When you’re dead the days you miss will be the ones you can hardly remember.
This is the 12th revelation of this Pontiac Chief given to me, great Zamboni. What do you make of it?
Since you asked, here’s what I think. You see Zamboni knows for a fact that Death is no big deal. You just go to Las Vegas. Of course you have to stay there, but still, unless you were very bad in this upper world, there is a lot to do.
When you’re there you do think back on your life. You will see yourself on the most boring simple of days, running late, going to Trader Joe’s, the dentist, being bored, and looking up at the ceiling or at the TV even when those you loved most were right beside you. The great days, the days of seeing into someones face, the wrestling on the beach, dropping Lobsters into a pot days, those will disappear and not haunt you because they were lived. Only the days not fully lived will haunt ya.
This utterance by the spirit of the great Pontiac was the shortest- just two uttered words, and it was the 10th nugget of wisdom spoked to me after I unearthed the rusted old sedan. Instantly I had a memory excavating what the spirit is talking about.
I was busy tearing down the Berlin Wall in the heady days of 1989, and the way my compatriots and I were going about this was doing wallrides on this vestige of totalitarianism with our skateboards. (Though I am over a century of years old, in the early 80’s I was given an overdose of Jolt Cola and Sun-In hair lightener and Xtacy, mixed together by my nemesis Dracassan and given to me in a champagne glass at a new wave nightklub, with a k). The result of this was not as intended, instead of dying I became renewed in youth and took up skateboarding, the world’s greatest non-sport. I began to skate & destroy, which means to create- as the Hindus teach us- these are but two sides of the same coin.)
So anyway, a bunch of us eastern european bros were eating Perogi, smoking cigarettes we picked up off the ground and trying to outdo each other with our moves of skating. Each of us self consciously trying to do the coolest trick that would knock another piece out of the wall.
Just at that moment, one lanky young man in a tattered old Santa Cruz T-Shirt, climbed to the top of the wall, several yards away from all of us, edged the tail of his board on the ledge, muttered simply “impress yourself” then rode straight down the graffitioed face of it.
Of course he slammed hard to the ground and his elbow exploded in blood, but he persisted to try this trick on his own, (even after most of the guys had adjourned to the cheap beer spot) simply reveling in the private joys of trying something over and over that he wanted to impress himself with.
So herein lies the thing: impress yourself, first and foremost. Who is cooler and worth impressing more than you?
This one sounded at first like a cough or piece of phlegm caught in the throat of this time traveling Chief-
but because I am Zamboni and everything does not escape my retention- I decrypted this glottal gift as “Ga ga” or somehow referring to Lady Gaga herself. I asked the Great Indian, “are you referring somehow to the pop icon Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady gaga?” And the re-animated hood ornament slowly nodded his head.
Needless to say I have thought long and hard about why one of these great revelations is merely the baby-like utterance and nom-de-pop of this singer….for a moment I even feared, “have you, Zamboni finally stepped into a puddle of befuddlement from which you cannot untangle?”
Of course not bitches!
Here is the answer as I interpret. After having a long conversation with the Ga herself, in a lower east side dive, during which we drank several Manhattans and in her male drag persona Joe Calderone
she scratched and adjusted frequently her prosthetic shwang and balls, she said to my astonishment: “Isn’t it strange that I feel less able to be private in private , and more able to be private in public?” After much reflection it dawns on me that the Indian and Gaga is telling me something about myself and our culture at the same time!
I think what he means is that today, people are not sharing anything in private, but instead sharing everything in public. As Shakespeare wrote, “the truth will out”. Truth must come out, like steam or desire. But today we live in a day when instead of a circle of close friends, you might tweet your innermost thoughts into the void.
Long ago I was trapped on a deserted island for two years that was no more than a hunk of sand and one palm tree and endless sea in every direction. One day a bottle washed up on this bump in the Indian ocean. I put inside a note, corked it and threw bottle back into the sea. Months went by, and finally it returned to me. I uncorked, and removed the note. It read, “yes, nice weather we’re having!”
If you give out the small you get back the small. There are those who say nothing new happens and that Gaga is re-hash of Madonna. That is not her fault. They say culture is at a standstill rinse and repeat cycle, this is true and why we love more and more the retro and nostalgia. The theatres that book Zamboni complain that their audiences dwindle. There is something not happening now and it is something like the slow death of dreams and the future becoming boring to people as they get more and more interested in the past.
Ovid said “Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” I agree. This age is poker face- impossible to read. But don’t worry! What more interesting times are there to live in than times with no identity? Now we make!
The number five pearl of wisdom revealed to the Swinegali myself great Zamboni is the following: (In the Indian’s creaky voice, he said:) “if you don’t know what you want for dinner, I really can’t help you”
>>>*&^%$?? was my first reaction, but then I realized that so far, this strange amber Indian that sprung forth with the rusted sedan had not so far steered me into any erroneous zones- he must be on to something. But Great Spirit, what?
Then I thought about my ferret, Beulah. I once asked her, “what would you like for dinner?” And she responded, “i don’t know”. This was quite a shock to me! -, as one thing Zamboni is always sure of is what he would like to eat, usually many things are coming to my mind: burritos are nice in San Francisco, Goulash is good in Budapest, Perogi is delish in Poland, and Yak balls are surprisingly good anywhere, while in Vegas, each night I go to Golden Steer. (http://goldensteersteakhouselasvegas.com/)
It seemed strange to me that someone could have not one clear desire for a food. Ah!
So perhaps this is what he is telling us- regardless of what you might have or get- you should always have an idea of what you might like to have. Ask yourself- what would you like for dinner? What do you want in a husband, a son, a job?
It’s not about the getting- its about the wanting. “But Zamboni” you might say, “don’t the buddhists teach us to not want so much? to get out of the cycle of desire/fulfillment/more desire?”
Perhaps, but Zamboni is only about 24% Buddhist, the rest just average Joe with Dreams of Carnegie Hall.
Not sure how to interpret? Listen to great Zamboni:
Every adventure and every day begins with leaving what is known and protective. Leave the house, kill the parents (not literally!) fly away from the nest. Be spirited away- there will be a time to come back. I, Zamboni, would not be Zamboni if I had not left the protective walls of the baron’s castle and joined the Estonian Air Force, married the toothless hag, which in turn led me to my years in the treetop, right?
On The Road, look homeward Angel, go Bulkington and search for the great white whale.