One day I came home from work and wanted to veg. I wanted to eat junk food and watch whatever was on the stupid box. I needed escape … relief from the madness of the deadline riddled world of work. But I couldn’t find the remote. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not like that. The cabin where I’m staying has satellite cable, so if you don’t have the remote, you can’t watch. I gave up after about ten minutes of looking for it. Ten minutes of my life, wasted.
The junk food in the house wasn’t what I wanted so I traipsed off to the grocery store and bought a milky way candy bar and a diet coke. It’s not enough anymore to just buy the regular candy bar, you have to buy the king size. That way you can eat one of the halves and twist it shut for freshness, saving the other half for another time. Only that never happens.
When I finished my “dinner” and had messed around on my mac, I brought my kindle e-reader and mac into my room to try and lay down and get tired. That’s when I discovered that the remote was on the twin bed opposite mine where I keep my suitcase and stack of books. Silly me. So instead of going to sleep at a decent hour, I turned on Apocolypse Now (the only thing on that wasn’t telling me about my belly fat, selling me jewelry, or spewing right or left wing propaganda).
Marlon Brando was performing his intense monologue with the Francis Ford Coppola shadow lighting that emphasized everything he said about making horror your friend. He was describing his memory of little inoculated arms that rebel forces had hacked off children and put in a pile. I remembered how riveted I had been the first time I had watched this movie. I was hypnotized and even pondered once more the words that Col. Kurtz was saying. I awoke two hours later and went to bed.
I didn’t dream. In fact, I slept more soundly than I have in a long time. I awoke refreshed and thought to myself, “Today I will make stress my friend.”
So here now is my rendition of the afore mentioned monologue from Apocalypse Now.
I’ve seen stress, stress that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a manic hormonal bitch. You have a right to fear me, you have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what stress is.
… Stress. Stress has a face … And you must make a friend of stress. Stress and burnout are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was in the Hotel/Resort business … seems a thousand centuries ago … we had discounted our rates to undercut our competitors and sell out. We were overbooked and actually sent five people to the hotel next door after they arrived and all our rooms were sold. After we sold out, the manager on duty that night came running to the front desk and he was sweating. He couldn’t breath. We checked online with our competitors and they had also sold out. They had posted a sign on their marquee stating “No invisible rooms here.” No invisible rooms. And I remember… I … I … I cried … wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my hair out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized … like I was shot … Like I was shot with a diamond … a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God … the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they was stronger than we. Because they could back that, these were not monsters … these were salespeople … educated hospitality people … who fought with their hearts … who had families, who had children, who were filled with love … but they had the strength … the strength to do that. If I had ten divisions of those people my troubles in everyday deadlines and strategic planning would be over very quickly. You have to have people who are moral … and at the same time are able to utilize their primordial instincts to drive a point home without feeling … without passion … without judgement … without judgement. Because it’s judgement that defeats us.