daily preciousness

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


"You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake...
This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."

Maybe Chuck Palahniuk was wrong. Maybe the whole snowflake thing was off, somehow. That's his thought on snowflakes (and humanity) above.

But you know what? Chuck was right about fighting.

How fun it can be to fight. What a joy it is, to go into battle!

By that, I mean play fight, of course. My buddy, Brett, is a perfect foil for me when it comes to this. Not only is he smart and tough, but he's got a really fun attitude that I feed off of. It really only takes, like, two drinks in me before I start to have the "make a scene" juices flowing. If Brett is there, we jump to it. It just happens naturally...

One of us starts an argument and we're in each other's faces, just goin' after it! Screaming, faces just centimeters apart, goin' all Jerry Springer meets Will & Grace. It's a scene. People in the conversational periphery are either shocked, embarrassed, turned on or some combination of all three.

What a delight it is! What an unabashed delight it is to participate in culture jamming with him.

The art of destroying social convention and disrupting the calm energy of public places... that's what I'm about! Unnerving others is one of the few joys of being a public servant. Too bad I can't really do it at work like I used to. But now I have a very healthy outlet for this: socializing with Brett. He's great for ganging up with and unnerving folks in the general vicinity. It's so much fun to watch them squirm as we get all Vanilla Ice ghetto on each other.

Brett is also such a student of human nature and behavior that I always learn something when I'm around him. He genuinely loves what he does -- because he never stops observing people and trying to figure out what makes them tick. Our boy Brett usually keeps it real by pointing out that each of us -- each and every one of us -- is merely a product of his own environment and is therefore special and beautiful. Even people I disagree with. Even people I cannot stand. Even the people that I loathe! That's what I call very subjective objectivity. Oh -- wait. Is that "objective subjectivity?" I don't know. I'm too drunk. Anyway, he points out that everyone's deserving of compassion and the search for understanding. Both points worth remembering!

Whenever he does this, whenever he reminds me that my sense of compassion requires a complete Queer Eye for the Selfish Guy makeover, he reminds me of the Palahniuk quote. You know the one...
You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake..."

- from Fight Club.

(Aside: And of course, by quoting this, I mean that you must read the book which will kick your ass in ten directions and then make you realize how beautiful life is when you embrace a completely urban, hyper-nihilistic post-consumer worldview.)

The funny thing is that Brett makes me believe, if only for the briefest of moments, that it could be true. Maybe we are snowflakes.

I can hear harps playing quietly in the background as this silent revelation revolves around the drain of my mind and then eventually flows in. Yes. it is possible.

His compassion for others and genuine love of people makes me suspect that maybe, just maybe, we are special, beautiful and unique snowflakes. Maybe that unique set of circumstances that creates a special snowflake that is unlike every other one is like the path that we all take to being unique individuals.

OMG. Just imagine if he's right: The poetry of chaos theory informs each breath we take with a hurricane of meaning and consequence.

For example, take the butterfly effect. It's more than just a movie.... A butterfly wing in Nepal creates an atmosphere of open-mindedness in Logan Circle, Washington, DC and, simultaneously sparks a dark, cold, homophobic cloud of hate in the suburbs of Mexico City. (Fascinating. Even when I'm BUI -- blogging under the influence.)

I'm glad to have such enlightened souls in my life. Especially now that Henry's so far away. Let's face it: I need reminders of genuine sweetness and light. It's not like I get that much of it at home. (I'm lucky when roommates David and Howie share coffee creamer, much less remind me of the eightfold path!)

I am fortunate to have Brett in my life. And I'm glad to have conversation, drinks, dinner, or just shared movie popcorn, with him. Thanks, Brett, for being in my life. My life is ending (and beginning again) one moment at a time. But while I'm here, dude, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of those snowflakes.

Cheers to you, Brett!

Note: profound apologies to Chuck Palahniuk for this entry.


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