When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wish Fulfillment

(Originally 2/7/07)

Let's talk about it, shall we?

No, Match.ComGirl has not responded to my e-mail. She probably never will. She sounded too good to be true anyway, and they got my money. Match.Com 1, Alan 0. Unless she's out on one of those trips she said she likes so much--and there's no internet where she went.

Anyway, no no. I'm talking about getting a different wish fulfilled. I must do so through an example first.

Back in Missouri, I had been in a Bible School where I tried to become the most upright and righteous servant of God out of the bunch. Just because I felt I needed to be. Because something in the archetype of Upright and Righteous appeals to me. I wanted to be a human paragon of virtue. I don't know why.

Something inside us longs after Goodness. I don't know why. (Unless I do know why. And that answer would begin a religious discussion that I will save for another time.) Yes we chuckle at evil and delight in ourselves when we give in to our baser nature. We wallow in the muck like everyone else and go on with our day.

But when someone true of heart and earnest in the pursuit of goodness passes by, not only do we notice--we aspire. Something about Goodness rings a different chord inside of us, and its' clear contrast to our everyday filth can bring tears to our eyes.

Out in Bible School, I noticed a man who struck that chord in me. By all intents and purposes, that chord only seemed to reside in me alone. Others didn't seem to see what I saw, or feel what I felt. Others mocked him, or resented him, or simply did not recognize him for what I did; which was an earnest person trying to do right by his culture.

One day, when I was feeling particularly base and wallowy, someone caught me by the wrist, literally. I looked down at the hammy grip and got ready to say something particularly stinging, (but nothing to get me kicked out of Bible School), and discovered the hand belonged to the object of my admiration. I'm sure my expression was one of perplexity because he wouldn't let me go. And he hasn't let me go yet.

That was the beginning of an actual relationship. My admiration turned into visits to his home, chess games on recreation nights, dinners with his wife and kids, and alone time to a place called Cotton-Eyed Joe's which served fall-off-the-bone BBQ. He befriended me why? Was it because I was out-of-place and going out of my mind? Was it because I was an oddity he wanted to study? Was it because in his own pursuit of goodness, he saw that I needed him? Whyever, he saved me from ruin. My money had run out, my NY home was lost, and I had no direction or plan anymore. I was trapped in the midwest. And this man rescued me. He taught me what it should look like to be an adult. How to love your children. How to care for, protect, and accept your wife.

What I thought would be a one-sided admiration turned into a real friendship. Over the years, I had found ways to give back to him. I helped him move when it was obvious that he didn't want to. I stood as an ear for him when he released his own frustrations and disappointments. I supported him as a bridge between his old place and his new. He is My Mentor. A wish I didn't even know I had back then, the need for a father-figure, was fulfilled.

Now present-day.

The last six months of my blog has been peppered with gushings about My Hero. I tell you that IMAFOMA, So That's All Right Then. And I sit safely on the opposite coast, admiring from afar this man who appears to be in pursuit of Goodness. I let him shine like a beacon in another dark and rusty time in my life (of which I am determined to let this be the Last Dark And Rusty Time). But I had learned from my relationship with My Mentor, that I should try to give back to the relationship that I had made. For the inspiration and reawakening that My Hero started in me, I felt that I should give him something in return.

So I got him an interview. Then I actualized an audio drama for him to participate in. And now, I gave him an doorway to attend a huge gathering which will hopefully help him gain a large gift for his charities.

And suddenly I look down, and there's a hammy grip on my wrist. Through the doorway that I gave him -- is me! Our two coasts are going to merge and what I only thought of as a distant dream and a fantasy is now two weeks away.

I'm going to pick he and his wife up at the airport and take them to their hotel room, and for the following three days, and maybe more, we're going to hang out. I'm going to show them as much of my city as they want to see. I'm going to give them as much space as they need. I'm going to Be There For Him.

I have said I'm "a friend" of his just because it wasn't forbidden. It wasn't that big a deal, I said to myself. It was like calling myself the Meow of a Cat. It's something that would've been there anyway, even though I wanted to be that Meow more than I want to admit. I remained safely detatched from the commitment I was trying to make.

And now something has changed.

He reaches out to me the same way I reach out to him. He's thankful for me

(for me)

like I'm thankful for him.

I mean, I have My Friend The Doctor, I have My Hero The Cop, I have Grim Jester, I have Childhood Bud. Why is this time so special? What "X"-sized hole in my life is being filled by this real, actualized friendship?

Perhaps it's simply the process of gaining a new friend? It's the endorphin rush of bridging the ever-present gap between us humans? Something that will always feel this wonderful, each time I make a new friend?

Or is it the fact that this one ... this one is different? This one ascribes to Be Better. This one has taken a stand for the Goodness that I've been seeking since I was sixteen. This one wears the same size shoes as My Mentor. This one makes me feel like I Can Be. And this one ... this One ... wants to be friends with me.

How many wishes do I have left?

1 comment:

Alan said...

Scott said...

You shouldn't be so surprised that someone would want to be friends with you. When you realize that you more than hold up your end of the bargain, then, I think, more pieces will fall into place for you.
8:44 AM

Alan said...

You know Scott, you're right. In re-reading the post over the past couple of days (sure I re-read. That's what I put them out there for. Much cheaper then a therapist! D) I noticed the theme of being surprised that these significant people want to reciprocate back to me.

Just when I think I've uncovered an insecurity, I discover a new one.

Why wouldn't they want to be friends with me? I'm a nice guy, I think. I'm funny and considerate (if smiling faces are any indication). I'm sensitive ... and when a person clicks with me, I'm loyal. (Not THE most loyal, but I'm mindful of my friends. It took a nudge, but I DID go see the baby--Childhood Bud, you live two hours north, dude. Can we just have lunch instead, and you show me pics?)

Okay then. Now if I can just go ahead and convince myself I should be good to go.
9:21 AM