(First blog 100% written and published on the iPad. In other words: Expect typos)
A couple of things to note about this blog.
First, very rarely do I write anything that requires a prerequisite.
Well, prerequisites other than the ability to read English, a moderate sense of humor, and a basic understanding of the human race. Other than that, you can pretty much wander into anything I write like a blind man into an orgy, and “feel your way around”.
Another thing to note about his blog is that after sharing the idea with a few people, including my sister, I was given a relentless amount of shit about my subject matter. I only mention this, to further compound any future shit-giving by mentioning that I have been writing this for a long time, and have put wayyyyyy too much thought in it.
Ok, so here we go: I am Reechard Pahrkahr
A few months ago after returning home from the hospital after a somewhat productive stay that I outlined in my last post, I found myself on the couch in the middle of the morning with just about nothing to do and a tv hooked to an almost unlimited source of entertainment. I browsed through the tv listings and settled on the movie “life of pi”. Now at first glance, this was a movie far outside of my normal repertoire but I gave it a chance out of sheer boredom.
By the end of the movie, my brain had found a gear that it hadn’t caught for a long time. That gear that inspired the kind of thought and insight to myself that takes a while to culminate into creative expression like this very blog post. I knew just about immediately that I’d write about it, but wasn’t 100% how or why.
Ok, the movie:
Let’s just assume you haven’t seen the movie, and I’ll give you a spoiler-laden explanation…
The movie is essentially about an Indian kid whose family owns a zoo. Due to economic hardships they are forced to sell the zoo, or at least the animals, and move to America. They load the animals on a freighter bound for the west and on their journey the ship capsizes, killing everyone. The young Indian boy (Pi) survives and is stranded on a life boat with, no shit; a zebra, hyena, and a tiger that is named Richard Parker due to a paperwork error when his family bought him.
Now, Since hyenas are assholes, as we all learned in the Lion King, it quickly kills the zebra, and since Richard Parker doesn’t take shit from Hyenas, he quickly kills the hyena…
So the movie finds the viewer watching a young boy fight for his life on a fully stocked life boat with a fully grown tiger. Not exactly your average Tuesdays at the office.
Earlier in the movie the boy sees Richard Parker kill a goat as a demonstration from his father to never underestimate the killing power of the tiger, and Pi vows to never kill an animal. No matter how much more comfortable it would have made the whole “stranded on a lifeboat” situation. So he works out a method of taking care of the tiger no matter how perilous it makes his already perilous situation.
After a what seems like an endless journey that took them across the ocean, including a quick stop on a meerkat infested island, the lifeboat lands on a beach of a jungle island paradise. Just as the boy realizes that’s he is saved, he looks back to the boat to see Richard Parker bolt into the jungle and disappear.
I can only assume that most people watch this movie, which I really enjoyed, and identify with Pi. Not because curry is delicious, and we’ve all been a young Indian boy at heart, but because he was faced with a situation that tested his moral fortitude, perseverance, and will to survive. He adapted and overcame like the greatest of marines, and triumphed over the universe’s greatest attempts to screw him over.
I am Reechard Pahrkhar.
I am that adversity in your life that ultimately makes you better. Maybe adversity is a strong word. How about Friction. Friction is a good word. I’m the whetstone that a blade gets drug across to make it sharper. The sandpaper that finishes a fine wood carving. The germ that makes your body’s ability to fight off an infection stronger. Without friction, nothing moves forward. Space travel taught us that.
Now before you start thinking that I am in any way speaking of myself in a self-deprecating manor, let me stop you. I am in no way saying that I am a bad thing. I just am what I am. The tiger kills the goat in the beginning of the movie not because it is a bad animal, but because it is a fucking tiger. That’s what tigers do. You give a tiger 100 chances to be a tiger, and I bet you a dollar to ten, he’s gonna be a tiger 100 times.
I absolutely have no doubt that I am as far from perfect as a man can be, and I am in no way trying to imply that I am some faulted solution for whatever the hell I think is wrong with people. I am just comfortable in stating that I am not a perfect man, and probably never will be. But what I am is 1000% comfortable with who I am. I’ll never forget years ago my sister was bitching about something I had done or not done, and about how my parent’s reaction was just “well, that’so just Justin”. Yep, Ashley. It was just me. Still is, dear.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months staring into that proverbial mirror and really evaluating who I am as a man. The closer I get to my own conclusions, the more at peace I feel about what I discover. I won’t pretend to try to explain why I am the way I am, but I will always own it. The more I learn about myself, the more I reflect on what I’ve done in my past, and the more I focus on being a better man today. And a better man tomorrow.
Essentially, I am my own whetstone. My own sandpaper. My own germ.
This blog is essentially a lead-in to a new series that I am writing that is the study of being a good man. I have been blessed in my 31 years to have been surrounded by incredible men, and I think there is a lack of great men in the world as we know it. Real men. That live by a set of standards that are universal across any socioeconomic, cultural, religious, or geographic boundaries known to human existence.
So, I guess I’ll wrap this rant up by saying “stay tuned”, and thank you dearly for reading.
P.S. You strand me on a life boat with a little brown kid, and I will undoubtedly try to eat that little bastard every single day. Not because I am a tiger, nor do I have delusions that I am a tiger…but because I can only assume he will taste like Indian food, which I’ve grown fond of.