Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breaking Good, Breaking Bad

Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey
                     -Lennon and McCartney

We are all complex human beings.  I don’t think anyone of my friends knew that I wrote poetry.  Some good, some bad.  The English language is truly so delicious. It’s sometimes good to play with your food.  Someday I will share. Probably some even think I plagiarize this blog. With the exception of one short but vague sentence (Thanks, S!),  I don’t.  It’s me.  Those who really know me detect the underlying snark, mixed with over the top sentimentality and unending curiosity and opinions.

I think of many of my friends.  Who knew that my MBA-degreed former roommate had a secret desire to write steamy but very funny romance novels?  Who knew my then grad student lab mate now microbiologist also teaches a course on the misuse of biology in movies and popular culture (think DOC films)? Who knew that a buttoned down college dorm mate really could paint amazing Southwest scenery? Who knew that a hematologist suffering from his own hematological nightmare could write such humor? Who knew that a former midwestern college kid could write such great instrumental music? Who knew an old friend from "the hood", now an attorney, had an interest in Civil War weaponry? (Okay, given THAT neighborhood and THAT profession-maybe THAT  is believable.) Who knew that one former residency mate sews designer quilts, another has an amazing blog about art and illustration  and yet another is becoming an episcopal priest?

I have such interesting and amazing friends.  

I love the TV show “Breaking Bad”.  I don’t watch much TV but this show is certainly “must see.”  It tells the complex story of Walter White, a downtrodden high school chemistry teacher who, when faced with his own mortality, starts synthesizing methamphetamine and becomes a sinister drug lord. The term 'breaking bad' is apparently a southern colloquialism. According to Wikipedia, it describes  a person  who has taken a turn off a usually straight and narrow path

It is violent, disturbing, but most of all, a character study of the best kind.  No one is really who you think they are.  They start out as one stereotype, but through extreme stress, greed, and death- the once mild mannered is now blowing up a drug kingpin.  The once high school drop-out is now a millionaire but in a covert beaten-up station wagon.  The once righteousness wife has an affair with a former boss then blackmails him so that her own sordid financial situation isn’t exposed. 

And it all takes place with the sunny background of suburban New Mexico.

Ah, those suburbs!  Artificial turf of the finest plastic.  Lots of monkey business.

Next time you really think you know someone, dig deeper.  You might be surprised. Hopefully pleasantly. Sometimes not. Some are breaking good creatively and some just may be creatively breaking bad. I am breaking good lately , finally (although nothing Walter White bad!), and leaving so much of other's bad behind.

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