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Max Roytenberg

Max Roytenberg: Time for Life as a Party

Max Roytenberg December 11 2014, Phoenix Arizona




I don't know about you, but I'm happy to be alive. That's not a surprising statement for most people. It's not remarkable. Why bother saying it?


I am a member of that cohort that's winding down. Things are not always as pleasant at this stage as we would like. The truth is that very often there's something that hurts, physically or emotionally. It comes as no surprise that parts of our apparatus wear thin. We forget that our capacities decline and we strain the equipment as if our times haven't passed beyond our “best before” date. We smoke or drink the way we did when our bodies used to shake off stuff without much damage. Living with pain takes a lot of the fun out of life.


Then there is the worst kind of pain. The people you love start to disappear. You are going to spend a lot of time missing them. Or the people you love are living lives that are not fulfilling, with very little you can do about it. You used to think that you would always be able to pitch in and fix stuff. You find that there are some things you can't do anything to fix, and you sometimes wonder if you played a role in bringing that situation into being. That hurts. And it is hard to bear. Even if it has nothing to do with you, it hurts a lot.


What I started out to write about was how important it is to make life a party. We've done our due diligence.  We know we have all this rough stuff in our kit bag. But we are still alive, man, and it is our job to do something good with what we have left. Let me tell you about my projects.


I have decided that, wherever I go, whatever I do, I'm going to make the life we have around us like a party. I throw dignity to the winds, behave in a scandalous way, if it brings me, and those around me, a bit of fun. Whatever the troubles are that we are carrying around, for those moments at least, we can throw them over our shoulders like a pinch of salt. I am prepared to act a little bit crazy, not really all the way, you know, but a little bit.


My Bride and I have just moved back to Canada from Ireland. We have a small apartment there on the ocean's edge in Vancouver. It is a paradise there, (when it doesn't rain too much,) so much so that we wonder why we did not do it sooner. We are open for visitors, (we have a queen-sized sofa bed in the living room,) and we have already had some traffic. We still have not unpacked everything we brought in, (let's face it, we can be messy,) but somehow we manage. From our balcony we can see ocean and mountains, and we have registered the apartment as a heritage location open for tourists. Every visit becomes a party, whether you sleep there or not. We exercise so that we don't get too fat from all the partying, and we will last longer.


We have the good fortune to have a winter home in Arizona. It is a manufactured home. This is a fancy name for a trailer. So we are a fancy name for trailer trash. This trailer, which masquerades as a house, has a spare bedroom. We have put out the word that we accept visitors to this location as well. And we have had some traffic here. At times when where we were born is covered with ice and snow, our hideaway basks in the glorious sun.


With unbelievable good luck, the immediate location around our winter home has metamorphosed into party central. Our neighbours have built a compound between our units.  Nearly all, (no nationalist outcry,) of our neighbours are CANADIANS. And like us,  all are from the Prairies, and like  most from that region, are accustomed to cooperation.


One  neighbour has a guitar and is a good enough singer to appear in Nashville. (Of course, I have a lovely singing voice as well. That is a true fact!) He even composes humorous ballads. Co-operating to cope with the elements, encroaching Nature, and all manner of wild beasts, every second night we are out there together, with amenable Americans, for Happy Hours, singing and imbibing. It's a party! Keeping the kidneys functioning well will definitely be a challenge.


Let's go for it! Are you coming to the party?                                                                       


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