Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Romeo In Black Jeans

San Francisco, California, USA

July 9, 2007

"What if I were Romeo in black jeans?" ... Michael Penn, No Myth (Romeo In Black Jeans) 
This essay, Romeo In Black Jeans, is the third in an open group with titles borrowed from Songs:

Recently my life changed. The business I'd been in and around for most of the last four decades changed. A lot like that happens in and around tech. But this wasn't a simple transition. This was a major shift, a break with the past, no longer business as usual, no longer the way we do things around here because that's the way we've always done things around here.

I had to adapt financially, which I did. It was quite a challenge actually, one which I found I enjoyed more than I realized I would. Rather than making any purchase I wanted without question, I noticed I was asking, more and more, "Is this purchase really necessary?". And in the face of that new discrimination, I noticed something I had never noticed before. I noticed how I often spend  in the same way I may eat icecream at midnight: to fill some hole. There's no saying what that hole  is. It's too swathed in pea soup  to articulate anyway. But that's why I (when I do, from time to time) spend ... or eat icecream at midnight. If I curtail spending like that, or eating icecream at midnight, I get to confront the hole.

I also moved. I'd always wanted to live in, for want of a better word, a wild  environment. Now, in the Cowboy Cottage, I'm gladly dealing with dust in return for the severe scorched earth  pastures of the brutal California summer, home to coyotes, horses, cows, deer, squirrels, too many bird species to mention, jackrabbits, snakes, and the glorious natural alarm clock of the sun breaking over the hills and pouring into my window. Here I get to be cowboy writerpoet. This is who I am today. Coming from yesterday, this is whom I've morphed  to be. It's not really a change  because I've changed myself into something I already am.

Is it possible for me to change myself into something I'm not?

Smarter questions may be: should  I? And if I did, what point would there be? And for how long could I sustain it?

I'm clear I'm no longer going to change. I'll simply become whatever's next for me to become. I can't change into someone I'm not. I can't change into someone I'm not becoming anyway.

What if I were Zorro in a speedo? What if I were Casanova in a habit? What if I were Clark Gable in a leotard? None of those work. The contexts are inappropriate. They don't fit.

But what if I were Romeo in black jeans? Now that's  something ... That's a completely different proposition. I could be Romeo in black jeans. That's an entirely new possibility.

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