Monday, September 21, 2015

Losing Free Things

I'm learning to be okay with lost free things. It's very hard, I think. Particularly for someone with a very good memory.

Last fall A Jar visited. He was wrapped in a stylish coat and scarves. He was talking about his drinking and how it gets out of hand. "And sometimes you get really drunk on St. Patrick's day and give your iPad away," he said. Pretty interesting when people say "You" when they mean "me." I got a pretty good laugh yesterday while lecturing about how "you" mucks up essays. I read aloud an essay that began, "When you're growing up as a young black man..." I explained, "I will never grow up as a young black man." Grammar jokes, ya dig? Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

So A Jar is, reasonably, sad about this lost iPad. Then he reveals it wasn't his. It belonged to a school he teaches at! A school that apparently just lends stuff out and never asks for it back? Idk. Point is--he lost a free thing. I mean, he possessed it, at no cost, and stopped possessing it, at no penalty. I see how one would be upset, but should he really be? Logically? Nothing ventured, plenty temporarily gained.

It became a mantra that weekend. "We only lost a free thing"--in regard to plans falling through or the immaterial gifts of junk like friendship. Maybe I can say it, but I don't feel chill re: losing free things. I didn't know what CVS ExtraBucks were (basically just free money) until three years after they had been piling up, expiring, in the back of my scooter! I accidentally used my free "Welcome to Uber" ride on a $4 trip. That kills me. I still think about it when I swipe by my app. Those other $26 wasted. (The $26 I didn't have.) I think the solutions lie in 1) recognizing other people deserve goodness and money too. It's not all about ME. 2) This is practice for not caring about the big fat missed opportunities. 3) Hopefully, I don't have those.

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