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waiting for somebody to talk me out of it

June 2, 2009

I know it’s a crazy idea.  Impractical.  Unrealistic. I get that.  I also know it’s a bold idea.  It hooks you in the gut and drags you out of the limpid element of workaday reality, and up into the atmosphere of the fantastic.  But a phantom hook won’t set.  It has to be real.  I’m testing it out on people, probing for contact.  I’m slowly telling people about it, and waiting for somebody to talk me out of it.  I pick the soft targets first.

I tell my mom.  She loves the idea.  She is full of sympathy for Logan, admiration for me, and romance at the idea.  She has no second thoughts and endorses the idea whole cloth.  I feel buoyed by her reception and tell our neighbor, John.  He does a double-take, and then listens to the genesis and reasoning behind the plan.  His expression changes, and he says that it sounds like a great idea.  John is always good for a wise-crack if he doesn’t agree, so I know he’s serious.  A few days later he calls us and tells Jessie that he’s been thinking about it a lot, and he is totally behind it.  I begin to wonder if I’m being too cautious. 

I broach the idea with James, my best friend.  He and I were both ‘the new kids’ in high school, went to college together, worked summer jobs together, hitchhiked around Europe together.  Our relationship is very much a Kirk and Spock partnership, where I provide bravado and impulse, which James tempers with foresight and reasoning.  The result has been a series of successful, half-baked schemes, ranging from wild costume parties in the 80s to building homes in 2005.

James is now the president of a global headhunting firm and a fundamentally level-headed, genuine guy.  I lay out the plan for him, and he listens patiently, then offers his assessment.  “I think the idea is more harebrained than admirable.”  I am thunderstruck.  He hits the nail right on the head, verbalizes my own suspicion.  But I’m encouraged that he didn’t reject it out of hand.  “So you’re saying that you think it’s partly admirable?”  I can work with that.

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