Darkness In The Center Of Town

We’re back at the gym showing the 22 year-old trainer what we looked at when we were 18 and watching to see his reaction.

“You’re still pretty damn strong. I think we can get you back to looking like that.”

A wry smile washes across our face and is replaced with a question.

“We’re not talking about Hollywood money. We don’t have a producer footing the bill to make sure you get us doing the right exercises the right way and the right number of times. There isn’t a personal chef either.

All we have to work with is what you see here, me and my reflection and the pressure we place upon ourselves to make something more of this.”

The reflection does as is expected and mirrors every move and facial expression. We can see muscles in our arms, back, shoulders and chest coming back to life.

But the center isn’t working as part of the team and so we find ourselves simultaneously smiling and scowling.

Darkness In The Center Of Town

The tick-tock of the clock is louder than ever, its presence made louder by the news of the day.

Not unexpected but the sort of thing that applies an immediate pressure upon you that cannot be ignored.

The darkness from the edge of town has moved into the center and it is obscuring our vision.

I can’t see through it nor can my reflection so all we can do is swing the iron up and down a few more times.

With some luck the rhythmic clinkety-clank will put us in some sort of hypnotic trance in which the weight of the pressure upon our shoulders is reduced three fold.

Time is our frenemy now.

If certain things work as hoped it will take time to determine what sort of impact they have and if those things do not the time taken will be gone…forever.

And we won’t know if we get a second, third or fourth shot at goal so this may be all we get.

It is challenging enough with one, but two makes it a bit more so.

I never asked to prove we could handle expert level but sometimes that is how it plays out so we roll with it or at least these are the lies we tell ourselves to make it easier.

Of The Irish, The Scotch and Bat Mitzahs

Twenty-one years ago we went to a wedding of a family member whose wife to be was the daughter of immigrants from Ireland.

Their reception was filled with large numbers of family that came from various parts of Ireland as well as some from Scotland filling the air with quite the mix of musical voices.

Midway through the evening one of the bartenders told me he loved my accent and asked me what part of Ireland I came from.


“Wow, we have a place with the same name.”

“Yeah, I hear it is quite beautiful.”

We walked away from the bar shaking our heads and laughing–he was either deaf or the band was too loud because we certainly don’t sound Irish.

The Macallan 12 year old has a rich gold colour and an aroma of vanilla with a hint of ginger, which tastes deliciously smooth on the palate.

Twenty-one years later we sit here writing this post while enjoying that vanilla scent and hint of ginger.

It is probably not going to help make our diet reflect the one that mythical Hollywood producer would have paid us to follow.

But perhaps this little snort will help reduce some of the pressure and make it easier to manage the circumstances.

We are reminded of a Bat Mitzvah that took place almost a year ago in which a synagogue member tried to chastise my son and was horrified by my reaction.

When I suggested he run and not walk away from us his jaw dropped and for a moment he fumbled for words.

“I am a member here and I am entitled to speak.”

“You’re not his father and if you cross that line there will be consequences you are not prepared to handle.”

We walked away because we suspected he wasn’t smart enough to read the our mood. Perhaps some vanilla and ginger would have helped.

Perhaps not.

The darkness was on the opposite edge of town then. It made it is way across but we never expected to choose to circle back again.

Be Unreasonable

Two days prior to the present we received word that two projects we have been working upon were greenlighted.

That came shortly after we were told no for the fourth or fifth time.

“You are not being reasonable. What do you want from me?”

“I want you to be unreasonable and to say yes because you haven’t given me a real objection. I fight inertia. You don’t gain momentum and make progress by following reason.

Be unreasonable.”

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