5:01am In Paris; Met Langston Hughes 

It’s 5:01am here in the City of Love and so far I’m not sure how Paris, France got that name. It would be like calling the United States the City of Tolerance. Thursday was filled with flight cancellations, sick guys on planes and an upset stomach. 

Friday wasn’t turning out much better. We arrived at around 9:00am and since then we’ve walked a dozen miles and had to change hotels. I was this close to hoping on a plane and taking my privileged American ass home but then Paris reminded me it was Paris. 

Wine in a cafe at midnight while I bored my date with details of Langston Hughes and the Paris Transfer written by Arnold Ramperstad. Walking back to the hotel and getting lost, turning a corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Ordering steak tar tar and not realizing it was raw meat, being too prideful to admit my mistake but the waisteess realizing no one orders raw meat. This has been my first day in Paris. 

I miss Whataburger, regular sized restrooms and AC but for someone as serious as I am. Sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan. 

I wonder what day two holds in store. 

The Butterfly Effect (The Smallest Decisions Matter)

Author Demez F. White

Author Demez F. White

One of my favorite movies, not necessarily because of the acting, is the Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher. A quick synopsis of the movie is: A professor or Kutcher builds a time machine and the machine allows you to go back and fix the smallest mistake that changed the course of people’s lives. It could be something as simple as going home instead of to the park or calling one person to hang out instead of another.

The movie got me to thinking about the decisions I’ve made in life. Now I won’t pretend that I’ve been to prison or made mistakes that will haunt me but I do think about small things that happened that may have seemed small but in reality they altered the course of my life. Whether it was not re-taking my SAT’s to get a better score or not doing a semester at sea.

There are so many and to think about them all would not make much sense but it doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t wonder. It’s such an old concept that never really gets old when you think about it. Like what if great generals would have gotten shot right before the war started. What if Rosa Parks wouldn’t have gotten on that bus because she got a phone call that her sister was sick. The effect that one decision can make on who we become and our legacies are exponential.

If I’m being honest I can’t say I regret a lot of decisions I’ve made but I can say that as I get older I regret missed opportunities and where those opportunities could have taken me. The good thing about the Butterfly Effect and life in general is that with each day comes a new opportunity to make decisions that will shape our lives and effect not just us but so many people around us.

Struggle is sort of a foreign concept to me. I’ve had disappointments and setbacks but I can’t say I’ve ever really felt helpless or thought that things wouldn’t work out. That’s mostly because of family and the people I’ve had on my life but struggle scares me. Death doesn’t, we all have to die, I just hope I die accomplished and loved. But struggle, that’s not something I ever want to experience. It’s okay to lose occasionally, you aren’t going to win at everything you do in life but struggling and losing are just different. Losing means you gave your all and you have to formulate a new plan. Struggling is losing on a consistent basis. It’s feeling as though no matter what you’re doing things just aren’t working. That haunts me, the idea that anyone could get comfortable with struggling and not want to fight. Not want to win.

The Good Ones Go If You Wait Too Long

Stop Waiting

Stop Waiting

1. Stop being prideful, you know what pride gets you? A bottle of gin and an empty house. If you miss her, tell her. Don’t text, don’t be passive aggressive on social media. Just call her or go see her and tell her.

2. Please don’t let social media and all these articles blow your head up. I don’t care how many single people there are in this world, if someone is sexy and smart and sweet. They’ll have suitors. No matter how much she’s into you, no matter how much of your shit she takes. There will come a day when her interest dies and there won’t be any turning back.

3. Don’t be the guy that’s afraid to get rejected. You wait and wait and wait not knowing if she’ll like “A guy like me.” Send that message, be honest, be likable. Don’t hide in the shadows hoping and wishing and when you finally get the courage she’s taken. You know how that’s going to feel when she responds, “I would have said yes two weeks ago but I’ve met someone.” Maybe she’s just being nice but maybe she’s telling the truth and your future wife will be drinking hot chocolate in her panties and tank top with someone else.

4. We all like to feel important. It doesn’t make you lame or thirsty for calling the same day you got her number. You aren’t pressed if you see her on Friday night and when you call and tell her you made it home; you ask her out on Saturday. If she’s important to you, if spending time with her feels better than spending time with anyone else in your life. Don’t act like it doesn’t. Letting her know you want to see more of her isn’t creepy, it’s being a man.

5. I once read an article about the art of going in for a goodnight kiss. You should look into her eyes and wait for the right moment and not be too aggressive. That’s loser talk! Look, when you go in for a kiss there can’t be any hesitation. If she doesn’t want that, you’ll know before you’re five feet within her space. Women will deal with assholes, broke guys, pretty boys but what they won’t deal with; is scary men. Don’t be the guy that turns her on with your conversation, cologne, mannerisms and then falls into the “Just a Friend Zone” because you never took the chance to take it to a more intimate level.