Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, December 20, 2002

 

The Traffic Light



Instead of feeling depressed and helpless, I feel good about myself. I think I'm going to do a lot of people a lot of good this christmas, and maybe, just maybe, succeed in my main task.

I've got a mission, and although I have a lot of bad times, I have had some wonderful things happen along the way that give me strength to go on.

Here's one story so far:

Last night, at 1 AM, I needed cigarettes. I drove to the store, and on the way home, I stopped at the same traffic light as in my story. There was a kid there trying to hitchhike in the freezing, cold, rain. I almost drove by, the old me would have driven by, then I stopped. He was maybe 17 years old, he lived about 2 miles from me. He shivered as he introduced himself.

I played him my speech, in the car (it's nice to have a captive audience) and he laughed at all the right places, said "Oh yea, I've been there" and nodded his head violently at the crater. He got a real charge out of finding out he'd been at that same traffic light as was in the speech. We sat by his house while we finished listening. He smiled and was happy and said it was awesome.

And then he said: "I wish I could grow up to be like you."

I got choked up - I told him he could, patted him on the shoulder, and gave him the cd. He virtually flew out of the car towards home. He said he didn't have a computer - but that he'd play it for his friends! I hope to hear from him again, he only lives 2 miles away from me.

I'm so happy to have shared just the happy component of my story with someone, and to have done as much good for him and his friends, it makes everything I'm doing bearable... well, for a few hours each time. I think I'm going to pick up more hitchhikers from now on and keep a supply of cds in the back to give away.

I got a nice letter from a lady in australia today, too. Doc Searls, whom I'd read for a long time, asked me to call him up, and we had a wonderful hour long conversation about our lives. He shared some pain about his son, and we discussed copyright law.
Doc said something brilliant: "Just because you're smart doesn't mean you're paying attention". Wow. Thanks, Doc.

I'm doing the art to a CD tonight, with a bunch of uplifting material on it. The guys at Stubborn Records are trying really hard to beat Murphy so that they can upload selected cuts of Josh's first album to me. I plan to go to San Diego on sunday, and drop off copies to every record store I can find, and I'm going to beat up radio stations to play it, and I'm going to buy some air time to give the speech. I won't be blogging as much for the next day or two, but I want to say thanks to everyone that has helped so far, and a Merry Christmas to all.

Love,


Michael
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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