“So, maybe I did have beer goggles on,” my buddy, Bling, conceded as he crept into the passenger seat of my two-year-old Mustang at 4:30 AM a couple Saturday nights / Sunday mornings ago. “Still, they could have been worse.”

“So, maybe I did have beer goggles on,” my buddy, Bling, conceded as he crept into the passenger seat of my two-year-old Mustang at 4:30 AM a couple Saturday nights / Sunday mornings ago. “Still, they could have been worse.”

“Either way, we were 4 AM Samaritans,” I pointed out.

Bling nodded in agreement as he blew CO2 heat into his fingers which were still buzzing from the dueling devils of the 25 degree air temp and the cold steel that consumed our last few minutes in the Denny’s parking lot.

We rode off into the sunrise.

Somewhere along the slalom from Broad Ripple to Southport, around the luxury warehouse loft apartments in downtown Indianapolis where in the penthouse Bling once reigned (sorry for the moment in history, Bling), a dissident thought rattle through my thoughts – dissonance to the grove of the therapeutic drive. Despite this being my virgin trip to the revered Indianapolis playland of Broad Ripple, amidst the sites and sounds – from the local bars lined up like retail shops to the moonlight grillmasters skewering up steak munchies in the alleys, the thought that kept looping in my head was of a conversation I had with one of the people in our party just before we left for Dennys.

She asked me what I did for a living. Always with the tough questions.

I told her I was a copywriter & SEO specialist.

She’s like, “Oh, so you’re a writer,” as she took another sip of her martini.

“COPY writer,” I corrected.

“Oh, wow, I’m going for an English degree and then get a teaching certificate so I can have a job.”

I smiled and told her it sounded like good times. I told her that because it sounded like good times.

Her spotlight designer blue eyes roll back over to me and asked, “So, what have you written?”

I humbled, “I’ve written songs and poetry and psalms and sermons and business work. Last year, I finished writing a Book of Blues. It’s in editing.

“Wow, so you are a writer,” she reaffirmed.

“Ehh,” I backed off, “Writers are usually those who don’t live enough or are published. I’m not at either point yet.”

“No. You’re a writer,” she supported. Unfortunately, when she said, “No. You’re a writer,” she unintentionally triggered off enough thoughts for me to confess…next time.

Story at hand: the designer blue-eyed lady’s last token harkened me back to a conversation I had 10 and a half years ago in the doorway of a motel room in Alamogordo, NM.

Sunset over Alamogordo, NM
Sunset over Alamogordo, NM. Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons.

I was getting cabin fever watching the rain drip over the edge of a canopy designed to catch sunlight only as my buddy – who inspired the character Søren in Book of Blues – caught up on his cigar. He blew smoke circles through the New Mexican monsoon – both halves of that half-inch of rain – past the sparsely filled parking lot and across the US Highway where was parked a semi trailer carrying boxed goods. I started to think about the truck driver of that semi trailer. Who was he? Why did he park there? Make his 500 mile max for the day? Tired? Vivarin not kick in yet? Still too sober – we were in New Mexico. I asked my friend, “Søren .”

“Let’s go talk to the truck driver.”

“Talk to him about what?” asked Søren, twinkle of curiosity sparkled in his eye.

“Everything. I mean, why is he there?”

“Who knows. Maybe he needs his rest?” considered Søren, stoking the fire.

“But I want to know. I want to write about it.”

“You are writing about it,” said Søren, watching his fire grow.

“What the hell do you mean?” I asked, befuddled.

“In here,” he said, pointing to his chest,”You don’t always need paper to write.”

As this memorable conversation came back to me and danced with the conversation I had with the designer blue-eyed lady, I happened back to the events of the last few minutes with Bling. His intention wasn’t to be a good samaritan; it was to get phone numbers. Then, he reconsidered. But in the end, despite what path got him there, he ended up where he was supposed to be that evening – being a Samaritan. “Not the destination but the journey that’s important” and all those Zenisms. I put that moral together with the designer blue-eyed lady pointing out who I am is not in relation to what I accommplish. And then I filled in Bling’s lesson and the designer blue-eyed lady’s moral with my friend “Søren” and his lesson in Alamogordo, pointing out that it’s not that I follow an accepted standard of craftsmenship, but that my spirit is applying the craft that makes me who I am.

These events rattled in my head for all three blocks before I came to a resolution, and the resolution allowed me to continue the slalom at a peaceful groove:

Some people say you are as how you are defined by your actions. Others say you are as your essence dictates. I don’t believe in either. I don’t have to. Perception is the only thing that suggests I have to believe in either a “defined by actions” or “defined by essense” philosophy and since Perception is just a diva who never wears the same outfit twice, then I abstain, courteously. I do pay a little more attention to the “defined by essence” philsophy because I find the real good people that way. But I do hope that those who use the “defined by action” theory to define those around them will find that I have done more than what my label “writer” suggests – if the “define by action” believers are using my harsh definition of “writer.” If they judge me so, they may take a read of Book of Blues, and so long as people read Book of Blues then I get what I want from that philosophical war because if I am defined by anything, I am defined by Book of Blues.

Sh*t. I guess that makes me a writer afterall.

A revelation. I thank everyone for being where they were supposed to be, whether or not they intended to be there.

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