Friday, February 29, 2008
It looks so strange.
Like a person you know that has unusually big ears. Not just a little big. Really big. Like two halves of a bagel.
You maybe see them once every few years.
And this person, this big eared person, is always very much welcome. In fact, each time you see them, they help you do something you thought you didn't have time for. They give you a hand. And they never ask you to repay the favor. They just help you.
A lot of times you don't even realize that they've helped you until they leave; until they are on their way with their big ears sticking out from under their winter hat. And you say to yourself, "Next time ol' big ears come around I'm going to have to remember to thank him for giving me a hand."
And you always forget.
And they always come back.
I love leap years.
I love leap years for a lot of reasons. My rent is a little cheaper. My gym membership is a little longer. And March is put off for one more day. Don't get me wrong, I love the Spring, but March always makes me antsy. It sounds so commanding. So Alpha.
I also love leap years because they make me do math, which I do not like at all. And I'm trying to get better at doing things I don't like. Or at least not complain about them so much.
My Mom taught me long ago that if a year cannot be divided evenly by four, you cannot have a leap year. What you have is a "common" year as it's called in the textbooks. A boring old, run of the mill, three hundred and sixty five day common year. I learned that was when I was probably about 7 years old. Thirty years ago. Actually make that thirty years and one week; for good measure.
Prisoners must hate it.
"I sentence you to twenty eight years in jail...and that includes an extra week because of leap years."
What a mean judge that would be. It would be sure to make headlines.
"MEANEST JUDGE EVER POINTS OUT LUNAR LOOPHOLE: MIFFED FELON TO SERVE EXTRA WEEK."
But that would never happen.
I'm enjoying my leap day. I've been more in touch with taking each day on its own merits recently; trying not to confuse today with what happened yesterday, and what might happen tomorrow. I think you know what I'm trying to say.
This process isn't easy. I'm attempting a stunt that has never been done; not in my world anyway. This is definitely the longest jump in the history of my career as a stuntman and I have more to lose now than ever before.
But I have a good team behind me. All the measurements have been taken. All the possible outcomes have been explained to me. And every attempt has been made to ensure the most favorable conditions. I certainly cannot predict the future, but barring the unavoidable or the supernatural, I have great faith that my mission will be a success. But as you know, I won't know if it is a success unless I make a mistake. And mistakes are easy.
I have a great and loyal fan base. An unprecedented amount of tickets have been sold. I should have a capacity crowd assembled to watch this daredevil try to attempt the unknown. And surprisingly, my fans are not following my progress wondering what the odds are that they will witness a fiery, spectacular disaster. Because that's what sometimes happens in the world of extremes. We like to see the crash. We like to see fire. We court danger with a bucket of popcorn. The anticipation and excitement sometimes masks the fact that the consequences are real. The danger is real. And it's just a minuscule miscalculation away.
I've been enjoying a bit of a break from my focus. I've been having fun pulling out old newspaper articles and pictures and digging deep within my gray matter to recount my formative years of making music. It has been quite an unexpected pleasure. I still have a bit more to tell as we approach the time in my life when substances became not unlike a new pack of strings. I could get through a bunch of gigs in a row back then without changing them. But when I put on a fresh set I enjoyed how much better everything felt and sounded. After a while I had to have a new set on every day or I just couldn't pick up the guitar.
I know that I have said before that I started this whole writing thing for me and me alone and if you wanted to come along you were welcome but that's as far as it went.
But it has come to my attention over these last forty five posts in sixty days, that what I've been revealing about my past, present, and future has touched upon certain people's emotions. It has helped a few folks who were having a hard time. And it's given some, who were not aware, a better idea of what can happen to someone who has all the right moves but forgot to put laces in their shoes. I know this may seem like I am honking my own horn here, but I feel it is not. This is what I have gleaned from comments people have left online, letters I have received, as well as hearing it in person. I couldn't even honk my horn if I tried because Steve and Michelle have my car. And that's a very good thing indeed. Because that means that not only did I not destroy it, but I'm able to help some friends whom I love.
No, I guess at this point, saying I'm doing this for me alone would be like saying that I just learned a new way to play guitar and I don't want anyone to hear it; to sit in my room and develop a new technique that is helping me play better and faster each day and not want anyone to find out how I'm doing it; to steal the secrets of my breakthroughs. That would be selfish. I'm done being selfish.
And, of course, I wouldn't be able to share this precarious success if there weren't people who were asking me how everything's going; keeping tabs on my adventures. Be them friends, family, or those who only know me from what I reveal. Be them people who simply read my words and realize they are not alone, or those who patiently listen when I have a rant that I can't express in Times New Roman, and tell me what they really think. People who care about me who have their own time and life consuming struggles but make the time to read of listen. People who help me do something I thought I didn't have time for.
People with big ears.
Thanks for reading, thanks for writing, thanks for listening, and thanks for helping.
And thanks for having such enormous freaking ears.
Ah, I remembered to thank ol' Big Ears.
Ain't that something.
See you tomorrow.
Posted by F. Alex Johnson at 2/29/2008 06:57:00 PM