In past weeks I have been a wildly unpredictable asshole. Perhaps more importantly, I have survived at least a dozen aeroplane take-offs and landings, most of them either en route toward or escaping from the calamitous sequential envelopment and alienation of people I like a whole lot. I have not had the worst stretch of living lately; only the most unpredictable. Were I to offer details I would be accused of lying at best, channeling H.S. Thompson at worst. In any case I am not a capable social creature at this point, although I have several good book recommendations.
None of these planes crashed, obviously. I’m all colors of healthy and hale. Mostly.
In the meantime, a good friend of mine, who was once raped in her own apartment, later had both kneecaps crushed in a collision with a drunk driver, and battles anorexia on a daily basis, returned from a triumphant ultramarathon race only to be mugged at gunpoint in front of her own house by a teenage punk who had the dubious courtesy to let her keep her driver’s license before making off with her wallet. This is someone who volunteers her time at a Ronald McDonald House despite 60-hour work weeks as a mechanical engineer.
While walking my parents’ Golden retriever today (I’m her self-appointed recreation director as she recovers from Lyme disease), I saw a mentally challenged person churning resolutely from a bus stop toward wherever he lives. I believe he works. Why? Because I can tell. And if he doesn’t, who cares, since his value as a human being trumps mine–the evidence is available from a simple glance at his face. I glower, he perseveres. There is no mystery among putative observers.
My neighbor just had to put down his almost-17-year-old Vizsla, a longtime hunting and running partner who had grown pitifully arthritic in recent years. She was a kick-ass dog; watching her “chase” me as I ran by her yard over the past years was both comical (in the sense of Mr. Burns of The Simpsons fame) and darkly poignant. Thus I got to see a prosperous 50-year-old man in a plain gray hooded sweatshirt lapse into tears today. Was I supposed to say something nice? Smart? Helpful?
This–all of it–is a fucked-up place.