Sake it to me

I pick up the tiny cup and attentively hold it between my fingers examining the handmade craftsmanship. Dirty brown clay pulled with the utmost precision creates a razor thin edge around the cup. The clear liquid inside beckons my tongue to have another sip. I throw back the contents of the cup and sit back. As the hot fluid slowly drains down my throat a warm sensation fills my belly while I listen to the voices clamoring all around me. Talk of firefighting, guitar playing, karaoke, and drinking echo in the air. Some people talk with genuine intensity and interest while others merely talk to fill the awkwardness that is created by such a wide melange of persons brought together for a common interest.

It’s Karin’s 21st birthday and as always, her big, wide-open heart brings in an eclectic mix of friends. As raw fish and rice rolled in seaweed are placed before us my mind drifts. How did I get here? Why do we make some of the decisions that we do? I think back to the night before where I was supporting my friend TJ at Guitar Center’s drumming competition….the same scene where the injustice took place a year and a half ago. Anyways, after TJ competed I went into the classical guitar room and began to play. As I played the salesman pulled up a chair and just sat there with his head back, listening to me! When I was finished he told me I played ‘beautifully’ which is quite a compliment coming from a guy that hears hundreds of guitar players every week. We launched into a discussion about guitar. He told me he can’t play as well since he broke his back. I told him I was sorry to hear that and for some reason started to tell him about how I rode a motorcycle for 7 years in every type of weather, and one of my main concerns was falling down and messing up my hands so that I wouldn’t be able to play anymore. His eyes got big and he said, “that’s how I broke my back, I got in a motorcycle accident!”

Crazy. Crazy because for some unascertained reason I decided to tell him about my long standing fear but even crazier for the power of our decisions. He and I had such similar interests, what if we had switched roles? I suddenly felt very fortunate for selling the motorcycle when I did. Our talk haunted me the rest of the night.

My mind comes back to the party. The raw fish have stopped squirming, the wasabi is still green and the sake has long been sucked dry. I look at Karin and I am amazed how much she has grown in three years. I cannot fathom the degree her life has changed, it isn’t even a shadow of what it once was, and not to be magniloquent but it’s seriously because of me, and one little decision I made nearly four years ago with a mouse and a single click of a “yes” button. Again crazy.

As I get older and I look back at the road(s) I have taken in my life I am becoming more and more convinced of the butterfly effect and how massive things can change with the smallest and most innocent of decisions. Too much for me to think about in this late hour when I should be dreaming about go karts, but still very much real and there. I believe we all have more power than we realize. Does anyone else?


  1. Phil said,

    September 28, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

    Thanks for stealing my sake joke (which I probably stole from someone)

  2. Aimzee said,

    October 1, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

    Now you have me curious as to how her life changed from your mouse click! Ah yes, I think about this often. Especially the way people have come into my life and gone. It get’s kinda crazy to think about sometimes! Btw, I have never had sake. I’d love to try it, though. Especially because of how good you just made it sound! :D

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