Saturday, March 5, 2011

Beggars Banquet

Life is a banquet of sorts, as indulgent of us as we are of it. But more frequently, it seems, a beggars banquet at best. Just being alive on this earth can make beggars of the best of us while it spins of it’s own accord, by it’s own energy, much faster even than our ability to keep up, or catch up for that matter. “Let me off, please. Just slow down and let me off.” Some folks jump, and some ride it out till the bitter end. It really happens, you know it does, that things get out of control even before we understand the difference between what’s still in control and what’s already too far gone. It happens to all of us at times, too often, and frequently without even minimal recognition. Eventually it all gets to feeling out of hand, out of sync, out of sight, out of whack, if you will.

Yes, we fail to recognize the signs, or the obvious hints we find, but, interestingly enough, we never seem to miss a day bowing at the prefab plastic temples on our way to the proverbial spa. The figurative spa. Mecca for the disconsolate, for the discontent. Majagori for the gluttonous, and the self-indulgent. A place of great expectation where we soak up our share of validation, our necessary dose of affirmation from quiet strangers, casual acquaintances, and the pretend friends who are actually bent on our eventual demise. The kind of affirmation we never actually get from one another.

A little knowledge of someone can be very dangerous. Transparency puts relationships at risk. We are so afraid of scaring ourselves, and others, so we seldom let ourselves be known, leaving very little, really, for someone else to be afraid of?
The comfort of the spa remains our cuddle buddy, and the temples our delusional mirrors, the ones that we help erect almost daily with pretentious intentions and self-adoration in spades.

The social routine gives each of us the opportunity to wallow in vague elation, psychic adoration, pleasantries and platitudes. Like Narcissus by the pond, we collect steaming hors-d’oeuvres from the ‘Members Only’ bar, wishing they’d release a list of do’s and don’ts, an instruction manual we could give to those unlike ourselves who, we suspect, might be lacking in even the most basic elements of social grace. Or Stepford protocol.
There should be one of those lists, as they say, to keep the riff-raff out.

Social grace, and Stepford protocol, the requisite down payment for admission to the dance, the mandatory contribution for the fruit salad.
Yes, life is a banquet of sorts, as indulgent of us as we are of it.
But more frequently, it seems, a beggars banquet at best