David Byrne, Life’s Big Questions & the Chocolate Chip Cookie

It was as if my inner David Byrne brought about some much-needed clarity, a parting of the obtrusive mental clouds that form in each of us during times of stress, anxiety and an overall feeling of “how the hell did I get here?”

And as much as I want to tell you that this newfound perspective came in the form of some beautiful sign or a touching, Lifetime movie moment where the evil villain (the man), comes to his senses only to find that, yeah, he actually is a louse and a self-entitled fidget, well, I can’t.

It came in the form of a cookie, and it should have tasted really good, too, given that my day was so jam-packed with work that this treat would have to be my lunch. OK, it wasn’t just a cookie; it was a phone call from a friend of mine, too (I was eating the cookie when my phone rang).

“Work? Oh, it’s great,” he began. “Blah, blah, minority owner, blah, blah, blah, privately-funded venture blah, blah, blah, tax credits blah, blah, blah, my wife left me blah, blah, blah…”

I almost choked on my cookie.

My friend proceeded to fill in all the gory details; chief among them was his focus on business and not his home. Sprinkle in some alcohol and, well, the proverbial shit has to hit the fan at some point, right? He stopped paying attention to his wife. And as the old saying goes, happy wife = happy life (unless, she’s a money-hungry bitch with a penchant for snorting coke and banging your best friend). You understand.

It’s a balancing act we find ourselves in sometimes. It’s the ebb and flow of life, coming at you in waves and it takes everything to keep our heads above water, it seems. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re met with deadlines that don’t give a shit about pink eye, kids that would rather eat chips for dinner than the absurdity I tried to make, and a crying baby in the middle of the night that smells like a pickle.

I told my friend that it’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves so much that we don’t know which way is up. This, of course, is a polite way of saying that our heads somehow end up very far up our own ass.

Everyone falls off their boards when they’re navigating through life’s big waves. I’m lucky to have a wife that knows when to pull me to shore, that’s all. All corniness aside, I hear people bitch about stuff like kids and wives and bills and how the Celtics blew an 18-point lead in Game 4. But aren’t those supposed to be good things (save for the part about the Celtics)?

Seriously, I’d like to think that the house, the hot wife, the kids, the car, these are the rewards that the Universe gave me for not being too much of a douche when I was in my 20’s and I didn’t know better. Otherwise I’d still be alone.

At least, that’s what I told my friend during our conversation. He was listening so intently that it was obvious that he had drifted off, fondly remembering better times.

“Dude, is everything ok?”

Then came a click.

“Sorry about putting you on hold, man, that was a stewardess I met last night. So what were you saying about surfing?”

Phillip D. Cortez writes Monkey C Blog mostly every week and is the author of Night Rhythms, a children’s book for people of all ages. His next book, When I Close My Eyes, is due out in the Fall.


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