by Peter Marus

So what the hell drives you? what the hell is your passion? That is a question I had for myself and I threw out there last week. I wondered what exactly drives me to do and say what I do. I spent some of my free time thinking about this subject, and I thought I would write out what I think really “gets me going”.

First my core passion is my family. I started to wane from this a few years ago when I started to get the impression that they were not agreeing with how I live. It seemed as if they were still treating me as if I was 12, in that they would question and shoot down whatever ideas or plans I had for myself. This really happened after my dad died, since a lot of people honestly thought he was the only one who “handled” me. Now its cool since I pretty much “drew a line in the sand” and dared anyone to cross it. Ironicly this is something my dad taught me: stand your ground in whatever you want to do, and don’t back off. The realness of how much passion I have for my family came after an incident that has led me down the road I am now as far as changing myself. After that I will do whatever I can for my family, and there has been things I have done that people at first see as crazy, but seeing the context of why I did what I did, they understand and find it commendable.

Right now, I will put my family almost as top priority, provided I feel they are a part of my family that hasn’t brought shame or lowered the standard I feel my family’s name should be at. I feel there have been some who have not done the right thing and has caused a lot of problems and pain for other relatives, but I will not get into it here. But for those relatives that I feel deserve my time, be it something as simple as helping with moving their stuff from one place to another-often through areas I rather not go through, or helping relatives with their daily routine or visiting their spouses in a hospital everyday-which I suspended my job search at the time to accomplish, I’m there for my family members. Now these days there is more important matters in my family that I may be needed to help out, I will do all I can to make sure everything they ask of me is accomplished.

ANd this passion really isn’t just for family members, but those who I really care about. I”ve done a lot of things for those not related to me, but who are “good people”. The list of these people is really short, since I have been taken advantage of and now I am really skeptical of anyone outside of my family.

My next passion I have is for the only sport that I have had a passion for that has never waned-soccer. Yeah I like other sports, but the thing is all these sports have done something that made me lose a lot of interest in the sport. Soccer though has always stayed with me. See, when I had cataracts and was blind as a goddamn bat, soccer was the only sport I could play. Why is that you ask? Simple: it was teh only ball I could see. So as a kid I played soccer in various leagues in the NYC area and in PA, but that was all cut short when I started to get extreme pain in my ankle. Turned out I had complications form when I broke it years earlier, and had to have sugery on said ankle. So during the time I was a gimp, World Cup 94 happened, an my passion for the sport really grew. Watching some of the world’s best-like Brazil’s Romario, Italy’s Roberto Baggio, Bulgeria’s Stoichcov, and other stars really was an amazing thing to watch. Also watching the US team do their thing and make it into the knockout round-where they took it to Brazil and held them to being scoreless until late in the game-was a cool thing. Funny part is all the members of that team I could care less if they all keeled over and died now since all of them are delusional assholes.

When the MLS was formed, I got excited that there was a team in the area. Empire SC was the name of the team at first, and was to be playing in Long Island (but later became the Metrostars and was moved to Jersey). I followed all the news on the league, and got excited the Metros got Roberto Donadoni and Tab Ramos for their midfield. At first I got excited, then when reality hit I was disappointed. Donadoni didn’t stay around long, but made so much of an impact I still think he’s the best midfielder the team ever had. Ramos on the other hand used the league as an ATM and was always “hurt”, but still bilked the league out of a lot of money. My finest memory of me and my dad was the first game I went to, which was after my dad had knee surgery and he insisted in taking me regardless.

After 14 years, I still have a passion for this team. I am not one who expects the team to win it all, but just at least try to win. The entire history of the team has made me get to this point. I still go to the games, stand in the ESC section, scream my voice out, and hope the team doesn’t embarrass themselves on the field. I also have a passion for the experience of soccer game day. I love hanging out in the parking lot and talking with most of the people who show up (some still don’t get it and act in a way I rather not be around). Quite honestly, I have more intelligent conversations at a soccer game, than I ever had at a baseball game, or a football game, or any other sporting event. I’ve learned more from the other people at a soccer tailgate that I find myself better. Also Some at these tailgates have helped me out in some form or another, and vice versa. I still love traveling to other parts of the country for games, but the recent years it’s sort of waned, again given some of the element that is in the group I am a part of, which is hard to ignore when you are on a bus with them. Still I enjoy going to games and having a good time, and I also love the sport and that passion is always there.

One of the biggest things I have a passion for is finding out things. I like to aquire knowledge on different things-politics, sports, technology, the media and how they affect/control the rubes in society, etc-whatever I think that I can use. Most of all, people interest me. I like to find what makes people tick. There are a ton of different types of people out there, and some have some fascinating things about them. I like to figure out what exactly makes this society work-like how there are people who selflessly help others to better the entire community, and what makes it fucked up and damaged-like scumbags who scheme the stupid and weak. I read a lot of books on people and different parts of society. For example, I am reading a book now called “Rapture Ready!:Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture” by Daniel Radosh. It’s a book about what the Christians do for their version of pop culture in music, TV, books, and other aspects. To me it’s an interesting subject to look at, while a little frightening to tell you the truth, and I learn some new things form reading something like this. Also I will watch a ton of Discovery, National Geographic, and other educational channels. I think it’s important to know what is going on around this world for your safety and just knowledge-and it’s always good to know your enemy.
Also the behavior of people interest me. I like to see how people react when they are found to be liars, or what levels they will go to keep their lies alive. It amaes me what people will do to keep deceptions going: fuzzy math on a SEC filing, using sick people-especially family members-as a front to do their devious things, just some real scumbag things. I love it when they justice comes and they get found out. Sometmes when I do call people out on their bullshit after getting some inconsistent information, I can be obnoxious. But I learned the more angrier the other person gets, the closer I am to the truth. think about it, if you’re not lying or hiding something, why would you get mad if I ask some simple questions. Nothing satisfies me more when I do get the truth, and how miserable people are when I do (since most people can’t stand I am right).

Best experience for this was when I just happened to ask someone a few questions about inconsistencies about why we couldn’t hang out, and out of the blue a few days later I get a phonecall that lasted 15 minutes where I was told all that I did for this person-all the emails, cards, written letters, gift-cards I gave so this person can enjoy something they like since they were going through a “rough time” according to this person-was done by me for my selfish ways. As heart and soul crushing this was, it gave me the satisfaction that “I found your punkass out!!!”

Interesting side story to end this entry. This past weekend I got a call form a friend who I have helped out in the past, and she was going through some drama with her dude. So we got to talking and the subject got to what I was doing this weekend, and I mentioned I was going to see my cousin and his family. We talked about that a bit, and I said I was going to be the godfather to his daughter. She asked me how I get along with his wife, and I said we were cool. I went through some of the things i have done for my cousin and his wife, and she did that “aww” where if she was single, I think I would have been “in”. as I was continuing what was talking about, she blurts out “I have to ask, how do you not have a girlfriend or wife at this point?” My smart-ass side wanted to snap back “if I knew I wouldn’t be single stupid!”, but seeing I am trying to change myself for the better, I held back. I simply said thanks for the compliment and I didn’t know. She then goes “You have this one side you put out where it can be a tad harsh and rough, but you have this other side that if you showed more, you’d have been married by now.” Aside from this conversation making me a tad awkward, I calmly reminded her what happened the last time I did that and then she went “Oh yeah.” Needless to say the rest of the talk we had was both nice in that my ego was lifted but awkward in how she said what she said-along with a couple other things.