Something Happened

Scariest book ever. On the back, if Heller had asked me for a blurb, I’d have said “Utterly demolishing” although the PR flack would have asked me to change that to “devastating” because that’s the word you’re supposed to use. Demolishing is more apt though. Heller is probably my favorite author, but I’m not about to read that book again. It has, by the way, very little to do with this post.

Except that I might be demolished soon. There’s an event happening, right now as I type, that might be my wrecking ball. I’m on the edge of a wall, to one side a resumption of normality with oblique references to “the scare” every once in a while, and on the other side… an abyss.

Which side is the wrecking ball on? It’s swinging to and fro, slowly advancing down the wall, and when it reaches me will it throw me to the ground or into blackness?

Over this course of events I am powerless. Completely impotent to affect their resolution. Perhaps I could pray? But what would I be praying for, my own selfish need for things to go back to the way they were, or just what some God wants? This was all his idea, after all, so it’s not clear to me what good that would do.

Whatever angle I take when I think of a rational God, things do make sense, stuff happens for some kind of reason whether it makes me happy or not. If there turns out to be a God, I don’t think he cares much about me being happy. He’s not against it, mind. But if I go and pray that Thy Will Be Done, that Will might be a giant finger flicking me onto the wrong side of the wall, the bottomless pit side, and yay for God’s Plan if that happens but I’m well and fucked for a good long while.

In any case, as an agnostic I can’t say one way or the other and as, well, me I just would rather not hear it. It does my family good, and for that I’m glad, I’d just rather the rhetoric were carried on out of my earshot. Alas, no chance of that.

I’m sitting in the dark, typing this post, listening to Kid A and feeling all spooky and creepy and slightly nauseated, waiting for the phone call that tells me everything went fine and there’s nothing to worry about and I’ll see you in a few days and I love you goodbye.

And willfully ignoring almost every thought that drifts in the direction of what’s happening. What’s actually happening, you know, like physically with knives and sutures and ether or whatever the kids use these days. Because as soon as I start thinking in that direction my little island of control starts to wobble; it’s really just a patch of seaweed with pretensions. Or maybe I’m standing on the bubble of a giant Portugese Man-O-War, in imminent danger of sinking through its carapace into the nest of stinging polyps.

Portugese Man O War

Ok, phone call received, status tentatively good. It’s not all over yet, there’s one last f-ing scary hurdle before I can go back to obssessing about minutiae. Vague, yes, and I apologize for that, but the point of this isn’t a news update is it? It’s catharsis. It’s distraction. I hope you’ve never had a need, but if you have or expect to have well then brother lemme tell you I understand. People are weird and they react strangely at times and you never know quite what’s going through their heads. A lack of response indicates what, disinterest? Or just an awkward not-knowing-the-right-fucking-thing-to-say?

Of course, sometimes they do say the wrong thing in which case you have to figure out whether to cut them some slack. Might be you chewing that shoe leather next time. Or maybe they’re all “oh get over it.” I fuckin’ hate that. Then you’re all “what the HELL” and they deserve those dagger-eyes you’re giving them, because they need to stop being such assholes and remember what it’s like to suffer through one of these life crises. Parents, build some empathy into your children, lest they grow up to be callous jackasses.

Granted such ignorance doesn’t happen often in this particular circumstance. That’s more what you get when you’re heartbroken than when you’re in danger of demolishment. I think it’s a racial defensive measure– when you’re not heartbroken, you have trouble remembering what it’s like to be heartbroken, and can’t relate to the poor sobbing sap on the curb. Selective empathy as a survival trait.

I’m going to go eat a couple slices of pizza and read a book about screenwriting. I’m pretty sure I can keep it down now. The pizza, that is. Pepto-Bismol-willing.


One comment

  1. I hope everything’s okay, and I will look forward to your return to minutia-obsessing. Sometimes it sucks being an atheist, because I can’t say I’m praying, because I’m not. But in the off chance that there is some kind of benefit to be derived from a mental blast of goodwill and good thoughts, I’m sending one you and your family’s way.

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