An Old Friend

I've got an old friend that keeps wandering in and out of my life. Like most old friends there are things about him that are endearing as well as enranging. Unlike most friends his existence is not physical. No I don't mean he is imaginary, although to some of you it will appear that way, he is way to real for that, especially as he affects my behaviour and moods. What or who am I talking about? Well I don't mean anything as stupid as a guardian angel or other such twaddle, he's the one who provides the inspiration for the rants I've written on those subjects. Maybe if I describe him you'll recognize his description, because his name won't mean anything to you, he's got lots of them depending on which part of the world you live in. The first thing you need to know about him is his age: he's thousands of years old. He is so old that he was old when Christ was born, he saw us building our first rude shelters on the African Savannah and laughed at us as we tried to understand what to do with the pointy sticks and fire. Laughter, that's his most memorable characteristic actually. His laugh. He constantly sees humour places where we wouldn't dream of finding it. Usually it is at our expense; when ever we do something particularly bone headed that little voice that sounds like laughter is bound to be him. There are times when it appears mean, but only because we don't get the joke, and let's be honest here shall we, when we're left with egg on our faces we don't general laugh too loudly do we? But his laughter keeps us honest. Honesty that leads to a great gift. Creativity. It's only when we can be brutally honest with ourselves, get down to our core being and look truthfully at our own foibles and flaws, into our dark parts so to speak, that we can truly be creative. There's no coincidence that the times he shows up in my life are those when I'm going through a particularly difficult growth period emotionally or spiritually. When and if ever I get too full of myself or start taking my life too seriously there he is with a rug to pull out from under me or a banana peel for me to fall on. Sure it pisses me off, especially when I'm feeling particularly sorry for myself, but what else are friends supposed to do? Let you wallow around in your mud? His eyes are always full of mischief, the sparkle puts me in mind of light tricking my eye so that I see one thing while another is really there. Practical jokes are his favorite pass time, although because they mainly backfire on him they provide a lesson for me in there failure. He teaches me humility and respect for others through his bad manners and pride. He's the biggest contradiction I've ever known but he's never a hypocrite because he's only being true to his own nature. He means well and always tries to do the right thing, but usually self interest trips him up in the end and he falls on face or trips over his feet. But he always gets up again, brushes himself off ready for another attempt. His contrariness extends to exemplifying the worst of our characteristics while showing us how to live a good life and inspiring us to create to the fullest of our abilities through the risks he takes. Have you come up with a name for him yet? Well I'll help you out, I wrote a poem for him a while back, and my wife drew a picture to go with it. I'm going to see if I can get them both to show up on this post for you. It may be tricky, but that only stands to reason given the nature of the subject.
The Hitchhicker
Coyote stood on the on the side of the road tongue wagging between his teeth. He adjusted his Black Stetson to shade his eyes for the sun, angled across his muzzle forty-five degrees to the earth. He wanted to snap at his tail, dance the circle dance. But black leather pants got in the way. A Gold tooth sparkled in the sun, a high beam to blind the unsuspecting. He stood on the side of the road, knowing his drive would be along soon. Well that seems to be the best he could do for you today. I did say he had a mind of his own.


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