My Bleak Mantra
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Still Frame from the movie Caddyshack

My Bleak Mantra

 Wayne Mason
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 Wayne Mason
My Bleak Mantra
by Wayne Mason  FollowFollow
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Wayne Mason is a writer and sound artist from Central Florida. His words have appeared across the small press in magazines both print and online....read more He is the author of six chapbooks. and is the former poetry editor for Side Of Grits, and The Tampa Bay Muse. Wayne Mason has also been active in experimental music for nearly twenty years. He records ambient, experimental and noise sounds, formerly under the name of Zilbread, and is also a founding member of the experimental/noise project Stickfigure and electronic duo Blk/Mas.
My Bleak Mantra
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Do you know what movie I think about every single day of my life? No, it is not some experimental art house film or a lauded award-winning masterpiece. The movie I think of daily is Caddyshack. I do not even think I have sit through the entire goofball comedy, I couldn’t tell you about any of the characters or even the plot, but there is one particular standout scene.

There is the scene where some kid is giving the rich guy a sob story telling him that his parents will not even be able to afford his college. The rich guy looks at the kid and tells him “Well, the world needs ditch diggers too!” I get the idea it was supposed to be funny; however, to me it comes off like a bleak satori.

I recite that line every day. I repeat it like a mantra at the time clock as I prepare for another day of misery. I hang on the words as if it were a prayer to help me quietly accept my station in life with as much dignity as I can. Of course, it is an obvious fact that not everyone can be the writer, the rock star, or the Hollywood actor. It is a bleak fact that in order for some to succeed, others must fail. However, when I was young it never occurred to me that I would actually be on the losing team.

In the end, I guess the world needed a factory worker more than it needed another writer. Just as it needs ditch diggers, warehouse workers, construction workers, fry cooks, waiters, mechanics, cashiers, telemarketers, thieves, and bums. The world needs a vast support system for the wealthy and warm bodies to be consumers and fill up suburbs.

Inside of this middle-aged body there is still that little boy forever dreaming of being the writer, the rock star, the super hero, the pro wrestler, the ladies’ man, the kid who dreamed of being anything but… mediocre. Perhaps the little shit wasn’t good enough. Maybe he didn’t have the focus, drive, or determination to make it. It’s possible he just spent his whole childhood and most of their adult life focused on fictitious goals because it was easier than swallowing the bitter pill of what life really has to offer.

The kid had the heart, but he just did not have IT.

Luckily, the world needs ditch diggers too. I will tell myself that tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after. I will repeat it like a mantra as my finger swipes the timeclock from here to grave.

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