I am watching the news today, last night—it’s a circus show difficult to ignore, nor should we, seeing that the fate of the earth may hang in the balance, or if not the spherical planet we call earth, the nature of our presence in it. I am reminded by Hitch—do we miss him yet or still—that such worries are probably futile. We will not survive all this, he suggests more than once. Hitch certainly didn’t survive it. Didn’t he drink a lot, a woman coming out of Central Market asks me as she sees me sitting there reading his book Arguably. Have you read Hitchens, I ask. I’m sure he drank too much, she says and leaves me there. Perhaps a factor in his death, but something will be, if not drinking too much. I eat too much, spend too much time watching the flat screen news.
I go to the grocery store and worry about finding the shelves half empty because something has happened to the food supply or the supply chain. I worry about the mob calling for an overthrow of the government, for the dismantling of our institutions, by force if necessary—and while they may not represent populous in general, they seem to be reaching critical mass enough to unbalance the equation. But then I thought that about the left in the late 1960s, and that proved to be nothing more than heavy breathing. Don’t they know that without a stable government, everything crumbles. Or is that just some notion I have. Something would take its place no doubt, and if we want to look at recent history, some form of organized crime. I find myself thinking about the words mob and mobster. But whatever, chaos would have its run of it for at least awhile, at least long enough to undue what is left of the American culture. And the shelves would probably go empty during that span.
I sip my coffee and try to focus on being appreciative for what I have been given. I could claimed to have earned it. I could give you my vita explaining all I’ve done to earn it, but I know so much is simply a matter of luck—the when and where and to whom I was born.
I woke up this morning holding my daughter’s arm, talking to her as she lay dying. I tell her it will be okay, that she is surrounded by angels. This is not a dream, but my very awake and vivid memory working overtime. Not every morning, but so many mornings start this way, as if I were waiting for her to tell me it is okay. I roll out of bed, go through the necessary morning rituals, then make a pot of coffee, walk outside barefoot.
How do you get through the day, a friend asks—a friend who recently lost… I think about sex, I tell her. That helps. More than drinking. Sex helps, she asks. Thinking about it, I correct her. It also helps—I start to say, but that is not how the sentence should begin. I find it more and more important to think as clearly as I can, to be as honest as I can, to live and let live as much as I can, to know that I already have enough, more than enough, and to immerse myself in just being alive. That death will come on its own, whenever it wishes, and that I will not run from it. I’m not sure I will embrace it either. Maybe, if I have my way, and that’s never a given, I will simply acknowledge it without much fuss. If I have my way about it.
In the meantime is does depress me that we have elected a boorish pig as president. Makes me realize I really don’t belong here in this land of twitter and iphones. I walk outside and stand barefoot in the grass.