Published on February 13th, 2013 | by Thompson2
The Theater of Life
In an attempt to introduce my girlfriend to my mind, I talked her into visiting class with me last week. You see, we are exact opposites. I’m right-brained, she’s left. I’m imaginative and intuitive, and she’s analytical and “logical.” I hate that word. Since logic is based in reason (another terrible word), and reason is riddled with rhetoric, her logic is simply what she accepts to be reasonable, which isn’t logical at all, except literally. It’s all bullshit rhetorically. Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, let me tell you why my girlfriend’s logic is bullshit (sorry, baby) and why your parents who said an English degree would be useless all wish they had one.
I am perfectly happy being illogical, but I like the word intuitive better. Speaking of intuitive, I have a confession to make. I missed class Monday to visit my mother and sister in Seattle. It was my mother’s birthday and my sister was kicked out of her national park ranger program this month for admitting to using drugs in college, so I wanted to cheer her up. We went to this punk show: The Menzingers.
It may have been the best opening act I’ve ever seen, but during the end of the set, when they played “Gates,” Shakespeare krept into my head.
I was singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs:
“It’s not hard to fall for a waitress
When you both smoke
Smoke the same cigarettes
You’ll get seated as diners or lovers
You’ll get the check as friends for the better
You’ll carve your names into the Paupack Cliffs
Just read them when you get old enough to know
that happiness is just a moment.”
Happiness truly is just a moment, and in that moment, dancing with my sister surrounded by punks, I was happy. I don’t live my life with a plan in place. I don’t use a formula to determine my future. And I don’t ignore my dreams. I actively pursue them. The only thing I’m willing to accept is that my life on this planet will be short and quite possibly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I’m comfortable with not knowing the answers of the multiverse and focusing on the answers relevant to my life. That’s why I dig Puck. He’s so Gonzo. In carrying out Oberon’s plan, he mucks up the drug distribution and messes with the wrong heads. Then, in the end, he jolts the audience awake from the “dream” they witnessed on stage.
We are to walk away considering things we hadn’t considered: Like what is real? What is the significance of our lives? What questions need answering and what questions are unanswerable? And is life really nothing but a play? I’d say it mostly is, given the infinitesimal size of the multiverse, but our actions are significant because they happen in the moment. Our performance in the theater of life is important even if humans cease to exist, because we exist now, and what we do in this moment is all that matters. If you miss your cue just do as Bill Murray does. Improvise.