My inherent smart-ass wisdom informs me daily to never be a afraid to exhibit as much sass and swagger that I can possibly muster up at all times. My personal comfort zone begins at the corner of young arrogant Coco Chanel and old bitchy Gore Vidal. It ends somewhere between Mae West and Little Richard.
When I was a kid all the men I really cared for were ex-boxer wise guys in Italian suits. The women were witty and unfashionably wild. There were a few nervous Nelly and Willy nilly folks about but I never paid them any never mind. They were no fun. Their lack of reckless abandon bored my pre-pubescent absorbent soul. I wanted to grow up to be a full blown character. I revered smack talking, Chesterfield smoking, tarted up “broads.” Like the ones playing poker and cursing like sailors at my grandmother’s kitchen table.
I hated the smoke but I loved the edge.
I was not a tough kid. I was a sweet, sensitive, too sensitive. I was precocious and loved to entertain people and make them laugh. But I was afraid of the anger and prejudice I felt lurking a minute below the smiling faces. I eventually figured out I would get nowhere fast being cookie bait in a sea of sharks. I watched a lot of Bette and Roz. Listened to a lot of Billie and Frank. Wore a lot of black and blackness. By the time I was in my late teens I was accidentally tough. It was a damn good thing cause the breaks were few and stability is hard won.
When you live an uncertain artistic life it doesn’t pay to cut off your ear to spite your canvas.
It is our nature to search for peace. Few of us find it.
Our circumstances as children are our circumstances. For better or worse they didn’t have much to do with us. They aren’t all that meaningful now unless of course you enjoy that sort of thing.
Emotions can be poison. Pretty poison is toxic beyond reason. It is all too easy to become a slave to your comforts when comfort is a stranger. Using adversity as fuel is something everyone that has ever come up hard knows how to do. Bullets fly so you bulletproof your soul. Looking back I know why I was so attracted to these immutable, pugnacious, mid-century ganstas. They already had the ferocious spirit I needed to manifest so that I could walk the often lonely path I chose to walk.
In my experience Life tends to reward the whiley and willing. I learned a lot listening to those people “doing the dozens” around that poker table. You would think it should have helped my card game? No. No. I can’t play a game to save a dime. What I can do and what I know you can do as well is – play the hand you are dealt with swagger. Play it classy. Play it fierce. Play it with love.
And know a bust when you see one.
Sending… Love, Light and Oceans of Bliss for the Highest Good of All.
And so it is!
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Thank you and thank you kindly.