I saw an interview with Craig Ferguson. He's a pretty interesting fellow. He became an American citizen by choice, he's hosting a trendy late-night talk show, he's a recovering alcoholic, he's learned to be a pilot (a "facing your fears" decision) he's written books and screenplays, he's acted on stage, screen and television and he was a drummer in a punk rock band back in Scotland (Yeah, but I bet he never wrote the longest, most disjointed sentence in the world like I just did!) The correspondent doing the interview asked him if all of that indicated a "certain restlessness." Craig said he was sure it indicated a "certain restlessness." And then I exhaled. Finally, there's a term for that which plagues me. Finally there's someone else on earth as scattered as I am. I felt a bit less freakish...not much, but a little.
"So something like a Swiss Army knife, yeah, that's my life."
I've tested the waters in many different oceans. I've set and fell short of many goals. Some of them led me down some fascinating roads where I met many characters that I'll never forget. Some ended me with me in dark places and meeting people I wish I could forget. For about 2 months I was a disc jockey on a country music radio station (at the time I knew as much about country music as I know about brain surgery.) I explored everything from journalism to psychology to teaching as career choices. None of them stuck. I grew my hair very long. I later cut most of it off (and the Lord's taking the rest.) I started wearing earrings. I now wear a wedding ring. I used to live in a crash pad with a Labrador Retriever and usually had a week or two's worth of empty beer cans lining my shower. I would use a towel until it stood up by itself. I now vacuum a lot, consider yardwork a hobby and sit out clean towels for the lady of the house when she's had a bad day. I like putting on a suit and taking my bride to dinners that are more events than meals. I also like putting on my favorite flip-flops, building a fire in the backyard, chilling an obscene amount of beer and putting animal flesh (usually a pig or some part of one!) on that fire and drinking beer until it's done (the meat, not the beer,,though the meat and the beer are often done around the same time.) I love jazz. I love Doc Watson. I love martinis and lobster. I like iced tea and collards. I'm constantly trying to get started on the next great American novel and I've decided I want to fulfill a childhood obsession and drive tractor trailers for a living. I'm 48 years old, can smell 50 from where I'm standing and seriously wanting to know "JUST WHO IN THE HELL AM I???????????"
I worry that the real victim in all of this is the woman who was brave enough to become my wife. I often find myself apologetic with her that I'm not like other husbands. God bless her, she reminds me that she didn't want "other husbands" she wanted me and enjoys watching me try to experience so many things. I think it's a nice way for her to say "Sweetie, I knew you were nuts when I married you."
So you see why I took great comfort from Craig Ferguson defining a "certain restlessness" as a healthy infliction. He said that it's a hindrance to give yourself one label...it restricts you from trying as much as you can in this life. So, I reckon I'll just "cruise along, always searching for songs, not a lawyer a thief or a banker..." or perhaps all three...