Thursday, October 04, 2007


This morning, I thought I’d bring you a couple stories, stories of how life changes, of the road along the way, stories of where we’ve gone and how we’ve returned, finding our tracks and following them back to where we started.

But then I decided not to and moved on.

Here’s the thing: Web searches will cause you no end of wasted time. That’s where this all comes from: web searches.

For instance, last night someone read this blog from Chicago (home of the vacuum flapper, pig-oil beer, and the Zeppelin Tube). They found it by running a search for George Sushkoff. I mentioned him a while back as my trusty sidekick in elementary school and my first, best friend.

And I thought about how funny it is that someone looking for George would find out, in the most random way, that he was once known as “Fart Boy”.

(Yes, I was “Fart Man”.)

(I can see you’re not surprised.)

So, I followed this person’s search and was, myself, surprised to find much more than just that. You know, useful information.

What I found was how very different George and I ended up in life. I found a picture of him, with his bride, Rosey.

Wait a minute…

Yes, Rosey. Okay, so maybe not so different. I was once married to someone with a very similar name. But George’s Rose is thin – and the differences do not end there. While he’s made his life about athletic competition; mine has been about performance and reflection. And, though the information dried up shortly after that, I’m sure our lives ended up very different in many ways. It’s clear we took different roads. After all, he lives on an entirely different coast! But I remember, even as children, how different we were. He would clip his nails, always brush, floss, and do all of the things a person is supposed to do. Me? Not quite so much. I ended up a smoker and put on a lot of weight. I drank a lot and went from job to job. Now, sure, I’m looking after my health better now than I used to and have even been known to floss on occasion but you can see how someone who makes a habit of doing things the way they are supposed to be done probably ends up with a very different life from someone like… me.

I would like to think George finished college, for instance. I’m sure he did. I’m sure he has a successful career and makes a lot of money. I would like to think that he’s happily married and he accepts things as they are and doesn’t create problems for himself thinking about the way they “should be”.

But that reminds me of something else I knew about George and that is that he could be very harsh and judgmental. One of the things a reflective life has taught me, I like to think, is a little tolerance and understanding. But I’m hoping George has the benefit of that as well.

I wish nothing but good things for George.

… because I still have all of my hair.

Another search I did yesterday, brought me information about David Graham, also known as David Osborne. (We artistic types are pains in the ass.) Turns out he uses either one, or so it seems, with capricious glee.

When David acted in my first play, Everything Changes, he told me how he was envious of me and how he wished he could have the discipline (I prefer to think of it as psychosis) to write a play. Well, it turns out he did and it was well received up in Los Angeles. If David and I were still in touch I would send a cheerful “Bravo”! But… we’re not.

And that’s probably a good thing, too. After all, David was always far more “right wing” than I… hell, Hillary is too! He’s probably far more supportive of the current war than I could ever be, for instance.

Here’s an example of what I mean by how he was more “right wing”. When David and I were once debating worker’s rights, he once asked me, “Don’t employers have the right to hire and fire who they wish and pay what they wish?” I didn’t have the proper response back then. I hadn’t thought about it enough back then. But I had a sense he was wrong. What I should have said was, “Absolutely not! Workers have a right to take part in any endeavor in which they have contributed. By hiring people to help their business, employers make an unspoken agreement to allow their employees to play a part in how the company is run.”

As I say, we are a bit different.

So, this morning, I’m thinking about George and David and how very different my life has turned out from theirs and because of them, and visa versa. But I am not unsatisfied by where I’m at. Finding Success has given me a great deal more perspective that I once had, allowing me to be able to look over there and, like travelers seeing footprints or seeing a distant sail, hope that person once here but long since on a very different road finds beneficial conditions and a safe journey.

But I do wish I could be there when word of “Fart Boy” gets back to George…

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