DEATH AND SCHMAXES…

Death and Taxes. Widely believed to be the only things you can count on in this world. The month of April brought me death in triplicate – my mother, Sandra Simmons; dear friend Frank Maguire; former student Jorge de los Reyes.

Enough.

Interesting that both death and taxes demand a price – introspection…an account-taking of sorts, a self-examination that is never cursory and most always painful in one way or another. Not really the deepest thoughts I’ve ever had, but certainly a concept for us all to click on for at least a few self-searching moments. Truth be told, at this point, I’ve had all the self-searching I can handle for awhile.

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I was privileged to see David Sedaris live the other night. If you haven’t experienced his work on some level – book or recording or live reading – you have deprived yourself of a superior talent. Wit, culture, irony, irreverence…profound, tear-gushing, laugh-out-loud humor. Sedaris is the dead-on chronicler of the human condition and everyday absurdity – and a master at his craft.

Some of his best stories are drawn from a diary that he keeps while on the road. Intrigued by the prospects, I’ve taken to keeping a diary, myself. Not a diary full of deep thought or mental anguish or attempts to answer THE BIG QUESTIONS, but one simply of occurrences. An event diary, if you will, that focuses solely on the WHAT. No forays into the whys or hows or significance of. Just a record of experiences with various individuals — friends, family and otherwise — from various times of my life. For now, they will exist as encounters without analysis. Text without sub-text. Lines without between-the-lines. (Remembering without Reminiscing?)  I’m trying to keep the data as raw and as un-examined as possible. Because right now, that’s the best I can do.

I’ll look deeper later. When death and taxes are a little less with me.  And the stories are going to be great – better than ever…you can count on it.

Miss you, Ma.           Miss you, Frank.          Miss you, Jorge.