Posted on December 6th, 2016

The Geography of My Mind – Get Off My Lawn.

I can’t wait until the day I can tell someone to, “Get off my lawn.” Not because I’m a complete jerk or an old fuddy-duddy, but because it seems like a rite of passage. I’ve definitely given someone the evil eye from my porch, made snap judgments, embraced stereotypes of passers-by and preferred people would just leave me alone, but I’ve never yelled “Get off my lawn” to anyone… I have long hair and am often confused with or called a hippie. I’m quick to point out that I punch hippies in their faces. But my point is, one thing I do like to yell at people, people with short hair who are respectable, with families, and minivans, and mortgages is, “Get a haircut, hippie!” or, “Get a job, hippie!” I do this as I speed past on my bike, all my dirtball glory in the wind. I also like to yell at other cyclists, too. I’ll yell, “Your back wheel is going forward!” Most of the time they won’t hear it or won’t understand what I’m saying. Most get the trick. On good days, the sucker will stop and look at their back wheel for a few moments before it sinks in. Fools… I also like to put dog poo on a dollar bill and put the poo-side face down and watch from afar as dopes walk by and pick it up, immediately terrified by what they’ve discovered when they feel they were moments away from something good happening. Then you yell, “Holler, holler, poo dollar!” and laugh maniacally! I’ve actually seen people keep the dollar. Gross…

adviceThe best advice I’ve ever given myself.

Right now, I imagine, you must think me quite the pompous waste of space. Well, thank you. I’m just here trying to enjoy myself. What’s a little poo between humans? I think in general I really don’t like people. We ruin everything. On an individual level there are a few good ones, but as a unit, I think god got it wrong. I think he’s trying to sweep us off the porch as fast as possible because we caught a bug – the “being jerks” bug. While I do have an urge to help people and be less of a jerk, I can’t help but feel my override telling me to be greedy, sinful, self-serving. It’s like there really is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Though, in my case, the devil pushed the angel off a long time ago. I think he’s bled out by now…

You know the song by Porno For Pyros called Pets? The one with the line, “Children are innocent, teenagers ‘messed’ up in the head. Adults are even more ‘messed’ up, and elderlies, are like children”? It’s not true. Every single one of us is “messed” up. That’s how we’re made. It’s like the chicken or the egg – were the original parents made messed up, or did they just mess up the original children? But maybe, just maybe, messed up is what we’re supposed to be. Maybe these ideal standards are all smoke and mirrors and we need our oddities and insecurities to define us. Maybe when you mess up your kid you’re doing him/her a favor. Wouldn’t that be nice? Sure would be cool to get a pass on that one, huh?

Why do I look at people and sigh? Why does their presence come across as defeating to me so often? Every time I have to rely on someone and they let me down, it causes me to lose faith in humanity. I make plans that get stored on my backburner: to recede into the night, to go off the grid, to cut all ties with the human race. Unfortunately, I have gotten soft over the years (maybe I have always been) and I doubt I could do that – as much as I’d like to. But I figure one of these days the idle threats I make in my mind will be realized: one day I will never fly again because I don’t like being treated like cattle and charged an arm and a leg for it; one day I will learn to do all the basic home/car repairs because I can’t count on someone to do it correctly; and one day I will rid myself of the need to interact with people who just rub me the wrong way. That’s why becoming a crotchety old man is so appealing: because then I can say, “Get off my lawn!” and not only mean it, but people will abide. No one wants to rile the old man’s nerves: he’s crazy; he might have a heart attack; he’ll make our lives miserable! Yes, all true!!!

Then there are those old people who seem to have it all figured out. The ones who love their life, who age like wine, who love the company of others. What’s their problem? Old age should be the time for embracing schadenfreude; for reveling in the misery of others. After all, this is what we’ve been working towards our whole lives: doing what’s best for us and ours; making the perfect family/home/life; climbing the corporate ladder; painting the perfect picture; building the picket fence. What do you think that fence is for anyways? It’s for keeping people off your lawn!

I love a great quote, and one that applies here is: “Good fences make good neighbors.” If we erect borders around as much of our life as possible, and we shield ourselves from ever really having to interact with anyone, then the only people we’ll have to be disappointed with is ourselves. I can picture myself yelling at myself. I certainly have cursed myself for my follies countless times. But what I wonder is, could I ever yell at myself to get off my own lawn? Literally speaking, I don’t think that would work. Figuratively speaking I think I kind of do that all the time. If my lawn is my life, and I’m trying not to mess it up, then it makes sense that I wouldn’t want to step on it and kill the grass. So maybe when I think that I want to tell others to get off my lawn, it’s really my subconscious telling me to get my act together – that I need to get off my lawn and go explore the world. I might just find that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence…

Marco Esquandoles
Adult Child

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