More bad news on my doorstep. My God, it’s relentless. Doesn’t it ever fucking stop? Bukowski has a great poem about how it’s not an atom bomb or cancer that kills a man; it’s the accumulation of small indignities that finally does him in. Nietzsche speaks of the death of a thousand pinpricks. Years ago, I came across this quote from Chekhov and saved it:
Any idiot can face a crisis. It is this day-to-day living that wears you out.
I received yet another humiliating kick in the crotch yesterday. Mrs. Wife and The Daughters are away for the weekend so I came home to an empty house. I spent the vast majority of my life living alone by choice. I got married very late in life, not because of a lack of opportunities, but because I was reluctant to surrender my beloved solitude. I am still pretty much a loner—I have few friends—and try to spend some time in seclusion. But on this particular night, walking into a dark house with only my thoughts for company felt threatening.
Before going to bed I took the recyclables out to the garage. I opened the door and stepped into the pitch black. My mind played tricks on me. I imagined a badger or trapped dog leaping out of the darkness. I hurriedly walked to the corner of the garage, threw away the bottles and slammed the door shut behind me.
I went upstairs to meditate. Do you know what? Sometimes, meditating is a big waste of time. Sometimes, it’s counterproductive. Sometimes, it draws you in deeper to the very thing that you’re trying to spirit away from. I lay in bed and starred at the ceiling, certain that I’d never fall asleep. But I did.
I woke up this morning and contrary to my expectations, the sun came up. I went out for a run. It was early and nobody was stirring. Bono sang:
Lights go down it’s dark
The jungle is your head
Can’t rule your heart
I powered up my laptop. I received a kind word from a friend. Is this how it’s going to be? Okay, then. Scramble two.