At one time, I worked with some one who--as anyone who ever met Pat* would tell you--was the nicest person. Pat was very hard working. Terrifically compassionate. Consistently pleasant. And extraordinarily friendly/ gregarious.
Pat was also an idiot.
Pat never hesitated to ask the dumbest questions. Pat always took 3 times as long as anyone else to understand new information. And Pat's face displayed a perpetual vacancy--as if there were an empty skull behind Pat's eyes.
None of which are necessarily bad things.
Pat's idiocy allowed Pat to be a generally happy and liberated person. Like that dingy, shredding t-shirt of an axiom: ignorance is bliss.
Had Pat been any kind of self-aware, Pat would likely have lived in a permanent crouch hidden in some corner afraid that the next minute would be more embarrassing than the one that just passed.
But Pat was never that.
Pat was comfortable. Pat was cool. Pat was the kind of person you didn't mind helping because you knew that Pat would do anything you asked.
While most folks would agree that Pat was a certain kind of fool, no one would ever say a bad word about Pat. Everyone loved Pat. Because, above all, Pat's heart was always in the right place.
I think of Pat every March when I find myself at that point in the Tournament experience when all of my meticulously generated logic about college basketball gets shredded by some kid from Prairie View Tech State College who banks home a three from half court to knock off an undefeated Kentucky team.
At that point, I feel like an idiot. And I am acutely connected to that feeling. For at least a day. It sucks. It drains a little bit of the fun out of the Tournament. And it makes me envy Pat.
If only I didn't have to know how much of a fool I am.
Then again, there's a whiskey for that, right?
[The asterisk (*) denotes that "Pat" may or may not be a real person. In fact, Pat is more likely a composite of several people I've observed or encountered over the years. If you think that you are Pat. Don't worry. I'm not talking about you. I swear. ;)]