Thursday, November 18, 2010

Until the Day After

We got home late from Key West wondering whether or not Iris' dad and Ina had starved to death awaiting our return. We walked around the back of the house to the deck overlooking the Atlantic on three sides and found Cees and Ina enjoying beer, books and broiled fish that Cees had caught and cleaned. Relieved that no one had died, we decided to head out and grab some dinner for ourselves. We made our way up Route 1 toward Miami stopping to refuel at Summerland Key (a mile up the road) and then to Ramrod Key (three miles up the road) settling on Boondocks Grille, Draft House and Miniature Golf for dinner.

Doing my best to look cool emerging from our Ford Flex, we walked past a couple of geriatric motorcycle gangs (who appeared to prefer lawn chairs adjacent to their Harley's to tables and bars) into the open air barroom. Fortunately, in addition to twenty TVs providing access to football, basket ball and commentary, it was trivia night. The themes playing through loudspeakers strategically placed about the room ranged from "name that tune" to "order the planets in the solar system" to "how many years did Wayne Gretsky score more than 200 goals in a season." (Not that I was paying attention to them.)

As we reviewed the menu of rather pedestrian bar grub and locally grilled fish, Iris spied a "pasta" section. My gut reaction was "Chef Boyardee" (an American purveyor of canned spaghetti and meatballs), but nonetheless, per a conversation that Iris and I had conducted previously in the day, I withheld comment. Iris loves pasta, but pasta tends to abuse the privilege, so she's been really good about avoiding it. Nonetheless, she told herself that if she completed her half-marathon, she'd give herself permission to indulge. So with a, "Hey, tomorrow's a new day!", she ordered a plate of garlic chicken and broccoli Alfredo.

I ordered a BFD Burger (sans bun) and fries (OK, not much better) and we started talking with me only occasionally interrupting to call out the answer to a trivia question (totally nailed Mamma Told Me Not to Come by Three Dog Night). As we talked, I asked her about "tomorrow's a new day" adding my own tag line, "comma, until the day after". Iris looked at me as if to say, "huh?" Well actually, she said, "Huh?" And I thought to myself, "huh?"

I wasn't exactly sure where the comment had come from, but I went with it. So I came up with the following:

Tomorrow is a new day, until the day after tomorrow
Hence, tomorrow is a new day that runs from midnight tonight
to midnight tomorrow night
Hence, it's (now) not yet being midnight makes not only tomorrow new day,
but today as well
So, until midnight today, today is still a new day!

All this is an apparent oxymoron. Normally, the statement "tomorrow is a new day" is accompanied by the sentiment that "today" ain't! In fact, "tomorrow is a new day" is a sort of requiem for today. It's downright morbid. It's a R.I.P. for today. It's utter and complete surrender.

To be sure, there is often value in surrendering today. However, the value lies in relief, in renewal, in rebirth. There's nothing magical about midnight or 7:00 AM or noon. There's simply the organic renewal process that comes with "the next day". What if the value of renewal, rebirth and relief, and it's casual association with the transection of midnight has caused us to mandate that transection to be renewed? What if instead, any moment could be a new day, even if it were the same "day"?

OK, I didn't think all that before I added my little tag line, but I did so pretty much instantaneously with Iris' and my "huh?"

Pretty cool, huh?

How would life change if the renewal of tomorrow didn't require the passage of time? What if I could say, "Tomorrow is a new day, agreed?" and the quickly follow it with, "OK, it's now tomorrow. What're we gonna do?"

Tomorrow is a new day, a place of rebirth and renewal, a place of relief and reinvigoration! Tomorrow is now!

Happy tomorrow... err... today... err... Thursday!

PS, Iris' pasta was amazingly good!

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