I don't claim to have the greatest job. I have a good job, though. Pays well, challenges me enough, allows me to exploit my creativity and talents.
My work also comes with a certain amount of respect. People respect you when you can stand in front of three thousand people and teach a seminar on how the stock market works.
Which brings me to Mark Roberts.
He is the "on time" traffic guy here in Raleigh. Many times between 6am and 7am he comes on, shows us shots from pole-mounted cameras and talks about the headlights and wrecks.
A* and I have become strangely fascinated by him. Its not his bizarre voice (sounds like an effeminate auctioneer with a permanent sinus infection). Its not his "off the cuff" comments like "that is the old golf course which use to be a golf course".
I think its the whole idea. He gets up every morning, goes to work and is on camera half a dozen times... to say nothing of value. No journalistic muscles flexed. The only pressure is to somehow say something different at 6:20am than he said at 6:10am when nothing has changed.
Does he get excited about going to work?
Does he obsess about making it interesting today vs. yesterday?
Does he have standards for himself?
...or does he hate what his life and what his career has become?
I consider myself a thinker. I am rational. I am intellectual and not a slave to my emotions.
Of course, none of the above will be true this Wednesday.
Carolina plays Duke for the first time this season in a few days. At 7pm on Wednesday I will become an emotional wreck. I will scream. I will commiserate. I will stress the f*ck out... even if we are up twenty points.
How? How did it happen? When did it all change? I am a loving and open-hearted man but I harbor real hate for the Duke basketball team. Real hate. When we thought the Duke Lacrosse team were rapists with sticks I still hated the basketball team more.
Sometimes I can take a step back and look at it rationally. I can acknowledge that Couch K is a great coach. I can tip my hat to a small school that has become a Division One powerhouse. It does not last long, though. Soon afterwards I regress back to the dark place where I know, in my heart, that Couch K eats baby feet for his pre-game meal.
You see five kids hit the court in the dark blue. I see five bastard children of puppy-blood drinking whores. I see five kids hit the court in sky blue. I see five golden boys who read Socrates after working all day at the homeless shelter where they healed the lepers with a touch.
Mike Krzyzewski has something to do with the death of one of your loved ones. Roy Williams personally escorts our relatives to Heaven when they die. I know this.
Driving to get coffee this morning I asked myself when this all manifested itself in me. When did I drink the Kool-Aid? I didn't hate Duke when I was in High School. I didn't hate them after I got my acceptance letter. I don't think I hated them my freshmen year at Carolina.
I sure as hell hate them now. I mean hate... as in Hate. Hate.