Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grasping The Nettle

Happiness is an unlikely outcome in life, I have come to believe. So much of it is spent and sacrificed and set aside and put away in the support of life with the counter being death. And now, as unhappy as it makes me, I face it. Death, that is, not happiness.

"God, do I have to listen to you complain again?," queried the Divine Ms. M. This shocked me as much as her complaints of my bland cooking. I can't help it if I don't care for 1200 milligrams of salt with each meal. On the other hand, I don't have hypertension. But near-teenage tastebuds as hard to retrain and apparently, easy to insult. As for the former, it is what I do - complain. Rather, I feel, I observe and decry. After all, who's going to do it for me?

But now, with the certainty of numbered days narrowly stretched out in my immediate view like the opening titles of a Star Wars movie, I have to ask what's most important to accomplish before the sand runs out? Write another book? Set aside a bigger stack of cash for my kid? Learn to luge?

Some people have a better idea of how to navigate all their days and especially, the end of their days. My mother knew that it was time, when it was time. She said so, that she didn't want to be bothered. "Beh. That's enough already." Stoically, she did it her way, decision made, that's it, that's all. There was someone I knew who would create family traditions that, quite frankly, would never occurred to me but were charming, though that was only a part of the reason those "traditions" existed. I believe they were meant to carve a shiny path through time, marking mileposts as those special dates were anticipated and then passed, another memory safely deposited in the till.

I have no clue how to make either of those states of mind be mine. I'm just not equipped. If I had it to do all over again . . . ah, regret: it's the ultimate excuse.

So, the clock, it ticks. It's a little like knowing that one has vacation in a month, then two weeks, then one, then waiting until the night before the ship sails to rush over to WalMart for an ill-fitting, badly coloured swim suit and Dramamine and then rushing home to pack, oversleeping and almost missing the boat. Only, some boats sail with their passengers whether they want to be aboard or not. It almost doesn't matter what happens between now and then, but, in fact, it matters very much.

Truth is, I don't want to die. Ever. I want to right every wrong, unbreak every heart, live, love and laugh (gag, but, still . . .) So, to sum up, as ugly, brutal and sordid as life is, it's not bad to be breathing.

Damn you. Damn me. Damn it all. Damn it. Dude, where the hell is my damn time machine? And my supersuit, for that matter. I gots sh*t to do.

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