Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | December 29, 2007

Smallville 2008

“In Smallville,” our town elder told me over beer at his house, where we met after I requested an interview, “we have our rules.

“Now, maybe we don’t follow them right to the letter, we’re not all sticklers y’know, but we try,” he added. “Everywhere else in the world, rules and laws are created as a safeguard against chaos.

“In Smallville, we understand that chaos will always exist, no matter how hard you try to put order into things. Chaos is a way of life. Subverting chaos will be like trying to douse a small fire with a pint of gasoline. It’s pointless! You hear!?” he thundered on, the scent of alcohol lacing a breath that hadn’t been acquainted with oral hygiene for quite some time.

He put down his empty bottle, fished a fresh one out of the cooler, popped it open and took a swig.

“Still, in Smallville, we have rules.”

“We have rules, not to fight chaos but because rules…” he said, pausing and staring into nothing in particular before taking new gulps from his bottle. “help us look straight into the eye of a friend, smile and say y’know what, everything’s all right with the world today.’”

Wait, I’m confu…

“Write this down, boy. Write this down.”

“First, always treat life like a ferris wheel ride. That’s rule No. 1”

“Rule No. 2…”

I just wanted to use this photo, that's all. Hee.

But, wadafuck does…

“Shut up. Rule No. 2, nobody’s asking you to be a saint. Just be a decent human being. You don’t have to make sure every day that you don’t step on people’s toes. Just make sure that if people step on your toes, be like the grass.

“Everybody steps on it but it never complains. Instead, it flourishes. Forget what they say about roaches. Grass, boy, will outlive everything.

“Rule No. 3:  Never ask for a freebie. The best things in life are not free. The air you breathe? You pay for it with the carbon dioxide you expel. Who builds a home out of nothing? Every wooden cabin that rises is a small patch of forest gone.”

“Everything has a price, boy. The salary you earn is a company expense that eats up profit. Life is one big accounting ledger and at the end of the day, you are measured by how well you made sure the credit and debit sides balance each other out.

“Never ask for a freebie. And if you give one, then you’re one stupid fuck.

“No, strike that last sentence out.”

Okay.

He took a few more gulps of beer.

“Where were we?” he said, a hint of slurring starting to thicken in his voice.

Rule No. 4?

“Hahaha. Right. Rule No. 4. Well, you can make that one up as you go. Make it profound. Like, if life throws you lemons, flip the finger at it.”

Wha…

“Rule No. 5. Never expect that which cannot be expected of you. Be your friend’s mirror. Be a reflection of who he or she is. I don’t mean just treating someone to a round of beer because that someone gifted you a bottle of wine.

“You can do it from the other side of the fence too. Like if someone acts like a retard around you, then you have every right to twist your face, stiffen your arms and drool whenever you’re together.

“And if he doesn’t like it, at least he can always pick up a hammer and break you to pieces.

“Rule No. 6. Fuck. I forgot rule No. 6”

Bu..

“Wait. I remember. Rule No. 6 states that the only way to reach the end is to go back to the beginning. Only a fool fears retracing his steps, because he fears revisiting the wrongs he did. A wise man loves retracing his steps because he eagerly looks forward to picking up old souvenirs left behind by friends.”

He tosses his finished bottle and fishes a new one again, burping loudly as he proceeds, with a more obvious look of insobriety across his face, straight to…

“Rule No. 7.”

“Don’t count on tomorrow. Tomorrow is a rumor. Tomorrow is a concept our forefathers created so they could fetch a reason to sit in front of the TV and fatten their asses.

“Tomorrow won’t come. Live fast, love hard. Or is it live hard, love fast? Is there such a phrase at all?”

I don’t think so.

“Anyway, you know what I mean. If you can earn enough to buy a Ferrari today, do it. Because tomorrow, the world will end. And if it doesn’t end?” he trails off, as if waiting for me to fill the blanks.

If tomorrow the world doesn’t end… Okay, I give up.

“If tomorrow, the world doesn’t end, then you have a Ferrari. And that can’t be bad, right?

No, (smartass).

“But, but, but. Remember Rule No. 8,” he said, wagging a finger at me.

What’s Rule No. 8?

“I forgot, that’s why I’m asking you to remember it. Hahaha. I’m kidding.

“Rule No. 8 says that if you’re driving a Ferrari anyway, lower the windows and don’t floor the pedal. There’s no rush to get to where you should be because where you should be at the end is six feet underground. So why hurry?

“A ballgame with friends. A round of drinks with people who still laugh at your jokes. Music. A good book. They, too, are part of cramming everything into today.”

Confusing, but there’s a point somewhere.

“Good, because I don’t think I still have it in me to explain these things anymore.”

“Rule No. 9, keep track of positive stuff. Never lose sight of the good in life. When the moment comes when anger and hatred will seize you, the positive stuff and the good in life are the ones that will keep you from turning into a serial chainsaw killer.

“They’re the ones that help you forgive,” he said, plunging into a long, silent spell

That’s all?

“Yup.”

Just nine rules?

“Yup. If you count the fourth, which you still have to make up. I used to give out 10 of these every year to people like you. But every odd-numbered year, I keep forgetting the last one. Ask me again next year, perhaps?”

Sure, sure.

“And here’s a little something from me. In whatever you do, before you do it, ask yourself this question. Three simple words, one simple question: And then what? It’s the one question that will save you from doing something you might regret.

“Wanna kill yourself? And then what? Wanna scream in anger at a person? And then what? A lot of times, the mistakes you committed in the past, you could’ve avoided if you had asked yourself first, ‘and then what?'”

“I hope you got what you came for boy. Happy New Year. And Happy New Year too, Smallville. Wherever you are.”

And then his neck went limp and he dozed off to sleep.

I tip-toed out of his house and shut the door behind me.

Don’t ask me. When I set the interview, I actually had wanted to simply discuss the comparative effects of different kinds of alcohol on sex.

But anyway, Happy New Year.

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Responses

  1. comparative effects of different kinds of alcohol on sex.

    and now i expect another entry on this.


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