… No ticket!

Sunday night, always a time for reflection and recuperation, particularly so after a weekend of this magnitude.

As I see it, there are several kinds of fitness. All of them are, in essence, a person’s ability to withstand various kinds of stresses, hardships, and exertions, and these abilities are enhanced by training and exercise. There is, of course, physical fitness; depending on one’s exercise habits and constitution, when faced with a situation requiring physical stamina and dexterity, one will fail or succeed based on how well they’ve maintained themselves. There is also intellectual fitness; people who do not maintain a certain level of mental agility through problem solving, quick thinking, and learning crumble at the first sign of trouble or difficulty. This is why people from other states cannot drive in San Francisco, and why people from Castro Valley are scared of public transportation: they are not faced with an adequate amount of stressful environments and situations and so are unable to cope with even the most mundane stimuli.

There is a third form of fitness, however, that is much harder to pin down. It’s partly physical, partly mental, and partly… something else all together. Perhaps more important and more difficult to maintain than either of the others is, for want of a better word, a fitness of character. I’m not talking about and sort of hokey spiritual do unto others yay 4 jesus after school special bullshit most people associate with this kind of fitness, I’m talking about true blue god damn stand up character.

I know droves of people without character, whose personalities and lives are so two dimensional and drab it pains me to converse with them. Do they lie awake at night, filled with a sense of emptiness and hunger, tearing themselves to shreds trying to understand what it is they are missing out on? Or do they drift along in blissful ignorance and ease, condemned forever by their innocence and fear? I honestly don’t know.

There are those of us, however, who need experience to the same degree we do food and water. When my life is boring, easy, or empty, I can feel my character weakening, atrophying at an alarming rate. I become almost suburban in my inability to handle situations, flustered and frustrated by the most trivial events. When the most trying obstacle of my day is making small talk with the cashier at the grocery store and I still stutter and feel awkward, I know something is wrong. Weekends like this one are a must for keeping up an adequate level of resiliency, and although I may be staggering with exhaustion, dehydration, and chaotic brain chemicals, I know I am better for it.

What can I do to keep my character strong, you ask? Let’s use this weekend as an example.

1) Severe sleep deprivation. 7 hours in three days is about right. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you sack up and do it, and overcoming the need for sleep is a perfect example of this. I’m tired as shit but I’m still up ranting, I didn’t cop out like a weak sauce spineless pansy, did I? No. Because I have character.

2) Heavy drinking. Good lord, cheap alcohol is to character building what Met-RX is to athletics. The “quality” of your beverage is inversely proportional to its ability to build character. Microbrews and margaritas build about as much character as watching Carebears reruns or napping. Olde English, on the other hand, packs a powerful 1-2 punch of awful taste and hangover severity which makes it a USDA choice character stimulant. That shit goes straight past your liver to wreck your very soul, and it lingers like a mother in law, assaulting you with misery and discomfort for days after the fact.

3) Getting lost. The farther you are from home and the more stressful the situation in which you get lost, the better. Driving aimlessly through the wilds of San Francisco is a good place to start, but to get the most bang for your buck, I think places like Southeast Asia, Beirut, and anywhere above the Arctic Circle generate the most amount of character per mile. I don’t care how bland you are to begin with, if you’re on the run from the police and low on gas in some place like Istanbul, you’re gonna have so much character you could bottle it and sell it. If you survive.

4) Going to the Oakland Fleamarket.

God dammit I have no idea where I was going with this.

It made sense at the time. Maybe. I’ve spent a lot of this weekend building character, which has obviously taken a toll on my coherence. Let’s move on.

I am looking forward to the new school year with the same sort of optimism and excitement that a death row inmate does his execution. This year is going to be a bitch, and the pathetic amount of motivation I had to begin with ran out long ago. I can only hope that my current balance of academic inertia, despair, and desire to be rid of that cursed university will push me up this last, steep hill. I suppose there’s nothing to do but man up and finish. To drop the ball now would be true folly, downright un-American.

What a terrible god damn post. I blame you.

I can feel the weasels closing in now, baying and scratching at my door. Maybe it’s not weasels, maybe it’s the RIAA come to whip me with an extension cord for downloading Guns N Roses songs. Maybe it’s the ghosts of all my fallen enemies, returning to take revenge on me from beyond the grave; mounds of rotting flesh and bone with hate in their little red eyes. Who the fuck knows. I won’t let you scum take me alive, though. Me and my Louisville are ready for whatever comes through that door. You creepy bastards don’t stand a chance.

God damn, is tomorrow Monday already?

What the hell even happened this weekend?

Where am I?

-T.

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One Response to “… No ticket!”

  1. anonymous Says:

    This post was soooo awesome, i need to start building more charecter; time to get lost.

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