Things don't always go as planned. If you've ever lived what most refer to as "life," or if you don't, and have just been following my blog, you might have noticed that. This paper was one of those things that didn't go right. The plan was to go vegan for an entire month, and report on the things I noticed about my body afterward. Simple, right? Well, when it came down to it, I couldn't afford it because of over a thousand dollars in legal fees. On my way to get free internet at a yuppie coffee shop I was pulled over and arrested for a DUI. I was sober. So I procrastinated on the paper and sat down the last day it was due and wrote the following.
One more little bit of commentary before I let you get to it. I feel that I have to ... not apologize, but warn you, I guess. This paper gets a little self-indulgent at times. It is an honest portrayal of where I was at the time it was written, and I look back on this and cringe a little bit. But. It's who I was, and I won't conceal that just because of that. If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I hope you'll join a much more mature Tony for Chef, or the next of The Things.
If you're still with me. . . Enjoy.
Many people view vegans like I do, as whiny, bleeding-heart, preachy, and holier-than-though in everything they do just because they are vegans, and that somehow makes them better than you (just ask them). If you agreed with that statement, read on, if not, I don't blame you, honestly this paper is not for you (I don't want to waste your time any more than I want you to waste mine). My intent is simple, I want to present raw (pun intended) facts regarding veganism without preaching to you, because let's be honest, animals and their products are tasty, and if you aren't reading any one of a million publications in a book or online, you (like me) really aren't interested. It is for these reasons I present to you
Veganism: A View From Behind the Cow
It is never an easy thing to start a paper like this that you instantly fall in love with, for more reasons than just the way the words flow from your brain onto the pixilated representation of the page, only to find out that for one reason or another, it just can't be finished within the time you'd wanted, or at all. It's a problem that not even Queen or Bob Seger, even with the Seven Seas of Rhye or Turn the Page (which are beyond contest their best works) can solve. It's funny that some things that start out so perfectly, as I feel this piece did, will never see the light of day, and will certainly not be turned in or be read by anyone that will appreciate it for what it is, for whether it is an honest expression or not, it speaks to the reader. Sure, perhaps many years from now when I'm cleaning up my hard drive I'll come across this piece and look back fondly on the day I rattled off that paragraph and fantasize about how young and full of hope I was, and wonder where my audacity came from that I would so freely express what would surely have been seen as a blatant lack of regard for my instructor and the educational process at large. I may smile and have a moment to myself then, maybe even shed a single tear of mourning for the loss of that daring young man.
It will inevitably be a moment that my inner sense of manliness would never allow me to share with anyone, and as I realize that, I rue the thought that I might at that point in my life be okay with that, for surely I write this now with tears threatening my eyes.
Even now, looking back on that first paragraph, I feel the slightest hint of loss. I started this paper with such high hopes; I was going to write a wholly contradictory paper on a serious topic, and maybe even improve my health and general wellbeing, as my primary research led me to believe. One simple, seemingly innocuous act later, and the hope for a frivolous masterpiece was dashed upon the rocks, not to be realized. It leads a person to question fate and the Divine Plan, should such a thing exist; what could this paper have been if I hadn't been pulled over that night? Could the writing of this paper and the process of empirically researching this topic have changed my life for a day? A month? Surely, it couldn't have changed the rest of my life. Could it have?
I'm finding it hard to have hope for the future as I read and reread that first paragraph, because this was supposed to have been a paper written for an English class at a Junior College in Utah where nobody is going to notice this particular work or any other I write. Who pays attention to broke ass students in Utah? But that last isn't my point at all. Of all of the papers I've written, this was supposed to have been the one that actually had an effect on me and my life, because while I love cartoons and ranting about Hollywood, this could have actually been a good piece. It could have been the start of something great.
But now, It's a single paragraph at the top of a page that will never reach the bottom.
Honestly, it's just a paragraph; there have been many before it, and there will be countless after it, but it was the great amount of hope, of excitement put into that seemingly jaded and bitter paragraph that set it apart from all of the others.
Hope is what guides us through our daily lives, and I'm convinced that it is the singular force that drives the sun across the sky, and without it, we are lost as a species. I look forward to that tear-filled Tuesday afternoon when I find and read that paragraph, and I hope to God that it makes me remember the young man I am now, and that no matter the broken down, dilapidated body I may inhabit at the time, I can still put words on a page, and that is all I really need to survive. I never saw it coming, but I suppose it was for the best that I present to you instead:
A Prospective Retrospective on Hope
The next entry in The Things is going to be a little different. It will be a short story I wrote called The Fall of Man for a midterm assignment. I'll see you next time!