Drooling on the Pillow

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Man Behind The Curtain 

My focus is elsewhere and I really intended to disemblog for a few weeks, but when Mr. Snitch! slips you a meme you must drink deep or hold yourself very cheap indeed.

He wants his victims to name and describe five personal eccentricities. My first instinct, of course, was to take five things I like about myself and dress them up as oddities. I'm too nice. I care too much. Dishonesty angers me. Stuff like that. Unfortunately, of those three the first is not true, the second is really not true and the third, well, people who know me don't lend me money.

I've read somewhere that the concept of the meme can be more honestly rendered as me!me! (or in Mr. Snitch's case we!we!) . Keeping in mind that no man is a weirdo to himself except those who can attract attention in no other way, and what strikes you as your own eccentric behavior is simply things you do that violate mistaken notions of yourself, I present five glimpses at Sluggo's wacky side.

1. I hate the water. Can't swim. I was fairly athletic as a lad and also something of a dare-devil, but the water scared me and even today I prefer my liquids to be inside of me rather than below me. Above me? No.

I believe the reason I failed to nail my first serious girlfriend is that she had to rescue me half-way through a swim across a 100 yard wide lake. My self-esteem survived, but my chick-esteem was at the bottom of Lake Riviera. I've tried at various times to learn to swim, but I've decided that, really, I'd rather not. I like being in boats, but only because they give me a pleasingly anxious focus. I don't think about all of the unpleasant things that usually churn through my brain; only about getting ashore. I'm with Dr. Johnson: "No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself in jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned."

2. I am a committed conservative and a partisan Republican. Dictionary.com: Eccentric - Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern. When we moved into this house five years ago there was a couple down the street with a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker. When I found out they were actors I was utterly charmed. Until that moment, through twenty five years as an actor and another fifteen years living with the debris of my former career, I'd never known another Republican. We exist. But so do lottery winners.

3. I'm an optimist. This would surprise most people who have met me, as I can be fairly glum and I've never been particularly successful in anything I've tried. Since I'm not a believer, my optimism is the nearest thing to metaphysics I've experienced. I've never bought a lotto ticket I wasn't sure was a winner. I never borrowed money I didn't think would be easy to repay. I've never fallen in love and wasn't certain it would last until the end of time. Even when it happened several times in a day. I simply believe, despite all the evidence, that there is a latent layer of luck lurking within me and that one day, something wonderful is going to happen. Being happily married and adopting the wonder child of the ages make this fantasy easy to sustain.

4. I write poetry. And I love opera. But my favorite drink is bourbon and the music I can't live without (and I share this with Mr. Snitch!) is rockabilly. My first date with the Goddess was a Dwight Yoakam concert.

5. This exercise is instructive. I've found that it can't be done without a certain sheen of self-congratulation. We love to be called eccentric. It makes us different, unique, memorable. For the fifth entry I decided to ask the main victim of my eccentricities for her input. According to the Goddess, my most glaring eccentricity is putting dirty clothes on top of the hamper. Hmmm. I was kind of hoping for "You know that thing you do with the butter knife and the gaffers tape?" I pressed her for other examples, but she mumbled something about leaving the silverware drawer open while preparing food. Apparently, you're not supposed to get crumbs in there, or something. It's good to have a measure of just how different, unique and memorable you're not.
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