Monday, January 28, 2008

Eternal Happiness Via Text Message

I get the following message from Betty Beatdown at 1:15am Sunday morning:

“You got no legs but you’re running thru my mind.”

At first I was confused, but then I started laughing hysterically. This was a lyric to a song by our old college band, The X-Girlfriends. I had totally forgotten about the song that was titled the same as the text message. The rest went like this:

“You got no legs but you’re running through my mind.
Mark, Mark, Mark, oh would you please be mine?
I must seem so pathetic
To dig a guy with two prosthetics.
Hey! Hey! Hey!
Don’t you run away from me!”

It’s funny how things like that sit in the back of your mind. If you had asked me to name our old songs, I honestly would have forgotten that one, but it’s one of the best (and funniest) in my opinion.

We took a trip to the American Visionary Art Museum this weekend, which is featuring an exhibit on religion. My favorite series on display was several hundred postcards an artist had solicited from strangers. He must have asked people to discuss their joys, fears, expectations, and questions about their religion or lack thereof. It was wonderful, because there were so many things listed on these postcards that I think about regularly – it was nice to know the questions and feelings I have are universal to some extent. As egocentric as it is, part of me thought I was the only person who thought these thoughts.

One such thought was something to the extent of: “I’m afraid no matter what I do in this life that in the end it will not matter, and anything important that I did will not be remembered. I’m afraid that when I die there won’t be an afterlife, I’ll lose who I am, and I’ll cease to exist in any form.”

It must be a human thing to place such importance on longevity of the self (at least in our culture). We become so attached to who we are that we become afraid that all will be lost when we die, and that strips some of us of purpose in life.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when I die, but I am somewhat concerned that the part of me that’s me will be lost forever. I like who I am. Yet, I always come to the conclusion that there’s no fighting whatever it is that happens or doesn’t happen, since I don’t have a say in it anyhow. I conclude to just do my best to be happy and respectful and help others even though the not knowing really bothers me.

So, then, I started thinking about the song lyric Betty had texted me. It existed somewhere in my mind, but I had totally forgotten about it. Yet, it made me so happy when she texted the lyric to me. I texted her back the next line of the song, “Mark, Mark, Mark, oh would you please be mine?”

I’m now thinking that maybe it doesn’t matter if anyone remembers me or anything I do in this life. What’s rad, instead, is my remembering it, just like the song I had forgotten. That one text message generated so much happiness, one of my main goals in life. I’ve always hated the notion of doing something in this life to gain happiness after it. I want the happiness now, and I seem to be getting it, so that, in turn, also makes me happy. I suppose I’m doing an okay job.

1 comment:

Betty Beatdown said...

I don't even know WHY that popped into my head, but it made me very happy too :)