Everything Was Beautiful

(and nothing hurt)

Life Via Facebook

I think Facebook destroys simplicity and beauty.  And humility, and refined understatement.  You know, I think there is a saying about how if you have to tell people you are something, you most often really aren’t.  Facebook epitomizes all of that. 

I like people who don’t have them.  They lack the shitload of vanity most human beings tend to have. 

I also think it rots your brain even more than television.  And you’ll end up with Alzheimer’s if you spend the rest of your life on it.

And I think it’s the most depressing thing in the world.  Why is everyone so happy when I am not?  But nobody is really that happy, or pretty, or intelligent, or whatever else it is they like to project (sometimes it’s sadness.  Most the time, if they’re posting on Facebook, they really aren’t all that sad anyway.)

So many times I think of deleting it, and then I think of my family, whom I often correspond with via Facebook.  Next I think of my friends, who only make Facebook invites for events.  And I wonder if I’ll end up falling off the face of the earth if I can no longer be invited to someone’s birthday celebration via Facebook.

But I’d like to go places and not have that stupid urge to take 1,000 photographs.  I’d like to take zero most the time, but a few good ones now and then, to save for my own reminiscing.  It tends to take away from the wonder or excitement of any moment when you’re watching it from your viewfinder. 

I have more to say but I’ll end it here because I’m sensing I’m already starting to sound like a real ass hole (I am, I absolutely am an ass hole.)

Here, my favorite pianist (Richter) plays my favorite piece (Jeux d’eau) by my favorite composer (Ravel).

Lindbergh’s House

I rang your doorbell.  I held my breath to hear it ring inside.  But your door was too heavy, so I couldn’t make out the tune.  I squinted to look through the glass, but I could not see much inside.  Maybe your wood floors.  Your grandfather clock is nice, too. 

No one answered.  I heard you lived here.

Maybe you don’t.

Mr. Lindbergh, I’m not sure you will get this note, but I will be back again.

I’d love to talk about airplanes with you.  I am 11 years old.



I really hope to one day be one of those mothers that my children will look up to so much that they’ll want to submit a photo of me to pictures of my mother and write a really lovely description about me.

If ever I’m a mom, I want my kids to think I am strong, sure of myself, intelligent, loving, and the best damn cook in the world.  I want to make them homemade fruit pies on their birthdays and dinners they’ll always wish they could have again. 

"Make me young!  Make me young!"
Kilgore Trout, to the author.  Gets me every time. 

"Make me young!  Make me young!"

Kilgore Trout, to the author.  Gets me every time. 

hellodentist asked: Did you write the Richard Campbell list? I enjoyed it.

I did I did.  I’m glad you liked it. 

My Name is Richard Campbell. I am 51 years old.

1. Remind myself every day that anything I put my mind to, I can do.

2. Every morning when I wake up, think of something I am thankful for.  This should be a good and refreshing start to my day.

3. When I get down on myself, read aloud my list of what I like most about myself (written down on sturdy notecard paper):

     - I am funny in a charming, self-deprecating sort of way.

     - I have nice, strong forearms that many people have complemented me on.

     - I have big eyes, the windows to my soul.

     - I have a strong jawline.

     - I am gentle and kind. 

4. Spend a considerable amount of time each morning looking in the mirror and thinking positive thoughts about myself.  If nothing comes to mind, I may use the notecard.

5. Take deep breaths at every trying moment and remind myself that I am my best companion.

These are some of the notes I took during my first group therapy session with Dr. Sirmack.  My list of favorite things about myself I actually left blank and filled in later.  I’m not sure yet how well these will work for me, but they sound like good ideas.  Today was the first day I tried them.  This morning I didn’t remember to think of what I was thankful for until well after I left for work.  Luckily we’re never very busy early in the morning, so during a lull of customers I allowed myself to stop and think about it for a moment.

This proved harder than I thought it would be.  I decided to say I was thankful for my job.  But I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say you are thankful for things when you really aren’t.  I thought maybe if I kept saying so, I’d pretty soon find at least one reason to believe it.  I’ll have to ask Dr. Sirmack about this next Monday. 

Today an elderly woman was buying some raw beef.  I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t sealed and soon blood was spilling all over the conveyor belt.  I had to clean it all up by myself.  I didn’t even have a pair of gloves.  Then I had to wait for Brenda to get back from her lunch break to cover for me just so I could go to the bathroom and wash my hands.  I stood there for a while and looked in the mirror.  I tried to think of something nice to think about myself but I felt silly.  Maybe I should just wait til after work.

Now that I think of it, I guess there are some things I like about my job.  I like getting there early in the morning and being the first to open the store.  I turn on the lights, and watch them go on row by row until they reach the very end, where the dairy section is.  The floors still smell freshly of ammonia.  And aside from that, there is the comforting smell of the market itself.  The air conditioning, the produce, the plastic, the rubber of our conveyor belts, it all comes together to make one distinct smell I’ve grown quite fond of over the years.

Omar is supposed to open the bakery at 6, but he usually comes in late.  I don’t mind. I like the quiet. 

I’ve been working at Safeway for 25 years now.  I guess I like the fact that my pay increases every year.  And there are the Christmas bonuses.  And the food that has past its sell-by date, which I’m always allowed to take home. 

I make enough to get by.  I guess I am thankful for that.

Yes, Death. Death must be so beautiful. To be in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

—Oscar Wilde

Things we never had: rules, a clean house, a minivan, family vacations, professional portraits.

The precise moment at which this little boy heard sound for the first time.

The precise moment at which this little boy heard sound for the first time.