Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pablo Picasso the artist-- and Rover the Dog

I remember the names of all my dogs and their personalities. My memory of my old classmates from high school is a little hazy though. So there is a class reunion going on for my high school next month, and a classmate of mine, Shelley friended me on Facebook.

Shelley and I were never an item. She's definitely a dish, even now-- but something always seemed to interfere with spending time with her back then. Once I went to see her in my old Corvair. The cops gave me a ticket because my engine was smoking so bad. I had to drive the car home and get it off the road. Another time I saw her I was on the verge of quitting college, leaving home, and moving from San Diego to San Francisco. It all worked out. I've got a great family and a good life.

Last year I lost my job at the US Postal Service. I hated the Postal Service and my job. I had no respect for the management and they had no respect for me. Because of an on-the-job injury, I couldn't carry mail, so they booted me out of the office job they'd created for me. Employing me might have led to the insolvency of the USPS. Heaven forbid.

Being let go from a crappy job might be worse than losing a good one. When I lost my numb skull job, I wondered just how pathetic I had become. Depression set in. I slept, played Farmville, and sat in my hot tub and smoked cigars. I didn't do much even though I had a lot of time. I just marked time, and at near 60, my swagger disappeared. (I've always been way too needy I suppose.)

Consequently, I have begun to examine just what I have accomplished in my life. I admit to all the excesses of youth and more than my share of selfishness. But have I left anything of value?

I'm going to try to tie this all together now. My constant readers, all three of you, are aware of the leaps I take in these blogs. I'm asking you to accept another leap.

My wife and I went to see a Picasso exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco last Sunday. I am not a fan of Picasso. I wasn't keen on him before the exhibit, and am even less impressed now. I like art. I love impressionist art. I love Renaissance art. I find Picasso's art mean-spirited and usually ugly. I know his reputation. I know his imprint upon modern art. He just angers me.

So, Picasso from Heaven can look down and feel fulfilled because he created I suppose.

I don't know what I've left to speak for myself. Some short stories, articles, some good feelings and love. I never cured cancer or volunteered at a soup kitchen.

I like Nabokov, who wrote the novel "Lolita." It is a brilliant novel, as are his other works. But despite all his brilliance, he will be known mostly as the guy who wrote about the love of an older man for a pre-teen girl. Does he get a pass to Heaven?

Is Larry Flynt accomplished because of his fight for journalistic freedom?

When he was alive, did J.D. Salinger feel accomplished, or did he wonder if the Great American Novel and a couple of handfuls of short stories really were all he could have done with his talent?

The tennis player, Bjorn Borg made his biggest splash in life by the age of 21. It's been all downhill for him since then.

I don't have the answers to the questions I might be asking. I wish I did.

I remember my dogs. They came through for me and others.

I remember Shelley from high school. And Jackie Landis and Ron Walashek and Karen Riggs and John Belik. Something special about them made an imprint on my feeble memory.

Some of these people remember me. I hope they judge me favorably. I guess that's the best one can wish for.