So begins a story that I will post on tumblr because Kyle Hampton did not find it amusing when I told it in person.
Yesterday Nate and I are smoking a blunt in his backyard, totally at peace because we know that everyone is out. Being the lazy and cursory pair that we are, we do not bother removing the controlled substance from the kitchen counter (one can see where this is heading). Suddenly, the door opens and we hear a fat man’s voice; this fat man is Nate’s dad. We toss the blunt, walk in, and I eloquently say, “Hey.”
His dad’s on the phone, so I make gestures to Nate to suggest that he better fucking pick the weed up off the table, but by this point we assume we’re already fucked.
Skip ahead to the resolution of the story: Nate’s dad somehow does not see the illegal substance that was sitting RIGHT IN HIS LINE OF VISION. Nate tells his dad that he was smoking a cigar, and that I had no part in it.
“Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work - the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside - the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within - that you don’t feel until it’s too late to do anything about it, until you realize with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again. The first sort of breakage seems to happen quick - the second kind happens almost without your knowing it but is realized suddenly indeed. Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation - the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise