Brian Keaney

Month: July, 2011

Relapse

There is a bar down the Cape that I’ve jogged and driven past many, many times, but in ten years had never ventured inside.  Looking for a somewhat quiet place to catch up with an old friend last weekend, I took her there for a little pregaming before we really went out.  With most of the place empty, we made a little small talk with the bartender.  In the course of our brief conversation, I mentioned to him that I was a recovering addict.

This wasn’t a Sam Malone moment, and I was not confessing a long hidden heroin addiction.  No, I told him that I had been long involved in politics, but was somehow able to recover from all the koolaid drinking.  Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about taking another couple sips and getting back into the game.

No one in my family has ever quite understood my interest in politics, but one has always been actively opposed to it.  As the person who worries about me most on this planet, she has never wanted my paycheck to be dependent upon the whims of a voter.  When I mentioned to her that I had spoken to a friend about jumping back onto a campaign, she was, needless to say, less than thrilled.

Why, she asked me, would I want to associate myself with all the scumbags and scandals we see on TV every night?  I did not point out that the vast majority of people serving in public office are good and honorable people, and that you don’t read about them in the papers for the same reason that you don’t read about all the planes that land safely at Logan every day.

Instead, I invoked the memory of a long-dead Irish philosopher and reminded her that all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.  Why let the sleazebags win?  Why step aside and let those who are corrupt walk right into office with nary a word opposing them?  Why not stand up for the good guys, and try to do some good – or at least oppose the bad – in the halls of power?

I know she was not convinced, but I believe it is a compelling argument.  Besides, as an addict I can rationalize anything.

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My karma ran over my dogma

or: Why my second Jeep shall forever be known as Luca Brasi

This photo was taken near the spot and several hours before Luca Brasi was sent to Davy Jones' locker.

A couple of weeks ago I was out at a bar with a couple people I knew and even more I didn’t.  One girl, whom I had only just met, announced at one point in the conversation that she was ill suited for her job because she really wasn’t a good person.  I thought it was a very honest, if unflattering, statement to make.

I don’t often pray, but when I do it is usually that I might not be such a terrible person anymore.  Not unsurprisingly, it often follows one of my many transgressions.  Seeing as I have a difficult enough time being a good Christian, I don’t even attempt to  be a good Buddist, despite my admiration for the Dalai Lama and respect for many Buddhist teachings.

One teaching that I don’t buy into, however, is that of karma.  Sometimes good things happen to bad people, and all too frequently terrible things happen to wonderful people.  I can’t say with certainty what the state of my little cousin’s soul is, but I doubt he has ever done anything in his short life to warrant being put into the situation he was last night.  I without a doubt have, but again I doubt any of my past sins had anything to do with it.

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I chose life

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit the past few days:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Yikes. I chose life and it’s almost enough to make me want heroin.