-Hey buddy, I need a little advice, and I know a lot of folks roll through here. I woke up this morning at 4:00 and had to go to the bathroom. Yeah, the rumors about getting older are mostly true. Things twitch that used to twatch, and twatch that used to twitch. I can’t keep track of them all. It’s been years since I traded my sleep apnea for a CPAPnea, but that doesn’t stop the mind from snoring me awake now and again.
And of course I couldn’t go back to sleep. And I got to thinking. “What’s next?” And then I really couldn’t go back to sleep. What’s next? That’s a heck of a thing to think about after slipping the face mask back on.
So, whaddaya think? What’s next?
-Well friend, funny you should ask. Yep, a lot of people end up here or just like to be here because it’s a place, not much different than a church in lots of ways, where folks can relax and talk about something deeper or more interesting than a project at work or how to figure out the latest tax confuserory. That is, the latest mess.
And while some are there just to get away or to have a deeper conversation with someone, I think just like you they all want to know, “What’s next?” Or maybe, “What now?”
Leonard Cohen wrote a poem called My Time, and it started:
My time is running out
I have not sung
The true song
The great song
And y’know, I think that’s what’s underneath the “What now?” people come here to think about. “Time’s a wastin’!”, as Snuffy Smith used to say, and people wonder if they wasted theirs. If they’ll ever do anything truly meaningful. Anything memorable. Anything like hitting a walk-off home run to win the series. Anything like writing Hallelujah or Suzanne or Bird on a Wire, instead of their little blog or bookapoetry.
My advice pal? For what it’s worth? Every minute spent worrying about squandered time or “what if” time is time frittered away. Every second second-guessing, just distressing regressing.
How about you enjoy this great porter we have here tonight, or you’ll miss that too. What’s next will take care of itself.
Trust me. I’m a bartender.
Cohen, L. (2006). Book of longing (1st ed.). New York: Ecco, p. 178