The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 06 February 2009]

Zen and meat

Nic finds enlightenment in a friend’s nervous breakdown.

Way back in the day when I was in the Swedish Army, we had an incredibly cool guy in my company. I’ll call him Bob for the purposes of this post.

Bob was legendary for his unflappability. He was like John Wayne. No matter what was going on, Bob stayed cool. No matter how tired we were, how wet and cold we were, how French existentialism our reality was, Bob was cool. Whatever needed to get done, he got it done, totally cool.

After we were discharged and life had a lot less green clothing in it, I would go hang out with Bob every once in a while. One of these times Bob had invited a couple of lady friends over for dinner. He was in charge of cooking, and I was the helper.

We went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients, and got to cooking. I distinctly remember us fortifying ourselves with Cutty Sark. The cooking wasn’t going well. Perhaps the Cutty Sark had something to do with it, perhaps not, but either way, we were behind schedule, the meat was not cooperating, and tensions were rising.

And Bob completely lost his shit.

Went completely to pieces.

I’ll never forget standing in that kitchen, glass of Cutty Sark in hand, staring at the guy who could lead a platoon assembling a military-grade antenna in the middle of the Swedish forest in the dark of winter after three days without sleep like it was nothing completely and utterly lose it over a piece of meat that would not be ready to eat when a couple of random women were scheduled to show up.

After I caught my breath, I asked him, “But you never lose it. Never. So why now?”

Bob looked at me like I’d asked what color the sky was and said, “This is important.”

And I was enlightened.

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