Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Variable (Man)

I am The Variable Man
A variable is a quantity that may change within the context of a problem. Mathematically, the variable is often represented by an X and in this case X is me. I am the variable and that can be looked at in two ways. First: It’s a positive aspect, meaning that I’m capable of change and adaptation. Or Second: It could mean that I’m the type of person, who has a tendency to change horses in midstream, but if that horse has been rode hard, and put up wet, maybe it’s time for a change.

As I mentioned in my last post, the house we have been renting for the last six years is going to be sold. Naturally, there is a lot of stress and frustration swirling around this impending move. My wife told me recently that I was the only variable in this decision making process. Like Goldberg, there must be at least 30 variations, including commuting, employment changes, and timing. Life is my aria and I contain multitudes. I’m full of contradictions and always looking for alternate routes. The Goldberg Variations put Glenn Gould on the musical map. My variations have put me in debt and on high blood pressure medication. Fifty-five and wondering why I’m still crazy after all these years.

They say that variety is the spice of life, so is it just one spice, or is it a mix like Mrs. Dash or Johnny’s Seasoning Salt? Variety television shows were popular when I was younger. The idea was a comedy sketch, followed by a ballad, followed by another sketch, followed by a dance number…well, you get the idea. A variety of entertainment was contained within the same show. Kind of like life itself. It’s a variety of entertainment in one lifetime that’s over too quickly and has too many commercials. There is no variety in reality shows, which do not resemble life at all.

My career path has not been a straight trajectory. I’ve been a technician, a picture-framer and a bookseller. I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. I can’t fit all of that work history on my résumé! Just the pirate stuff alone would take pages, maps, and an inventory of booty. I don’t see any new employment positions on the horizon, but who knows? Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but he can learn variations on the tricks he already knows. Even old pirates can still be crafty.

Variety is touted as a wonderful thing, but change can resemble dark clouds on the horizon. You wouldn’t say, “Hey, just for variety’s sake, let’s move all of our possessions from this location to another location across town.” As for being the Variable (Man) in the equation, I’m going with answer number one, that I’m capable of change and adaptation – Even though I still sometimes change horses in midstream and get on a blind donkey headed to nowhere.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
              --  Walt Whitman


Dana Gaskin Wenig said...

Well worth the wait. Thanks, Mark. I appreciate how you ponder.

Hayduke said...

Thank you for your kind words.