Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Random Third

Once again, I've been meaning to have a coherent thought--or a series of coherent thoughts--to blog about for nearly a week now, but it has simply not occurred.  So this post will consist of a bunch of random thoughts, and it will have to suffice.

I thought I was off to a good start at the end of last week.  I got a ton of writing done last Thursday, had an awesome time in Boston with a friend (pizza, mohito, perfect summer weather--what more could you want?), and an awesome bike ride and sunset swim on Friday.

I was in the existential Zone.  Ridin' high.  Golden.

Then, it tanked.  I went on a date that I probably shouldn't have gone on in the first place, but I'm committed to "keeping an open mind," and let's face it, sometimes, you should just unapologetically close your mind off entirely and be done with it.

It lasted less than 2 hours (never a good sign), but it has taken me days to recover from it.

Bad dates are either totally ridiculous, in which case you can just shrug them off, or they can really get you down.  This one got me down.  I came home from it, had a beer, and called my best friend.  She expressed all of the requisite shock and outrage that someone as wonderful as I am would be forced to endure something as un-wonderful as a bad date.

Luckily, I had a road trip planned, so on Monday, I hit the road.  That went well, except that once again, I encountered an accident en route that had involved someone's vehicle bursting into flames.

It's unsettling to be reminded that you really are just cruising along at 70 mph in a metal shell mounted on a tankful of explosive and flammable substances.

None of the songs on the radio quite do it for you after that.

It was extremely hot everywhere, which made me aware of the fact that, where I had been, people were complaining needlessly.  It was really not that hot there.  So, I was grateful that I would be returning to where it wasn't so hot after a mere 36 hrs away.

This gratitude increased exponentially after I bumped into a neighbor in NJ in the grocery store.  When she asked how I was, I tried to tell her that my kitty cat had died and make it into a joke, somehow.

I have no idea what I was thinking.

Anyway, it failed royally and I started to cry instead.  Right there in the big old grocery store.  In the dairy isle, amidst the lactose and the lactose-free.

Ugh.  To be fair, I had just finished taking my kitty's stuff out of my condo.  I had been dreading that process, and it was exactly as bad as I had expected.  (It was so bad that I think I would have preferred to go on that stupid date all over again instead.)

My neighbor is very nice, so she simply gave me a hug, said, "You've had a lot this year," and promptly changed the subject.  Luckily, she has a very cute little baby that I could ask about and she and her husband are house-hunting.

And I once again had a beer when I arrived home.

I tried to console myself with the idea that "it's all right to cry."  I don't know if anyone but me remembers that Marlo Thomas album from the '70's, Free to Be You and Me, but it was played almost constantly at parties and assemblies throughout my grade school years, and I eventually saved my allowance and bought it for myself.

My parents flat-out refused to buy it for me.  They felt it was put out by hippies and preached all kinds of touchy-feely ideas that they could not condone.

In retrospect, I can see why "William Wants a Doll" would not go over well with my dad.  (He wouldn't ridicule William or take his doll away from him, he'd just never give him one in the first place.)

One of those touchy-feely ideas was that "it's all right to cry."  There was actually a song on the album, sung by Rosey Grier, that said, "It's all right to cry/ Crying gets the sad out of you." 

The song also pointed out that, "It might just make you feel better." 

In the case of my kitty, that has not yet proven to be the case, but we can always hope that one day, the "raindrops from [my] eyes" will end up "washing all the mad out of [me]."

Currently, the tendency seems to be for me to sob until I begin cursing and blowing my nose and reflecting on the nature of mortality.  And then I have a beer.

But today, I drove back into the cooler climate and took another bike ride and swim.  And I came upon a story of some very, very kind people who clearly love kitty cats as much as I do.

And then I didn't feel so bad anymore.  Happy 4th, everyone!

Not the loss alone
But what comes after.
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
Wouldn't matter.

But you go on.
And the world also.

And words, words
In a poem or song:
Aren't they a stream
On which your feelings float?

Aren't they also
The banks of that stream
And you yourself the flowing?

--Gregory Orr

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."