And only related to BJJ in a cursory way.
Four years ago or so, I met this strange fellow. He and I were both on the ethics debate team, were both philosophy majors in college, and shared the unfortunate experience of taking the same Metaphysics class. All these years later, I still remember listening to Dr. Gilson lecture about papers with ridiculous titles (“Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity” or “Ontological Reduction and The World of Numbers” or “The Identity of Indiscernables,” in case my audience thinks I was being facetious), finding out that Heath Ledger had just died, and wishing the same fate upon myself to escape the suffering. Anyway. Oh, and by the way, my friend’s name is Gizmodius Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of The North, General of The Felix Legions.1
GDM and I ended up both farting around after graduation (surprise surprise, philosophy majors). After much ado and some strange but formative experiences, I crossed the Pacific (and stayed across for a while).2 GDM, on the other hand, enrolled in a Master’s Program. Now a year later, and having completed all his coursework but not his thesis about Punk and Post-Modernism, he sent word my way last week that he was driving to Brownsville to get a job on a shrimp boat.
Upon hearing this news I was surprised, tinged with equal parts confusion and jealousy. And actually what really happened was that I was reminded of this one time I was traveling back to Austin and had gotten a ride with a school teacher from Arizona.3 Coming from New Mexico, we picked up a nine-fingered hitchhiker, an older and smelly man, just outside of Fort Stockton. He said he was headed for the Louisiana coast to meet up with his uncle, who had a shrimping boat. There was work, if I wanted it. While I thought it prudent, ultimately, to not disembark-and-follow this sunburned, nine-fingered, chattering man in ratty, sweat-stained clothes on the mere promise of shrimping work in Louisiana, I did briefly consider it. Seriously. I thought about it for a few minutes, before watching him turn into a speck in the sideview mirror and finally disappearing behind us as we zoomed Austin-bound out of Junction. That crazy man. What was him name?
Well, I would like to wish the best of luck to my friend, His Holiness GDM. I hope it works out for you – not just because I’m almost certainly going to go with you next time, if it does. May you catch your quota of shrimp quickly, safely, and may you not catch crabs.
1. The Gladiator quotation continues “…loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengance, in this life or the next.” Aaand then Joaquin Phoenix is like “wtf…”
2. To my friends abroad, I think about you all every day. Life takes you in too many directions at the same time. “I like too many things and get hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you.” That’s the only way I can explain it.
3. Stupidly long story.