How much change can we take before we’re not us?
Me: You know what our problem is, don’t you?
Me: Even though we know we’re 40, inside, we still think we’re 17.
Him: (laughing) That is so true.
Gave my buddy Bryson a ring the other day. Been laid up with my bum leg again; got injured a few weeks back and it’s not getting better. Bit the bullet and called up the doc today. I’m praying it’s not another ACL tear but it looks more and more likely as the days go on.
Disconcerting. Moreover, it’s the main reason behind my insomnia these days.
In one of those hazy nights, remembered when I actually was around 17. Was at Columbia University at the time. There was an Italian diner on the corner of 116th and Broadway called Ollie’s, run by an Italian dude named Ollie, natch. You could go in and get spaghetti and meatballs – which I did often – a burger, and Chinese food. The reason was because it had a Chinese cook.
Down the street was a diner called The Mill. Picture your typical diner with spinning stools and that was The Mill. They had a Mexican cook and a Korean cook so you could go to there and not just get a burger, but also a burrito or a Korean dish.
No one remembers what they used to be. That’s not true; I remember.
Did you know that Chock Full o’Nuts, the coffee brand, is called that because a fella named William Buck used to sell nuts. But then the depression hit so he had to sell coffee for a nickle.
Thought of that Sunday night when the Breaking Bad series finale came on. The Mill, Ollie’s, and Chock Full o’Nuts – they were born one thing but the world changed around them and they became something else entirely.
Like the Ship of Thesus, I wonder how much change we can go through before we’re no longer the person/thing we once were. Sometimes, something changes us so fundamentally the only thing left of us is our name. In Heisenberg’s case, not even that.
Bryson: The wife is telling me I should take up running.
Me: Ha, mine is telling me the same thing. I’d do it if I didn’t find it so boring.
Bryson: It’s hard to explain why we are the way we are, isn’t it?
Me: Don’t really think I understand it myself. (pause) But it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t do what we do.
Location: my pad, with ice on my leg
Mood: concerned and #$@#$ tired
Music: really want to stay inside and sleep the light away