Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Difference of Opinion

Last week I happened to listen to a CD featuring the group Styx live in concert while I was jogging. The lead singer said a few words about many of the songs before he and the band began performing them:

"This song goes back to 1975. It is a song that I wrote about the Bicentennial celebration.."

"I was sitting in my garage at a little Wurlitzer electric piano. This song popped out and started this whole train a'rollin.."

I recalled that the song "Snowblind" had been listed as one of the tracks on this particular CD and I was very curious to hear what little introductory snippet the singer might utter about it. The first-person lyrics in "Snowblind" are clearly lamenting somebody's problem with cocaine. Unfortunately the band began playing the song with no preamble when I reached that particular track. I chuckled a little bit about that as I continued my jog. The twin challenges inherent in running are coping with the physical exertion and keeping oneself entertained. My mind is always searching for humor as I amble down the pavement each day. I began dreaming up prefatory statements the singer could have made while announcing "Snowblind":

"This song goes back to 1982 when I realized that I'd blown my life's earnings on cocaine and hookers.."

"I was high on coke and barricaded inside my closet with a shotgun. This song popped out of my head and I started scribbling the words on the scraps of Kleenex I was using to blow my nose.."

I was still smiling when I returned to the gym after my run. Of course no one there thought my ruminations were very funny when I mentioned them, least of all Shannan. She stood on the black and gold wrestling mats with her arms crossed and a disapproving expression on her face.

"Do you really think the issue of drug dependency is funny?" she demanded.

That made me laugh harder. What was her problem anyways?

"What do you care? You don't have a drug problem." I said

"I've had friends whose lives were completely destroyed by drugs. One of them is still a mess. Drug addiction is a disease" she angrily asserted.

"Oh, please!" I shot back at her. "Drug addiction is a choice, not a disease. It's just a lack of self-control. If you want to help your addict friend then you should tell that person to grow the fuck up and take personal responsibility for his or her own life. I realize that that type of notion is not fashionable these days and that's why so many people are spending their lives checking in and out of rehab facilities and not making any progress. They pretend that drug use is a 'disease' instead of a decision. You just enable those crackheads by telling them that it's not their fault."

For a second I thought she was going to punch me. Then she blinked heavily and shook her head with disgust. Animosity hung in the air. Shannan took a deep breath.

"Listen, we were supposed to practice some wrestling takedowns." she said after a moment. "Why don't we just do that and forget about this discussion. I'm here to train."

I looked back at her with narrowed eyes.

"Come on." she said as she waved me toward the mat. "I'll help you stretch out from your run."

Oh, what the heck. She was right. We were there to train, not to argue. I followed her onto the mat. And then came to regret it very quickly as her efforts to "help" me stretch quickly turned into acts of sadistic torture..

Of course a very nasty battle ensued in full view of all the other gym members. Join www.TanyaDanielle.com now to see the "Wrestling with Shannan" update and find out who won!

- XXOO Tanya


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