Land of the Free This past Thanksgiving morning, I was flipping through the channels when I came across some singer/dancer types performing the title song from "Fame" outside of Lincoln Center. Or maybe it was Rockefeller Center. I couldn't tell.
That alone should have made me change the channel immediately. But I didn't.
For some reason, it reminded me of when I was younger and wanted to go to acting school. As corny as it sounds, I guess that old song was true. If I could get out there and be seen and loved by millions of people, then by golly, I would live forever.
Somewhere during my senior year of college, that desire to be loved and adored by millions of people went very far, far, away. And then I was right back where I started: Out of school, no job, and no clue what I wanted to do with myself.
Or maybe I did know what I wanted to do with myself. Only I didn't want to admit it.
One day I'm going to pack up all of my stuff and take off to St. Petersburg, Russia. I won't know when. I'll decide that day. I won't tell anybody. I'll just be gone.
I have no idea exactly what I'll do when I get there. I figure I'll live out that old Tom Waits vagabond fantasy. You know, going from place to place, hanging out here and there, having a few drinks with the locals.
Then one day I'll see the girl across from me at the bar. She'll be sitting alone --smoking, not talking to anyone, maybe reading a newspaper or knitting or doing some papier-mâché thing. She won't be from around there, either. And she'll have come there for the same reason I did. To be alone.
It will be just like looking in the mirror.
We'll get married and spend the rest of our lives alone together. Playing Scrabble and drinking a Cognac here and there. Summers on the Volga or the Ob. That sort of thing. Of course, by that time, being an American Expatriate will become an act of Treason punishable by death. The American Government will hunt us down and find us. Broadcast live on Fox's "American Treason" (hosted by Ryan Seacrest III) they will kill us on our 55th birthday, live in front of a studio audience.
But I'll be all right with that. Little do they know that, by that time, I'll be suffering with Emphysema and dying of Cirrhosis.
It will be only 55 years. But they will be my 55 years. Our 55 years. Me and my fellow expatriate from across the bar.