Some day, I want to be an old man that people tell stories about. I’m not sure I’ll care exactly what it is people say about me at that point in my life, but as a 24 year old, it amuses me to consider I might do something of significance without knowing it.
My great-grandfather on my dad’s side, for instance, had a well-known tendency to space out after a few too many drinks at the dinner table, and recite poetry. He was lucid for the entire dinner, he kept up a decent conversation (that was, until his hearing abandoned him), but would eventually slip into a stupor. The best part is everyone knew when it was coming and they would hush up to listen as he obliviously recited it, unaware that you could hear a pin drop, and that the silence was intended for him. The poem he is most famous for reciting is The Face Upon the Barroom Floor by Hugh Antoine d’Arcy. Naturally, I took it upon myself to learn it, and can now recite it, though I occasionally omit a line or two out of disuse of the skill.
If you are unfamiliar with it (as most people in my generation are), it is about a drunk man who stumbles into a bar and talks about how he used to be a great, nearly-famous artist. In the end, he composes a masterpiece on the floor to display his prowess. I won’t give away the ending, but it’s a kicker for sure.
I’m currently working on 5 or 6 music projects, depending on the week, holding up 2 (soon to be 3) jobs, attempting to continue creative writing practice on this here web space, and travelling when and where I can. I could end up a famous artist for one reason or another. Or I could end up as a nearly-famous artist, drunk at a bar, telling stories of the glory days. Or I could end up a drunk great-grandfather, telling stories of other drunk, yet accomplished, men. I don’t think the argument was supposed to be pro-alcohol, but clearly it plays a roll in a lot of fantastic tales of great men.
I guess there is always the option of standing stone-cold sober in front of an audience of thousands, telling my own tale of my own successes and failures in my life to my great-grandchildren, as well as those of millions of strangers.
But you know… I may be happier sitting at a table with just my family, telling tales of who my great-grandchildren could become, should there ever be a need for knights and princesses again in the future (and the way I tell it, there most certainly will be).
Yeah… I think I’ll plan on doing that.