Sunday, July 08, 2007

To have and have not

Things I have done, and somewhat related or parallel things I have not done, either with regret or gratitude.

I have had many major invasive operations. I have never broken a bone.

I have had LASIK surgery. I have never worn contacts.

I have been married and divorced. I have never slept with someone whose name I didn’t know.

I have slept with a woman eleven years my junior. I have never slept with a woman older than myself.

I have shot and killed an animal in my yard. I have never shot and killed a man in my house.

I have committed a few acts of petty shoplifting. I have never committed Grand Theft Auto.

I have engaged in vandalism by spray-painting a public building. I have never committed arson.

I have been mugged on the streets of Manhattan. I have never given a mugger a sound thrashing, much to my regret.

I have climbed the dolmens at Stonehenge. I have never kissed the Blarney Stone.

I have gone down the canals of England on a barge. I have never sailed down the canals of Venice in a gondola.

I have been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the statue of Liberty, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Empire State Building. I have never been to the top of the Tower of Pisa.

I have been to the skull-filled catacombs of Paris. I have never explored the catacombs of Rome.

I have been accosted by a drunk in the streets of Katmandu. I have never met a lama in Tibet.

I have seen a wild rhino from atop an elephant. I have never seen a wild tiger from atop an elephant, much to my regret.

I have floated down India’s holy river, the Ganges (Ma Ganga!), and witnessed a funeral rite there. I have never gone down the Danube.

I have bought and eaten a soft green coconut off the top of the head of a girl on a beach in Goa. I have never done this in Tahiti, or any other island paradise.

I have seen Roy Jones Junior fight for his championship live. I have never seen Mike Tyson live.

I have seen the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Devo, Ween, the Violent Femmes, and Arlo Guthrie live. I have never seen Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, or Leonard Cohen live.

I have seen a few bar fights, including one guy get knocked cold. I have never broken up a bar fight.

I have lifted weights in a dilettantish fashion all my life. I have never held any weight-lifting records.

I have threatened more than one person with a knife in real anger. I have never been formally charged with assault.

I have been detained and searched by the police. I have never been arrested.

I have been so drunk I threw up for hours afterwards. I have never been so drunk I blacked out.

I have been attacked by a swarm of wasps. I have never once been stung by a bee.

I have tried pot a few times over the years. I have never so much as touched any other illegal drug.

I have been in a few automobile accidents. I have never been in a plane crash, thank God.

I have been through a hurricane and several earthquakes. I have never been in a tornado, thank God.

I have lived out of my car for a month or so. I have never been utterly without a social safety net, thank God.

I have written a novel. I have never published a novel.

I have worked as a professional editor and a freelance writer and illustrator. I have never been a writer on a payroll.

I have been a professional actor on television and radio commercials, stage plays, recorded books and industry advertisements. I have never been a famous actor.

Hey, I’m boring.

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