To Kricket, who, together with a young Justin, beat us at pool and won a free pint of the finest Natty Light a Tucson dive bar has to offer, and who greeted my friend and I with the joke, “That break was a Dolly Parton break: all bust and no balls,” I say: Thank you. To Louis, who complemented me on my Stetson hat and concluded a ten minute diatribe with the words: “I just can’t stand the sound of rocks under my feet,” I thank you. To the woman who slapped her hands together, proclaiming, “Alright! Let’s do this!” Who then emerged from the restroom with a rake, together with a gentleman wielding a mop, and proceeded to play a most impressive game of pool with said tools in the accompaniment of her Toxic Avenger and concluded her evening with the aforementioned Louise on the dancefloor – as if it was made for her – I say: Congratulations, you’ve got it. And finally, to the remarkably gracious bartender who let me into the holy of holies to gander at the beer selection and left me with a tab I could have paid with the change in my pocket: I am very grateful.
There are people in this world who continue to inspire me, and they are the ones who seem to care the least about social norms, or about intellectual endeavors. They don’t care about politics or class, or where you come from. You meet them, and the meeting is the best part. The real human moments occur in the most unlikely of places. They occur when people gather to express – with stubborn optimism – their desire for a better life. That they should succeed is beside the point. The pursuit is its own justification.