My best friend, Tony, lives a charmed life. For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been a lucky bastard. He married one of the world’s greatest women, lives in a beautiful apartment in the West Village, has a plum job and plenty of cool, smart friends. He’s the goddamn poster boy for When Good Things Happen to Good People.
We always talk about this. “How the hell did you do all of this?” I’ll ask. “And more importantly, where did I go wrong?”
“I have no idea,” he’ll answer, and then we’ll just sip our beers and continue to talk about women.
But I’ve been thinking about it lately. Why does one person seemingly have it all (him!) while another (moi, the Jew) struggles to keep his head above water? Is it merely dumb luck? Fate? Believing in God? Does he deserve to be happy any more than I do? Or is everything completely random?
We both come from similar blue-collar backgrounds, have both worked hard over the years, share the same worldview and emotional sensibilities, and we’re both known as nice guys … jeez, we’re even the same goddamn height! And yet I’m the one the Coen Brothers based A Serious Man on, while Tony, of course, is The Dude.
Case in point: Tony DMed me on Twitter the other night on the way home from Minneapolis after watching the Vikings beat the Jaguars in overtime:
Vikings game was way too much fun. We sat in the front row and the cheerleaders hi-fived us on TDs. I was also on the jumbotron.
You really have a charmed life. I think I’m gonna write a blog post about this. Your life vs. mine.
No you are not. Keep my charmed life out of there, other than an oblique reference to “that lucky fuck.”
Um … sorry, man.
On second thought, I guess I’ve been lucky in other ways. I have two wonderful children, I’m in good health, … er … did I mention my kids?
But maybe I’ve been looking at this whole destiny thing wrong. Maybe I’ll end up finding true love. Maybe I’ll find the one important thing that will finally fulfill me. Maybe I’ll live out the rest of my life in peace.
*With apologies to Steve Martin