Mentors & Lazy Eyes

Think back, way way back to when you were younger and life was exciting and pregnant with possibilities, the sky was my limit, potential was infinite…  that was before the sweet bird of reality dive bombed my dreams…  From a very young age – I knew what I wanted to do, I had my career path perfectly mapped out and it was going to be the coolest job ever…. I wanted to be the guy who turned on the street lights. Working under the streets, driving around in what I imagined would be a tiny, specially designed car, in a superbly infinite and elaborate maze – criss-crossing the city – turning on the street lights…. I think I had seen some old movie, about Ye Olde England, where some guys would walk around and light the gas powered street lights…. and good god almighty I wanted to do that….

For me, I knew life was going to be a continual struggle to make the right decisions – I realized my life would be determined and shaped, possibly years and years in advance by choices I made now…. a simple yes or no today, could have a potentially profound  impact on tomorrow… I’ll admit to being daunted by the enormity of this realization, and for a time I felt alone and scared, how would I know if I was making the right decisions, what if i was choosing incorrectly and forever altering some pre-determined outcome…. but I’ll tell you what caused all my anxiety to drop away…

I’m not sure if you had a hero growing up, a mentor… someone to look up to and emulate… someone from which, although not always your friend, could be counted on to douse you with the cold, shocking fire hose of tough love. Able to make the difficult but ultimately, correct choices for you. I believe that he was able to change me for the better and to help me feel less lost. That friend was alcohol. I found being drunk most of the time from around, oh I guess it would have been around age 8 or 9 – really helped me cope with…. OK I’m kidding about the booze.

I’m not kidding about the mentor though, I wouldn’t call him a friend exactly, it was – actually, now that I sit here thinking about it – a pretty complicated relationship, we met at the Centre Mall Cinemas, one of my first jobs…. although most people called him Mister out of respect, we had a connection and he let me call him by his given name Pat……

The man who, more than anyone else helped shape who I am today....

You would of course know him as Mr. Miyagi and thinking about him makes me smile, I can’t even count the hours I spent waxing his classic car collection and painting the enormous fence around his exquisite Japanese garden – at first I didn’t understand there was method to his madness… but over time – I came to see how brilliant he actually was, it really hit home to me one night when I showed up at his house to find him drunk, it was his anniversary and his wife had been gone for a good many years, it was at once sad and joyous.. that was the night that cemented our friendship. He really helped me out in the big Karate Tournament against Cobra Kai, where my signature balancing crane kick won it for me…

Which of us hasn't wanted to punch an old Japanese Man?

Story sounds familiar, you say…. yes it does because it’s from a movie called the Karate Kid, from 1984. The point I’m making, once a story has been told in a particular way, such as this movie…YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL IT AGAIN… but that’s what they’re doing, the new Karate Kid movie will be released soon, starring Will Smith’s son in the title role, Mr Miyagi will be played by Jackie Chan….. stop screwing with old movies that were just fine to begin with….. which one of us hasn’t at some point, stood on one leg, bent the other one up, raising arms high above your head in “the pose”…. yea, we all have….. when I was writing screenplays, I was also getting  screenwriting magazines and every few months they would publish an issue about the newest greatest screenplays that were un-produced and they were – awesome… interesting, clever and would make outstanding movies… so why does hollywood keep going back over what they’ve already done….. it’s frustrating… and tragic.

Have a Great Day

Ps – No way to work the Lazy Eye into the post, I just think they’re funny.

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