In this media frenzied, money grubbing, kiss ass world, the ultimate chic is to remain unknown…..and courageous enough to cultivate the condition. It is a sacred place where the freedom to be authentic can still be exercised. Under the radar. Nobody’s watching too closely, so you can really blast off. I would love to open an Unknown art gallery, an Unknown theater, an Unknown Jazz Club. You must be unknown to participate. If you have a list of accolades you don’t get through the velvet ropes. I guarantee you’d see some phenomenal talents evolve. Everybody was famous for 15 minutes, then everybody was famous for 15 years, and now everybody is famous all the time. The only thing left is being not famous and it’s so much easier.
The pompous asshole vibration. Where does it come from? It is visual, auditory, olfactory? Can it be avoided before the abomination on your senses sends you reeling towards a monastery? After all, it only takes a few seconds for a pompous asshole to invade your psyche- and the scar is permanent- your own fault of course, for making a bad call- but there you are, dirtied, collaterally damaged- by an environ exuding the toxic vapors of baseless self importance.
I suppose driving on the wrong side of the road or selling girl scout cookies laced with goat shit are worse sins than pomp and the circumstance of its origin, but pomposity leaves in its wake an undetectable alteration in the DNA of its victim.
You enter the fray. A person looks familiar. You smile and ask, “You look familiar!” They seem off-put, offended. “No, you must recognize me from the newspapers.” Then you notice the ascot. Too late. You’re in the building now, swirling in a sea of name tags stuck to the lapels of Clark Kents vying for a phone booth. The room is a tomb, a crypt the size of two football fields, an echo-chamber of anxious merry-making- as the third-tier citified elbow their egos towards comparable ladder rungers.
Another smile at a woman jabbing at a piece of pork, cellphone to her ear. “Pretty noisy in here” I say. Her pencil-lined lip curls. “Well, there’s the door.” – Good advice, but the room is swinging now, the band plays on, the fat woman sings, all is well in Gotham City! I walk up to another couple, “You guys look so sophisticated, really, you look great.” – The woman holds up a glob of something. “Do you like my purse? It’s an owl.”
I spot a singular artist in the sea of suits. She buys me a drink. A lovely Lois Lane, she can still finesse the trenches, but she now sees the by-line: the swirling hype of a legitimate cause, the building of a dream, the slithering rise of the mediocre.
I had a baby in my lap yesterday. I was sitting in the beauty parlor and the mom/stylist put the baby in my lap and the baby was sweet, and of course, a genius, like they all are, and movie-star gorgeous, of course, like they ALL are, and I thought about the baby, and how it could be my grandchild, and what it would feel like to have a grandchild, and then a sick thought came into my head: Irrelevant. The baby felt irrelevant. An outdated idea, a museum curiosity, an object d’art from the past-no longer critical to the survival of the species as the world reels and weeps from over-population. Was I so much of a monster as to rethink my desire to continue my genetic blueprint in a grandchild? To refrain from encouraging my beloved daughter to partake in the joys of motherhood? After all, I just love being a mom, loved it from the beginning, can’t imagine the alternative. The world was a rough place 31 years ago, when I made the decision to bring forth a member of the Y Generation. Is it worse now? Aren’t a few good years on the planet, before the shit hits the fan, better than no years? I believe so, and yet the baby in my lap- the precious, sacred life and hope of tomorrow, did not seem like the answer to anything.