The Advantage Of Being Forgotten
Yesterday I stopped at Barnes and Noble for coffee and quiche – not exactly a nourishing lunch, but I like sitting amongst all those sweet books.
And there was a man there – not old, not young – he could have been 40 or 60 – one of those men who are not timeless, but of no particular era at all. And this man, sitting at the little unfancy cafe was singing. He was not paid entertainment. He was not even a busker, trying to make a few dollars with his voice.
No, he was not even singing well. He was not even carrying a tune. I sort of recognized the some of the words of the song he was singing, but I couldn’t quite even decide what song it was. Just some vaguely familiar words with no particular melody at all.
He was not loud. But the tune (if you could call it that) was more than just mumbling to himself.
He had coffee and a laptop computer on the table. He might have been singing along to a video.
He might have been crazy.
Two weeks ago, I wrote that I was feeling melancholoy.
I was sad thinking about how I might be forgotten after I am dead. That I would leave no mark on the world. I want to be remembered. I want my life to have meaning.
But I’ve had a few weeks now to think about what such insignificance might really mean.
And here is the answer:
If no one will remember me in twenty-five years, or even five years, or perhaps even five minutes now …
then what difference does it make…
If I cry during Hallmark commercials?
If my knees creak in Yoga?
If I’m bored by Star Wars?
If I don’t bother to balance my checkbook?
If I wear the same outfit three days in a row?
If I never read War And Peace?
If I put ketchup on my fish?
If I stop putting up a Christmas tree?
If I spend too much money on makeup?
If I write mediocre poetry?
If I sing in Barnes and Noble?