Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comedian, takes the edge off of the world and explains all those unexplained things in a way that will make you either laugh or cry.

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Mayday,Mayday,Mayday, Can You Hear Me?

There are many beliefs that I’ve virtually catalogued and incorporated in my daily regime. It makes me sick having to try and live by all of them. I do what I can. Two of the basics tenets that I try to remember as I go forward are; 1) we’re all on our paths. B) I don’t know Everything. The latter being a bitch because of all the stupid people on their own paths.

I’ve decided Human beings have made Life about the Journey because they barely ever reach their destinations and if they do, they hardly ever accomplish what they set out to do...So we make it about the ride and try to enjoy that. Who knows, maybe even learn something too from all those experiences.

I have these friends back home in the Middle West, good people. Some have moved crossed town, others bought their parent’s house for a decent price and live in the same house they went through grade school in. These same people might not believe that I don’t think badly of them for being stationary whereas I had the wanderlust. In the words of Kirk Douglas, “I had to moove.” Some of my friends back home think one of the reasons we’re different is because I live in SF and not there. I don’t hold that belief. I think you can be whoever you are, where ever you are...

Okay Sam, getting ready for your quantum leap...

I am haunted by some words, other words I love for their unknown poetic and mathematical value. Take facetious, great word. All the vowels are there, in order! And if you’re really grinning and being a smart ass, there’s facetiously. Now you got the ‘Y’ too. Great word. Nice word. Very comforting lexi-wise.

One of the many words that haunt me, and believe there are many, is resonance. Resonance isn’t as hard to define as say, ironic. One can get into it over ironic. Resonance, you practically need an oral dictionary so someone can describe the word to you while going, seriously. See ‘resonance’ is one of those stupid words that the definition is so limiting. Resonance: to resound or echo. Resonate: produce or show resonance. So ‘resonance’ means to resound or show resonance. Those kinds of explanations are very hard for my head to get around. For all its vagaries though, this is one of the more perfect words that I use throughout my personal writings. See, I think the whole world is based on ‘Resonance.’

There’s this friend of mine who studies guide books and historical novels, trying each year to find the perfect trip for him and his missus to go on. He shuts down his business for a month. For thirty days, this enlighten couple take in Prague or St. Petersburg, and then return to his house, the one he purchased from his folks. They scrapbook their adventure in words and pictures of one of them standing in front of something, hard copy or on-line versions available for all to see. Because of his yearly expeditions out of the neighborhood, it can never be said that this person is afraid of the outside world. Because for months of collaborating data and comparing hotel prices, planning flights and trains, it cannot be said that there is any fear of leaving the known for the unknown. After thirty days of matching pictures on the wall with actually being there, and of course, nowhere else that hasn’t been plotted and thought out stateside. It can be said that because one travels, one knows the world. And that’s why their opinion has weight. It echoes.

Okay, hold on...

Have you ever fallen down a well? In the middle of night, an open shaft that should have been covered but negligence had other plans for you. In the next second you’re upside down, unsure of your surroundings, barely able to call for help. Your only hope for survival is for someone to hear you. I bet that would be scary. I bet you’d be really appreciative if and when someone heard you.

Now you’re in Kabul for your brother-in-law’s brother’s wedding. You don’t even like the guy. You’ve flown in from Tehran for the weekend and can’t wait to get out of the craziness of Afghanistan and back home to the tranquility of Iran. While having a Coke at Ahmed’s Diner, you pass out. You wake up in Cuba. Nobody knows where you are at or what happen to you. You’re in a cell in Gitmo and there’s no sound coming from your cell that anyone familiar can hear.

Now you’re in Phoenix, driving to Costco or Trader Joe’s. It’s one hundred and fifteen in the shade. Unbeknownst to you there’s a bad wire leading the turn signals, causing an intermittent problem. Now this is before the official recall that’s going to be announced for your specific make and model of car in the next couple of weeks. But the officer doesn’t care. You’re off to the deportation center. It doesn’t matter. You’re the wrong color for this place.

As a youth, I traveled Europe as a long-haired, free soul who tried to mimic the travels of Leonard Cohen and Sir Dick Burton. My guide, Murphy and I were stopped more than once. There was a very scary night in where else, but Marseilles. It was classic. We were surrounded by black-shirt leather-coated bad boys of the local cops, asking for our, “Pa-pazz.” It was late at night in a dead end street; no one in the world knew where we were, except us. If we were taken away, shot, dump into the river, not a blip on the screen would...resonate. We showed our passports and international driving licenses. You actually end up saying things like, “Jimmy Carter, Betty Grable, Jerry Lewis.” You try to make contact with another individual, a human being, just like you through your false, forced smile. You suck up and try to be nice to the person you’ve never met before, who now has incredible amount of power over you, suddenly. Shockingly. Surprisingly.       

Most of us don’t know the feeling of not being heard. We expect it. We demand it. When we feel like we’re not being heard, we start wearing funny costumes like the ones on “The Price is Right,” and start demonstrating against that changy, hopey thing.

Most people don’t know what it’s like not to have resonance. Usually those people are white.


More Later...

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