over-an-octave wonder, glide across that lyric: “It’s like havin’ gravy but no mashed potatahs.” A little later on, the Prez himself, Lester Young, pours saxophonic gravy of his own all over the track. I was quite amused at the way my brain came up with this little vignette. I placed the container back in the fridge; I wasn’t quite ready to let it go yet. Maybe it would have a purpose later on.
The internet has been choking on its own vomit in the last week. It has been an irritating collage of statements about depression and suicide and social justice and racism. A lot of people think they are experts on these subjects because they read a couple of posts by Wil Wheaton or Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Stephen Fry, and now they are flying their flags and spreading their opinions all over cybercreation. In short, lately the internet has been, to borrow a lyric from a man with a more expansive octave range named Steven Patrick Morrissey, full of crashing bores. There are a lot of fedoraclutching moping self-important hipsters who think that their posted opinions are going to change the course of human aggression and human misery. I am not even close to being that naive.
You can be the most informed and well-read person on earth, but that doesn’t mean you can change anything. Your vote is a marked slip on a mountain of wastepaper. Your voice is weak. The banners and flyers that you stuff and stick all over your town, rallying for change and hope and fairness, will be lining the gerbil cage of a grade school kid within the week. You are a semi-lucid semi-free sack of meat with opposable thumbs and an overpriced data plan. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can make this work for you.
It’s the little things that interest me now. I will not fight what I cannot change. My sphere of control is small; therefore, my sphere of interest is small. This container of gravy (which could have used a bit more spice) gave me a smile today, so to speak, and it gave me a spark of creative motivation, which is fleeting by the second.
Keep things small. Don’t be afraid to think about or question the “macro world,” but don’t let that turn into a hopeless struggle against immovable forces that consider you a mite on a bedspread, easily swept away in the next wash. Keep those that you love close. Give yourself a break. Put the gravy container back in the fridge.
Oh you better believe he got me through the night. (we had sex)
This. What to Say When You’ve Got Absolutely Nothing Intelligent to Add
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