The Hand-Me-Down Game Plan
I don’t hate people, I don’t wish them ill, I wish them safe passage.
I’m willing to stand on the end of the dock and wave as their sailing ship sinks over the horizon.
Stand on the platform and throw kisses as their train pulls out of the station.
Walk them to the departure gate at the airport and look away when Homeland Security fondles their genitals.
I’m willing to send cards on Christmas, Easter and birthdays.
If they’re happy with the hand-me-down game plan, fine, but it’s not my game plan. I’ve fine-tuned the whole thing damn near out of existence. I’m the end result of a lifetime of setbacks.
The hand-me-down game plan has built-in retribution for those who don’t play right — it smashes your face in, and after awhile you become a master mask maker, tack the masks to wooden poles and slip into the shadows. The hand-me-down game plan cannot distinguish between a real face and a mask.
That’s why I steer clear of people. By-and-large they’re emissaries for the hand-me-down game plan, a plan with preordained cues and responses. Enough wrong responses and whack, there goes your face.
After this happens a few times you can join the Freak Show as the man with the mutilated face. People will pay money to come see you, but not a one of them will ask you over for dinner.