Who We Are

I just wanted to let you know who we are, in case you are simply a reader of this blog, and you aren’t the kind of person who knows my people in person.

We’ve been accused of not having enough drive, enough spirit, it’s true. We hold doors and pull out chairs, and when that happens, sometimes other people get through the door and other people sit down and we don’t. For some reason, this southern gentility has been named “After You, Dear Alphonse” by none other than Jordana, and it can make for a difficult debate session sometimes.

We don’t close deals the way people think we should. We don’t sprint that last half mile sometimes, unless we’ve paced the race and that last sprint is for a personal best. We aren’t aggressive, we aren’t competitive the way we should be. We don’t submit our work to enough people, we don’t make enough phone calls to contacts, we just don’t close deals the way people think we should.

There is something about the way we were raised, something about how we live our lives as men and women, where we just don’t know how to exploit a contact, how to take advantage of an undeserved situation, and we too often see our situation as undeserved.

Last night, our team played an arch rival, and we played just terribly. We had a sinking feeling right from the beginning of the game, that same feeling we had on election night, that feeling that what had been said about us was too much, what had been said about the opponent was too little. There are things that weekend warrior basketball players do, bouncing a dribble off your knees, trying to do too much when you are triple teamed, forcing the game, that our team did from the first second last night.

We didn’t deserve to win last night, at all. The other team is nowhere near as good, and they were working at triple their talent level to achieve something.

These guys I know, the guys with websites and loads of publicity pictures, the guys who have eight songs prepared for every audition, who toil to create perfection even in shows they have no interest in being a part of, the writers who finish the plays that will most likely be produced, they deserve the success they get in their little slices of life.

But we, my friends and family, are like slow moving majestic ships, picking up barnacles and stories, slowing down to pick up pirates and princesses, losing the cartage that means the least and building thick sturdy hulls of coral and character. We get lost and defeated sometimes when we look at our complicated stores, especially when we need to streamline, because our storage is nothing but riches.

We will slowly get there. My team, last night, didn’t deserve to win, hadn’t played well, played like people who were asking themselves questions instead of men who didn’t bother to ask. Our coach is a kind man, more concerned about the emotional maturity of our best offensive player than about his game. He knows the game is there, he wants the player to be a man. We played terribly, and yet, with 18 seconds left, we were down by one and we had the ball.

I know what I would have done.

I just don’t have it in me to try to win a game I’ve already lost. Every once in a while I will show up to an audition or a party, and try to make a better life for myself, but every time I do that, I just choke, I don’t even get a shot off. Because, in our living room, where my friends and I make our own tiny art and make our own tiny jokes, I know that if someone happens to walk by and look in the window, I’ll have won the game that I’ve been winning the entire time.

Maybe it won’t happen at all. Maybe I will just be another in a long line of people who wrote their quiet songs and made their own homegrown art. I know there are a million people with garages full of wood lathes who make the most beautiful jewelry boxes you can imagine, and give them away to friends as gifts. There are people taking ballroom dance lessons that never compete, they just live for their two times a week that they dance. And there are people who keep blogs, writing every day these perfect little entries, shaping words into pure poetry without editing and without any thought to publishing.

I have a team with as much talent as I’ve ever seen. And we haven’t won yet. We’ve won a lot of games, and we’ve lost some. But I know the character of this team, I know who we are, and by the time we get to March, we won’t have to steal a victory that we didn’t deserve. We will have won walking in. I know my people, and I know that’s what will happen.