As A General Rule Of Thumb

As A General Rule Of Thumb

Here’s a useful – but simple – metric for your life.

(Note: When I wrote this, I was feeling bored with self-improvement style articles so I wrote something else à la Henry Miller.  I just finished Tropic of Cancer, a pretty dark but super wise novel. I guess you could say I felt inspired to write in a similar vein. So, before you go on and read this, just know that I was trying something different. It’s pretty dark and aggressive, a poor Miller impression, but it was actually kind of fun for me to write. Enjoy). 

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re contemplating a decision, a good way to measure something’s utility is to ask yourself: “Would this be good for me to do every single day?”

For instance, think of all of the things you do during the hours you’re awake; which one of them is good for you to repeat continually, each week, month, year and for the rest of your life?

If it can’t be done over and over again – without doing harm – for the entirety of your time here on this planet, it’s probably not that great.

Do cocaine every day.

Pull the bag out. Wipe your sweaty fingers on your pants so you have the grip to pull the sides apart from each other for it to open. Empty out each small rock, shaking the container. Shake the bag so each little accompanying piece lands on the table.

“Should I blast this line right now?”

Well, could you do it all of the time?

If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t even bother with the first one. But what a boring way to live your life.

“What’s the point of life if you’ve never even really lived?” said the coward who never even had the courage to leave his hometown.

So, classy. On the Mirror and Everything.

It really doesn’t feel that good, does it? Only for a moment, for 15 minutes, maybe twenty, tops.

The guy was stumbling around the block with anxiety bashing against the back of his brain. Sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff.

“If only I wouldn’t’ve done it, maybe I’d still feel normal!”

Lean over the toilet, spew your guts out. Fight outside the bar. Make sure it’s started inside so the bouncers can drag your ass out and lay the boots to you on the street for everyone to watch.

The old man screams, “I’m calling the cops!”

I don’t give a shit what you do, man. I’m just standing out front, hanging out, doing my job, harassing random people that walk in the street. It’s what I’m paid to do you know…….

“You know what I mean, bro? There’s a lot of tough people in this city. I’m Italian. Don’t you know what that means? I’m Italian. Italians run this city, bro.”

The manager pushed this idiot outside and he screamed over and over again, “I’m Italian, I’m Italian, I’m Italian!”

I’m laughing at myself. I’m shitting my pants.

Why do you feel the need to posture about something for every second, moment, hour, day, year, month, week, of your life?

“Bro, I know the owner. Bro, bro, I know the owner bro, bro, dog, dog-bro, bro-dog-dog, bro-dog, I’m the owner, I’m the dog. I’m the bro. Bro, I’m the dog. I know the owner.”

"Bro, I know the owner!"
“Bro, I know the owner!”

Really? That’s odd. Because I’m standing here, dealing with clients, with you being one of them. Why are you here?

Just by the very virtue of the fact that I’m dealing with you in the first place shows you don’t know anyone. Not a soul. If you knew each other, he’d be speaking with you right now and I wouldn’t be.

“It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow,” my dad would always say.

It’s inconvenient to try and type these things out when my space-bar keeps getting stuck. However, I’m willing to look past it. I just don’t have the time to let it bother me.

I keep using this Stevia shit for my coffee and tea in the morning; coffee right when I wake up, tea later, that way I can actually get to sleep.

“Don’t you realize you’re going to get cancer? It’s made with chemicals along with the stevia extract,” she said to me as she shoveled palm trees into her mouth.

But, but, but, but, but, don’t you realize you’re going to get cancer?

Isn’t it amazing how things add up, how they compound on each other second after second, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year?

You’ve got to get your affairs in order. Get a good job, go to University; make sure your assignments are done on a good time.

The manager has you bent over the cash, raping you from behind while stuffing a $20 bill in your mouth. You’re such a whore that you don’t even get a hundred.

Not even enough courtesy to get a reach-around, what a shame. I’m bored. But yet I get up every single day. I’m amazing. When the sun shines on my face in the morning, it’s like everything is grand. Except when the inevitable comes, when, around 3-4pm, I get that afternoon slump. Suddenly, I can feel the whole world crashing down.

Maybe I’ll get another coffee. Fuck it, I’ll crush a couple of caffeine pills, burn it up on the nearest spoon, and shoot it right into my veins.

My eyes are red. They’re bloodshot.

“Are you ok?” she said to me, concerned.

Being that high on caffeine wouldn’t be that bad, it’d be alright, enough to change my perception on that sad piano playing I’m hearing at the corner of my right-hand side.

I walked into my friend’s garage, grabbed the sledgehammer, walked toward the piano while barely being able to hide the delight in my face.

Jump on it, slam, slam, slam.

It’s actually a lot harder to smash a piano then you’d think. It’s solid wood. You’re gonna have to hit that bitch more than a couple of dozen times to really mess it up.

To bust it in until the point of not being able to play it, you’ll have to smash the keys. Maybe even lift up the back of it and go to town on the strings connecting the hammers.

This brings me to my next point. Who invented the piano?

It’s a cool instrument, even cooler than the guitar because it’s so big and majestic, regal, virtuous. It’s like a giant musical-treasure chest. Where would the state of music – as well as humanity – be if Bartolomeo Cristofori hadn’t invented the piano back in the early 1700’s?

The Inventor Of the Piano
The Inventor Of the Piano

The piano is used more now in popular music than it ever has been in the history of the music.

Think about it: MIDI keyboards. The music world has been taken over by laptops and software, which typically are connected to a MIDI keyboard.

Having the ability to play the piano is a huge advantage as an artist, a lot more than playing the guitar. How could I thank my parents for forcing me to take piano lessons when I was a kid?

Bartolomeo worked every single day of his life, building stringed instruments, but no one knows anything about his personal life really because of the lack of literature on it.

Maybe he was too busy building stuff to give interviews.

Everything we know about him comes from bills, birth and death records, and one single interview he gave to Scipione Maffei.

(I know this because I read the Wikipedia page. That’s about as much research I’m willing to do for you).

Nobody gets anything without being disciplined. If you’re trying to accomplish something, every moment of your day has to be for a purpose. In the end, when everything is finished, a couple of hours can be dedicated to doing whatever it is that you want.

How enlightening.

My teeth are withering away. I’m looking into the mirror. I’m looking at my face illuminated by the fluorescent lights, the way they bring out almost every zit, pimple, boil, crevice, and crack that I’ve ever had on my face.

I think, “I’ve got to get the fuck out of here!” as George Carlin once said. My teeth are yellow. So I brush, and brush, and brush, and brush, and brush, and brush, and brush.

Are they still yellow?

But, with each pull on the brush back and forth I can feel more of my roots exposed. It’s a sharp pain. It’s a totally different kind of pain. It’s swift.

How many days of my life are spent brushing my teeth incorrectly? If I brush my teeth for three minutes every single day, twice a day, for 60 years, albeit, improperly, that’s 131,400 minutes of improper, root-exposing, sharp-pain-inducing brushing. It’s three months of your life, purely spent on cleaning your teeth.

Can you imagine standing in front of the mirror brushing your teeth for three months? The thought of it makes me laugh, literally, out loud to myself.

No wonder they hurt.