06 July, 2006

in rats' alley

Thursday, or as I will always think of it, "Q". When I was in college the scheduling computer could only print one letter for each day of the week. Since Tuesday took the "T", Thursday had to be "Q", inexplicably. So, whenever Thursday gets here, I think of it as Q. Or, alternatively, as 'not a chapel day.' (Those were always M,W, and F)

I don't think I like this particular Q, and it's only 2 hours and 22 minutes old. For starters, I miss my computer. I had no idea how dependent I had become on that sucker until it was gone. I hope to God that I handle my (theoretical) widowhood better than this. Although I doubt I will. If there is anything I depend on more than my computer it would be my husband. It probably isn't right to say that, but it's the truth. He's the still small voice that keeps me going on days like this when I'd just as soon not go. Days when I'd dearly love to pull the covers over my head and curl up and regress. He's also the person who makes me laugh and teaches me how to be better. Of the two of us I think he's the stronger one, so selfishly I always find myself hoping that I'll be the first to go.

Death is on my mind a lot lately--mine and everyone else's. I was watching something on television the other day and drifted off to sleep. I woke with a cold start and the certain realisation that people I know and love are going to die. I can't stop it. And I can't stop my own death. I did die once as a baby, but it was one of those technical hospital deaths where they bring you right back. There are times I try to remember it, to see if I can recall what happened afterward. But since I can't I wonder if the final death is going to be so jarringly opaque. Faith says heaven but fear says nothing, I guess. I think of the dwarves in the barn at the end of a certain fantasy epic who are doomed to spend eternity fumbling in the darkness instead of seeing the beauty that is all around them. And since I spend so much time here on earth fumbling in darkness I half wonder if that's my eternal lot also.

JAG wrote a post today about dealing with this all in such a much better way. The more I read what she writes, the more I realise that she and I have a lot in common in our backgrounds and outlooks on life. (A lot--not all. Don't hold her responsible for some of the whacked-out things I say.)

I think I can trace a good part of this moroseness to the Fourth of July. Every year at this time, I don't know about you but I feel inundated with Good Examples I secretly hope I never really have to live up to. I really do feel overwhelming gratitude to people who died for our country. But I really don't want to die for my country. Because I don't want to die for any reason. Although since I have to die somehow, "for my country" is a better exit than "couldn't read the directions on the espresso machine." I hear stories of people who valiantly fight and die for bigger ideals--freedom, peace, equality--and I wonder what I'm even doing. I make Powerpoint presentations for people who want to sell blank books to other people. I reheat frozen lasagne. I am a hobbit. Not one of the brave ones who tramps all over Middle Earth to go on the quest. I am one of the dullards who picks wax from his ear and waits for someone else to drive by with the fireworks.

So right about now, as I hear about brave good souls and their courage I feel all that much less worthy of the gift of life I've been given and how I choose to spend it.

'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It's so elegant
So intelligent
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
'What shall we ever do?'


At 8:38 AM, July 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been thinking about the Big D lately, too. Too much pain in too serious of a spot has been going on longer than I care to admit.

It's too the point where I don't want to go to the doctor because I'm afraid of what he'll say. I used to not understand people like that. Now I am one. Scared.

At 10:05 AM, July 06, 2006, Blogger jag said...

Feelin ya.

It's always startling when you have that realization. As long as they don't all go at the same time, I'll be okay.

And you're no more whacked out than me. No worries there. : )

At 6:06 PM, July 06, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

Fact Check:

Taylor and IPFW use "R" for Thursday, not Q.


At 4:57 PM, July 09, 2006, Blogger Vol Abroad said...

Yes, U. of Tennessee also uses "R" - and I do still sometimes think of it that way.


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