I want to do something remarkable. I want to be famous (or infamous) for something.
We ran a 5 km race yesterday. It was reasonably fun; as fun as masochism can be, I guess. I wanted to run it in 25 minutes, which I knew to be unreasonably ambitious, but what the heck. My best friend, Siobhan, who is, apparently, an impressively fast runner, wanted to run it in 22:00, but mostly, she wanted to run it in less time than the Trevors. The Trevors are my Trevor and our friend, also, aptly, named Trevor. The Trevors have some testosterone, being male, and tend to make any race a friendly competition (less emphasis on the “friendly”, maybe). They tend to set lofty goals and then hurt themselves trying to finish them. Other Trevor (OT), on the whole, has more willpower, where my T has more sense. He tends to pull up in time to avoid damage to himself. OT will take it to the mat to achieve his goal. In this case, his goal was to not get beaten by Siobhan. So, he achieved his goal, by a few short seconds. Both said the presence of the other kept them going, and it kept her going all the way to a second-place finish in her category. She is my hero. And it can be stated for certain that if she had managed to beat him, he would be far more bitter than she was (proving, perhaps, that she is actually the bigger man?). Anyway, she is my hero. I have no desire to run a 22 minute 5k, but I want to accomplish something equally impressive (Siobhan will probably say I have, but I can’t think of anything right now…)
For the record, my Trevor’s time was about 24:00 and mine was about 27:20, which, once I caught my breath, I figured I could have done quicker. But then this morning I woke up and realized that it was three nine-minute miles and I was okay with it again. It’s no 7:20 pace, but respectable nonetheless.
No, my desire to be memorable was sparked today by the story I heard of one of our docs throwing a tantrum in the clinic. He slammed things around and swore and then carried on as if nothing had happened. He screams, wrecks some stuff, and then gets what he wants. I want that kind of power. He just doesn’t seem to know, or care, that he is doing little to engender any respect when he behaves like a child. The mere fact of his impressive education and power to grant access to lifesaving treatments does not entitle him to behave inappropriately. In fact, Jack, tonight, went to bed 90 minutes early without much supper for very similar behaviour. His excuse, of course, is that he is 5. No such luck for our doc, although he acts like it.
Regardless, I would like to have the experience, just once, where I could have a good old, rip-roaring fit, and get what I want. I want to not apologize and I want people to remember it and fear me thereafter. Ok, not really, but I think I could get off on that kind of power. I would like to be less restrained in life, I think. I could accomplish much more. If I lived with a blatant disregard for consequences, I may have pushed to my 25 minute 5 k (hell, if we’re dreaming, let’s just say I am physically capable of running it in 22, assuming I don’t really need to walk again for a week or more). I could move to an exotic location or live outside my means or pursue my muse (whatever the hell that means). I want something good to put on my tombstone. Something other than Wife, Mother, Nurse (my major identities, not necessarily in that order, depending on the time of day). I want to be famous for something. I want to be indispensable in a larger context than my little family.
I have a cousin who is newly engaged to a man who is studying to be one of six people in the world who are qualified to do whatever it is that he wants to do. I want that kind of notoriety. It’s a small community, but a world-wide one where legions of undergrads look up in awe at him. I want to be something other than a footnote in someone’s photo album. I want immortality in the way Elvis is immortal. Maybe that’s why I write this drivel… I have a little fantasy that I am slowly gathering my own legion of fans (unrelated to me; the relatives have to read) who will augment the reason for my existence by reading and sending fan letters.
I would rather, of course, be known and respected for what I did to become famous (Elvis, Siobhan), than feared and ridiculed (our flame-throwing doc), so I guess the easy way to fame (for example, crime, obsessive stage-parent) is out. No one respects the skivers, the freeloaders, the silver spoon-born. They get what they want by virtue of circumstances or harm to others. So I guess I’d better figure out what it is I’ll be famous for. Maybe I’ll make that conservative solicitor from the other day happy by becoming a politician and making everything right in the world (which hopefully I could do before the inevitable corruption of the expense account hit). Oh, well, time’s a wasting. I think I’ll go to bed and consider my options. Problem is that they all seem so hard. Maybe crime is the way to go… it’s guaranteed press, anyway. I’ll keep you posted.