With the title of this post, I am off to a bad start. I know you don’t want to read this post, and you shouldn’t. It is entirely meant for me, not you. In any case, as with most of my posts and most of my “readers,” [sic], there is the X-factor: “Sorry, I didn’t have the time to read it, Sid.” I won’t explore that one. This is a rambling post but with shades of thematic unity. The misery about which I write is mine.
Today, I enter the penultimate year of my 8th decade as a living being. In short, by turning 79, I am near to closing out my eighth decade. It is a venerable age and young folks offer me assistance as I walk by. Gladly, I accept.
All around me, or not too far away, are cherished friends, some of whom are even older than I am: Thirteen quickly come to mind. Others are not far behind. Will all of them survive to January 2014? It seems doubtful, merely as a matter of statistical improbability, having nothing to do with their current states of health. I don’t like this one bit. I am not one of those sensible people who say, “Well, death comes to all of us sooner later. It need not be tragic. Just defy the grim reaper and ask, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’” Good advice. I am not capable of taking it.
I ache, too. I ache a lot and my pains don’t match my conception of myself as a great physical specimen. People glibly say, “We’re all getting older,” and I guess that is intended as a soothing balm but I take no vicarious pleasure in the thought that people hurt. I suppose there are some cases for which I should be glad but I can’t get into the spirit of celebrating miseries. We have a President who is utterly mysterious to me. Upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, he boasted he did not have the luxury of being a pacifist. A strange moment to announce that, don’t you think? He bragged about the assassination of bin Laden and offered that up as a reason to re-elect him. A fine madness. I am not certain but I think the President is a high school graduate. So, did he never hear of John Donne? And if he did, is he so arrogant as to compare his own wisdom with that of Donne’s?
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Please, dig that man up from his grave and make him President.
I know unreasonable hate as well as the next guy. It is suffused in my bones. My hatred for Islamists (and for many Americans in public life) almost destroys my sanity but NEVER, EVER am I glad any of them dies or is near death. Even I, the master of craziness, draw the line at that point.
I don’t feel well. I think I eat too much dairy. Eggs, 2% milk, and cheese are a bad foundation for health. I eat too many chickens (what barbarians refer to in the singular as chicken, thereby hoping to disguise their savagery.) I resolve to eat more salmons, more fruit, vegetables and grains. Drop down from 2% fat in my milk to 1%. Switch to egg beaters. Maybe all that will improve my mood. More juice, more water. Maybe fewer cramps my father left over for me to inherit. MY FATHER! Ah, yes, I almost got to know him, Horatio.