There’s about a two hour window before I start thinking everything is bullshit.
That’s mostly a joke, but only because I’m not entirely sure where the reset point is. I certainly wake up thinking everything is bullshit (and that hour we just lost to Daylight Saving Time came directly out of my bullshit window), but there are times throughout the day that I don’t think something is bullshit, so it must reset at some point. Next time I notice it, I should probably write it down.
Last weekend, my fiancée and I took her 6 year old son bowling. Bowling—for those of you who didn’t know—is bullshit, particularly when surrounded by people who take it very, very seriously.
The bowling alley had two sets of lanes going: the black light and projected 80s music video tint of the “Rock ‘n Bowl” lanes and the antiseptic-yet-somehow-filthy glow of the standard lanes. Bekka and I pushed hard for the Rock ‘n Bowl, but her son wasn’t interested in throwing strikes past Cindy Lauper and Captain Lou Albano, so we ended up on the professional side.
Everyone in the well lit section—regardless of skill level—throws like they’re trying out for the PBA. There are elbow braces, gloves, serious looks, special balls brought from home—the works. I can’t fault them for their effort or interests, but it’s funny to see someone take something so seriously when there are two birthday parties going on at the same time. It makes me wonder if they think that if they bowl well enough, they’ll get cake too.
We paid for the 2 hour “All You Can Bowl” spectacular, which meant we needed to bowl just under three games to break even. It also meant that we were really pushing the bullshit window, but it made the kid happy and, after all, Wu-Tang is for the children.
To speed the process up, once everyone found a ball they liked, I went and found a duplicate so that we wouldn’t be wasting time waiting for our balls to drop. This plan lasted for about half a game, when a man with a flappy neck and a four person posse took over the lane next to us.
“Are you guys using all these balls?” He asked.
“No, you guys can…” I started to say, but he had heard enough and started carting off the three balls he felt were the most extraneous.
“Wait, we’re using one of those” Bekka said, almost having to chase after him.
This guy, of course, had brought a ball from home. Though there would have been plenty of room for everyone’s balls even if he didn’t cut our supply in half, I can only imagine he was scared that there might be a freak ball holder accident and his Brunswick would be damaged in the fallout.
He bowled hard, eventually having to take off his tie and pop two buttons on his shirt. And his perfect form paid off, as he closed the game with a 78. For comparison, Bekka’s son used bumpers but never rolled the ball more than 5 mph; he scored a 64.
All told, it took about 30 minutes before I decided I was right about bowling: it was bullshit. I stuck it out though, because I will be goddamned if I pay $20 for one game of bowling.
The issue here is not necessarily my temperamental disposition, though I’m sure that doesn’t help. It takes a lot to get this tank rolling and I run out of fuel pretty quickly when I’m not being pushed by enthusiasm. For example, I love going to concerts, so my bullshit window is considerably larger than it is for something like getting dressed for work. I once took drove 90 minutes to take a 2 hour train ride by myself to see Emperor in New York City. This incurred both considerable cost and effort on my part and if I could go back, the only thing I’d change is that I would’ve seen them both nights they were playing.
The day after standing around for 3 hours in a club of questionable cleanliness, my entire body is enveloped in a haze of dull ache, but as long as it’s worth it, I don’t mind.
It’s harder to find the energy to overcome more mundane tasks. Grocery shopping tires me out to the point that I have to lay down for a minute before I can put the stuff away, so I often put it off until I’m on my last Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant. But no matter how I feel, I will always say yes to going to the movies. That’s not to say I always stay awake throughout the whole thing, but I will always find the energy to make it out the door.
Maybe I need to find a way to divert that burst of energy towards the more middling tasks, so that the reserve tanks don’t kick in only when there’s a possibility of Captain America showing up. If I could spread that energy out, maybe I could actually make something of myself.
Eh, even in the reserve tank there’s only so much space and—eventually—everything is bullshit.