(Originally published by The Journal of Microliterature)
22 Sparrow Lane
May 1, 2014
Director of Advancement
84 Erie Avenue
Passaic, New Jersey 07055
Dear Selection Committee,
I know it’s an unconventional opening gambit, but I’d like to start by asking you a question. How is this day different from any other? In truth, I wish I could take credit for that line of inquiry. It is the creation of a famous clown, which I can assure you I am not nor do I aspire to be. I just want to be your chief events coordinator.
Returning to the question, however, we might ask ourselves to deal with it impartially. We could start by doing a quick inventory of what we’ve been up to since the moment we decided to get out of bed today. Maybe some of us never slept. Maybe some of us were awakened from a happy dream and thought that was unfair. Maybe some of us were up to no good. Since then, however, what have we done to brighten the corner where we are?
Let me list a few things that occupied me in the beginning hours before I sat down to write this, my opening salvo to you, dear committee.
First there was Costa Rican coffee, some gentle exercise and the jotting down of what I call throwaway scenarios, a discipline. Here’s an example.
A husband gets impatient with his wife and makes a remark. She’s familiar with the pattern and won’t buy in. No sale.
She says, “If you’re looking for a fight, there’s the mirror. Go fight with yourself if you want to fight somebody. I’m not going to have this fight with you right now. Look, you’ve made the dog unhappy.”
In this scenario, I like her. I’m even betting on her. She’s her own kind of situation.
Much of my morning is passed this way, cooking up sketches, dramas, vignettes, all of an instructional nature, I hope. I like to think of them as events that might trigger some discovery about myself or if shared, benefit someone else.
I had the radio on at one point, and the song playing was an oldie called, “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind?” Good song. Only a sample was used because the sports guys on the radio wanted to talk about a potential trade and was the team with the tradable player ever going to make up its mind and such. I missed the sport.
Anyway, the host of the show interrupted his partner before he could explain the particulars. He was nearly apoplectic, “What was that music? Who picked that music?” he wanted to know.
Then the producer chimed in to throw the partner under the bus. “Just wanted to show ya not everything from the 60s was a classic, Mikey! They had their share of schlocky music alright.”
“Schlock! That’s being kind,” the host shouted.
Everyone laughed, including Mikey. What else could he do?
I share the story because sometimes I don’t know how to feel about this gang—the crew that mocks and mocks.
I know people don’t read him much anymore, but Socrates said a mouthful when he said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
I say this knowing full well that if talking about the meaning of life was all one ever got up to nowadays, then they probably wouldn’t make much of a living. And don’t think I don’t recognize the ironies here. But mocking, in my book, is not talking.
In this scenario, you can be sure I’m betting on Socrates. He knew what he was doing. I’m not the first to say it, but I feel I must add that he had gravitas.
My employment history, education, list of the major events I’ve coordinated and the names of movies, TV specials and commercials for which I have done background work are attached. If requested, I can provide a number of personal references and recommendations.
Thanks so much,
P.S. I realize I really didn’t get past midday with my inventory of self, but I believe I have answered the question regarding how today is different from yesterday and the day before and so on—can You! say as much?