“Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death—ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life.”—James Baldwin
The mundane. I’m surrounded by people who want to be seen in a certain way; seen in a big way. I want to be a big deal in their world. I want grandiose things, and grandiose sex, and grandiose cars, and grandiose ideas, and grandiose women, and a grandiose job, and a grandiose house, and a grandiose music video (because everyone can have one of those), and a grandiose life. I want to be seen by all, and heard by all who matter, I want things my way and I want you to act my way. I did want all that. I want something else today, something bigger than all that could ever be. Not to blame it on a societal problem, like I always have, but jesus it’s a bigger deal than it may have ever been, to obtain that material success. I don’t want that, its just too small. I’ve done some extravagant things, but when will I see the extravagance in the mundane.
The beautiful, curved, clear, clean, bottle of wine greets us as we walk into St. Mark’s cathedral. The backbreaking pews attempt to banish us. Bowman’s too drunk to notice so he falls quickly asleep. As the Minister begins his sermon Bowman on queue begins snoring. My mother reaches for her purse and swings it around me and David (my second oldest brother), smacking Bowman right on the head. As everyone watches the spectacle, mouths slightly opened, I shrink into the pew, hoping it would swallow me into a world where my life would be different, where I’d feel normal and not embarrassed of my own family. The pews are never that forgiving.