SUNSETS - A Monologue

James Moats - 03/03/2009

According to the weather reports, sunset was at 5:34 today. It can't go much earlier than that. The days keep getting shorter and shorter, but they seem long as hell to me.

You would never know it from my "To Do" list, though. It's a mile and a half long. It's longer than a whole bunch of long lists tied end to end and wrapped around the earth so many times. Some kind of thing like that. That's how you measure the length of stuff that has a really good length, you know. You stick them end to end and count the number of times you wrap it around the earth.

My "To Do" list, it's long. There isn't any way to qualify it and before you ask, I can't tell you the exact number of times that it would circle the earth. I mean, no one could. It's reliable, or whatever. That's the beauty of measuring things in the number of times they can circle the earth, placed end to end.

For instance, take all the cigarette butts thrown out of car windows in a single day, or soda cans picked up by homeless guys, or Home Depot receipts blowing around in parking lots. There's a good, believable "End To End - Wrapped Around The Earth So Many Times" list right there. Not one of them need to be true. I could make a list of things that you could tie end to end and wrap around the earth this many times or whatever.

Did you know you could tie all the veins in your body together and wrap the earth like three or four times? It's something like that. I don't know, I'm just saying.

When the sun goes down at 5:34, you miss a whole lot of things, right? It's dark.

You don't seem to ever be outside when the coolest things happen, like the sunset. I mean, who's outside at 5:34? Only people who live more than 34 minutes west of their job, or gardeners working late or something, just trying to finish up. The people that get to appreciate sunsets on a day like today, you should be thanking them for it. Someone's gotta be out there watching it happen. Think about the kind of world where no one tried to watch a sunset. Everyone is asleep or still at work or whatever keeps you from seeing it. 5:34 is just too early for a sunset and it makes this world like that other one. Those people are keeping it better than that around here by watching the sunset.

That used to be one of my favorite things to do. I would just go outside and really watch it. Pretty often, too. If you take one of your favorite things to do and do it pretty often, things seem better on the whole. Even if you can't make any money at it.

Trust me. It works. I could spend a whole day at the dentist, getting holes drilled in my face, then get up out of the chair and go watch the sunset, rubbing my jaw and still feel pretty cool about everything. It's important to do the stuff you like pretty often. If you don't believe me, keep doing what you're doing.

Enjoy yourself. Or don't. I don't care.


I'm just saying. I used to watch the sunset pretty often, but I don't do that now that it happens so early. I mean, I would be so lucky to be driving to some place west of here at that time of day. I don't even care if there's a bunch of traffic. I'll sit there all day. I'm made for it. If the sunset is coming, I'm happy as a crab.

Just think, though. That's only one of my favorite things to do. There are boat loads of them. I'm not picky, either. I just like the stuff I like.

Do stuff that you like to do and you'll be set. Go make a list or something.

I have got a few things lined up, coming down the pipe, or pike, or however it's said. I'm counting on something coming up and taking my time, getting me off this "To Do" list. I don't even want to do that stuff, because I don't like to do any of the things that are on it. I was just thinking earlier today, if I could get something lined up where I was, like, making lists, then handing them to someone else to do the stuff and check the stuff off as they go, I would be winning awards at it.

Seriously, I'm that good. You want something you can tie end to end and wrap around a globe, I'm your guy. I'm thorough.

I'll write it twice. I'll go back and edit it for content and punctuation.

Maybe I could get some kind of organizing business together.

I just show up, look at the situation, and spell it out for you. You would know it, too. You would know that your crap has just been sorted. Straight to it.

I was thinking earlier today, that I should make a list of all the things I'm good at. I would rewrite it, then, sorted by how much I like to do the things. Sort them in least to most order, ascending. That way, even starting at the first thing, I know I'm good at it, but I could really give it or take it. You know? When you got something like that, something that you're good at, but you don't really care whether you do it ever or not, well... I say if you can make some kind of living at it, that's like, win and win again. It wouldn't be half bad.

The stuff at the end of the list, that's just too much to ask for. Nobody gets paid to do what's at the very end of the list. You would do that stuff for free, you like doing it so much, so why should some guy pay you to do it?

I'm just saying that of all the stuff I would put on the "Stuff I'm Good At - In How Much I Like To Do It Order (Ascending)" list, if I could scrape by doing the thing I like the least on that list? Yeah. You should wish for a situation so good.

Oh, so yesterday, I'm sitting in my house, wishing there was more light coming in the windows. It's like 7 or something, and I think, Hey. Earlier, there was light in here and now there isn't. And if I go and put the light on, to see what I'm doing, someone's gonna ask for more money at the end of the month. It's not like you can avoid it, the Electric people are gonna ask you for money at the end of the month. The Water people too. If we could get the Electricity people and the Water people together in a tub or something... it would take care of everyone's problems. Bang.

I've just got a scientific intellectual thing. It comes natural to me. That really gives me the edge in the stuff that I do. My mind's always going into those places that you never know if who you're talking to is gonna follow you there or not. I'm not some genius, or whatever, but you know, most people don't have this kind of thing going on. You know, I'm pretty sharp when it comes to two plus twos. Not the math, I mean, I'm no good at the math. It's the A to B, I'll get you there. You want something figured out, I'll get on it. You want me to explain it to you, well, I figure if you're gonna understand what I'm talking to you, you would have figured the thing out for yourself, so I'm not gonna spend too much time.

No offense. Take it or leave it.

Your stuff is solved. You ask me to do it and I'll take it to bed with me, churn it around in there, thinking about it all the time, until I got it all pieced together. You know, it's just like that! Sometimes, I might come back with a whole new set of problems for you, too, though. You probably don't even know what you're asking. I'm prepared to get that too. You could come up to me and be like "Hey, what are you doing, sitting there?" and I'll just say "Stop bothering me." And your problems are getting all lined up and figured out while you're sitting there worrying about what I'm doing.

When I hand it to you, you'll think it's an itemized receipt, but I'll be like "No, man. That's your list. That's what you get. You want an answer? I got a whole list of what you gotta do." Because there's never one answer. There's a list. That's how it is. You need to know that up front.

And see, that's your problem, it seems to me. You go in, looking for it. That knockout punch. You don't even know what you're looking for, but you want me to come along and just snatch it up for you. Like it's laying around here somewhere.

The Answer.

But that's not how it works. I'm telling you now, don't expect it. You want it figured out right? You're getting a list.

Hey, listen, take it or leave it. That's all I'm saying.

I don't even care. That's just how it is.

I'll be like "Call me if you need me."