There is nothing more relaxing than sitting outside, sipping on a great dram of Scotch, smoking a cigar, and shooting the breeze with your friends. The realization of time stops, and one lives in the moment, allowing for the natural procession of time to continue on. Nothing else matters, and the world for that period of time simply revolves around that dram of scotch, that cigar, and whatever is being conversed about in the conversation.
“You know that they say that cigars and cigarettes kill people. That every day, someone is being killed by those disgusting habits of sociality.”
What can you do but look stare at this interloper, this person who is trying to rip you out of your moment into his linear time? You see, I believe that living is more important than dying. One cannot control whether they are to die or even when they are to die. Life is Russian Roulette and whether the bullet that strikes you down is old age, smoking a cigar, a car crash, or simply a bullet cannot be controlled.
We are born to keep on pulling the trigger until the gun violently explodes and the game ends.
One can control whether or not we live, truly live. Why worry about the uncontrollable and lose focus on the controllable? Does it make any sense? I don’t think it does. My friend, we all need to live in the moment, for the moment is the only part of time that is tangible. We can shape and mold the moment into the statue that we want. The past is in the past. It must be remembered, but not relived. The future only needs to be planned for. The present, the moment, is the only time that we can actually shape.
Why do you worry about the uncontrollable and lose focus on the controllable?
“It’s so easy for you to say that, isn’t it? You always live in the moment Joshua. You say live in the moment because you don’t worry about the consequences of your actions. How can we not worry about the future, when the future is what we have? It is there. You can’t deny that. You think that you don’t need to worry about the future. Life isn’t so simple Joshua. It’s the most complicated game you can play. You are only lecturing me about the moment, because you cannot face the future. The future is unknown to you and that’s why you shy away from it.”
Plan all you want, but life is about the moment and what you make it.
Explaining the moment to someone who has never lived in it is like explaining a great cigar to someone who has only smoked Swisher Sweets: They have no knowledge of what a great cigar tastes like, therefore they’re happy with what they are smoking. It’s not their fault that they are ignorant. Unfortunately the only way for someone to truly appreciate how disgusting a bad cigar can taste is by smoking a good one. The irony is that once they smoke a great cigar, they can never smoke the cheap kind again. Once you start living, enjoying the moment, you can never be satisfied with a worrisome life again.
It’s not easy leaving the military. Sure in the military we planned, we hurried and then waited, but for the most part we lived. The moment was all we had, because we knew that it was all that we might ever have. Life took on a new meaning, because we knew that life was finite. We lived in the moment because we now knew what the moment was worth.
Also because many of us were not trying to relive the pasts that we had left behind in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Now out of uniform, back home, the future looms over us. Our pasts in combat seem to be constantly on our minds and in our dreams. They’re not always bad memories, some of them are the best memories that you have, but the moment fades. The moment, the only thing that we can shape, is lost second by second. It becomes harder and harder to live in the moment, to enjoy life.
We pretend that we’ve stopped playing the game. We pretend that the gun is no longer pointed at our heads. We pretend that there isn’t a bullet in the chamber. We pretend, but the game continues, and the moments pass us by.