Tuesday, August 01, 2006
There are an endless set of bizarre existential questions that people ask each other, ranging from the rather pedestrian personality ones (If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? My answer, a weeping willow as they are beautiful and hideously destructive, clogging up every available septic tank system around) to the more complex ones (If you had to choose between blindness and deafness, which would you choose? Deafness, given that I love to talk too much and being deaf would kill my social life in that way, but there are many things I'd probably prefer not to see). My favorite question, though, is one that I didn't hear until I was in my twenties. If you came to a wall and you couldn't get over it or under it and you had to stay where you were, what would you do? Of course, the wall is death and your response to it is your way of dealing with mortality. My first answer was that I'd set up shop, make myself comfortable, build all sorts of things around the wall, decorate it, and use it to help me sleep. My friends, two beautiful twins who had asked the question, laughed and said I was the first person to answer it that way. Most people charged the wall or ran away from it, pretended it wasn't there, but that the wall in the question inspired a lot of fear and misery.
I understand the pretend part. One of my crackpot romantic theories is that at the end of every long-term relationship, a couple takes a trip together to get away (the obstensible reason is to have those endless state of the union talks, you're doing this and I'm not getting that and you know, all the predictable horrors, the ways we mangle each other) from the reality of ending. I will never say that a break-up is like a death -- I've experienced both and can say that while breaking up with someone is horribly painful, it pales in comparison to never having a chance to change things. But it is a death of sorts, the death of hope, of a planned life, and maybe most painfully, the death of a shared past, the language of marriage. I have done this type of trip, as have many of my friends. The places are different and usually quite indicative of the nature of the relationship -- mine have tended toward road trips, one to the Lawrence Welk Museum (our relationship sucks, let's polka!), while my friends have gone to many an exotic place -- San Francisco, London, New York. But my favorite is my friend David Boynton. When his marriage was ending, his wealthy in-laws sent he and his wife to Morocco to work things out. I've always liked the sound of Morocco, but he came back more miserable than before. In a far-away city where things were both glittering and rotting, he came to the realization that his wife, despite all his best efforts, was going to leave him. Morocco means land of God in some languages, in some languages it's only a name. I suppose it depends who is interpreting.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Sometimes we have the absolute certainty that there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it. But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel." - Hubert Selby, Jr.
2 shots of expensive rum over ice
2 parts regret
Benedictions and Maledictions
In answer to whatever happened to my friend Robin, mentioned in earlier blogs:
The sad truth is that I don't know. We lost touch after college in that way of friendships based on chance meetings and similar surroundings. I adored Robin for her honest way -- the scary ability she had to see into the world long before I did. Her habits were such that they probably have changed, or she is dead. Or maybe in rehab with that politically-correct, love everyone Mel Gibson! I hate that guy and Braveheart totally sucked. I could not and would not ever force myself to see The Passion of Christ, even while deeply drunk and/or stoned, the way I saw The Last Temptation of Christ, also a crappy movie.