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Almost Fiction: So many maybes

By Sam Jones


Maybe you were lost in the jungle as a child and raised by wolves. Maybe you were raised by Maori tribesmen and have facial tattoos, or maybe you were raised by religious fanatics who belong to a cannibalistic cult and even though you escaped they are still looking for you.

Maybe you’re single. Maybe you are married. Maybe you have never been married. Maybe you have 12 children. Maybe you have none. Maybe you are a devoted family man who has been married for 48 years. Maybe you are a bachelor who only deals with women on a cash basis. Maybe you are the member of a family who is talked about in hushed tones and your existence is disavowed by your siblings. During holiday dinners maybe you are the one who has to sit between two browbeaten uncles who have been emasculated by their wives, and maybe these wives have the same plans for you. Maybe their intentions are no longer important and you would rather eat holiday dinners from a vending machine at the bus station and deal with the family only through rumors.

Maybe you’re the one that likes adventure films and documentaries about Africa and the desert, and maybe the women you date like romantic chick flicks and screwball comedies. Maybe you like going out to dinner in a coat and tie and look forward to steak and potatoes, and maybe she likes to eat brown rice and orders vegetarian. Maybe you like sushi and maybe she thinks it is bait. Maybe she is right and it is bait, but good-tasting bait. Maybe you like dogs and maybe she is the cat lady.

Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation is a long dual-purpose motorcycle ride from Canada to Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail and maybe you can’t get anyone to go with you because they think it is too dangerous or too long or they are too old or you are too old. Maybe you like camping and when you suggest it to your friends, they say, “I did that in the Army,” or, “My idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service.” Maybe anyone you might take on a vacation thinks a Caribbean boat cruise or Club Med would be perfect. Maybe you liked the old Las Vegas when you could play stud poker downtown with men who smoked cigars and drank single malt scotch, and maybe now when you go to Vegas everyone wants to hang out on the Disneyland strip where pirate ships attack each other every hour on the hour.

Maybe you love to go to the gym and box, and maybe instead of joining you your friends would rather talk about when they used to play golf. Maybe your memory is excellent and you can even remember which suit you wore to the Valentine’s Day dance in high school. Maybe you can remember the girl you took and that you were so afraid of her father you didn’t even kiss her goodnight. Maybe when you accidently saw her at the mall she didn’t even remember high school, let alone you or the dance or the suit you wore.

Maybe everyone you know rides a motorcycle and loves them as much as you do and maybe you just found out that, not only does everyone not love them, but motorcycles are thought to be loud, dangerous, stinky and should be banned from the highways. Maybe riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles is indeed a religion and maybe Hondas do “suck.” Maybe American motorcycles are created with 60-percent foreign-made parts and maybe it is impossible to buy an American motorcycle that is totally American. Maybe we should all buy American and keep our dollars in the country. Maybe that is impossible because the United States no longer makes anything and we have outsourced every product that would right the balance of trade. Maybe Toyotas are built in America and Harleys are built in India and Canadian hockey skates are built in Peru and the fastest car up Pikes Peak is a European Rally car built in Romania.

Maybe cell phones, Facebook and fantasy football are life-sustaining essentials without which the earth would stop turning and we would all be flung out into space and maybe they are just silly luxuries. Maybe there really is a difference between a PC and Apple, but maybe you still prefer a fountain pen and a sheet of paper.

Maybe you fit perfectly in the life you have created and maybe no one gets the picture. Maybe you tried to explain it to your friends, to your family, to everyone you meet on the street and maybe no one understood. Maybe you gave up trying to tell people about the rules you live by and how they differed from their rules. Maybe they tried hard but just couldn’t grasp it.

Maybe when you get up in the morning and read the newspaper with your breakfast… and maybe when you have your lunch and listen to the news on the radio… and maybe when you sit down to dinner and watch the news on the TV you have to pick between right wing conservative propaganda or left wing liberal propaganda or reruns of I Love Lucy. Maybe there is no such thing as a news person without a political agenda, and maybe Walter Cronkite could not get a job on CNN, MSNBC or FOX.

Maybe you know that the sun will come up in the East and maybe you are not so sure. Maybe everything will be all right and maybe it won’t. Maybe, like Monty Python, you understand the meaning of life and maybe you don’t. Maybe at the cocktail hour you change from a gin martini to a vodka martini and maybe you no longer concern yourself with whether James Bonds stirs or shakes.

Indeed, maybe you are the one who likes adventure films and documentaries about Africa and the desert. Maybe the women you date do like romantic movies and screwball comedies. So what!

Maybe this all means something and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I care, maybe you care, maybe we all care and maybe we don’t. Maybe this is all very important and maybe it isn’t.


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