September 18, 2012
This is before
I feel relieved that the past few months are behind me. That is, I am relieved to the extent that I believe a period of time can be said to be “behind” anything else — behind me, behind the shed — like, “I’m really glad those few weeks are behind the shed now, and I never have to walk over there again.”
But truly, for me, the one nice thing about experiencing time in a linear manner is that when it’s over, it’s over. You’ll have a ton more shit to deal with in the future, but once something’s behind you, you will never have to — nor will you ever get to — go back behind that particular shed.
Yesterday, a young friend experienced the cruel and sudden loss of her dear friend. We spoke by phone a few hours after she’d found out. She said things like, “I can’t fucking believe this,” and “This is totally fucking awful.” Yes, I agreed, totally unbelievably fucking awful, and irreparable, too. “This is the worst,” I confirmed. “This is the absolute worst.” One of the worst, anyway. Not every day will be the day you woke up and found out a good friend died.* Surviving a day like that, and the next few days that follow, is sometimes a matter of trusting that it can’t hurt more than it already hurts.
Remember, kids and aphids: It Gets Better.
Or: It Gets Different, At Least; Not Necessarily “Better,” Per Se, As You Probably Don’t Want To Ascribe Hierarchical Comparisons to States of Being, But It Gets…Let’s Call It “More Manageable.”
(“It“, of course, in this context, being “the ineffable,” definable here as, “That which can not be effed, but which certainly seems to feel free to eff you and everybody else in the world whenever it wants to.”)
I’ve never been susceptible to optimism. Usually, the closest I come to optimism is, “Well, I’m glad that’s over,” and that in itself is a kein ayin hara — you thought it was over? The ineffable will eff the fuck out of you. I find that expecting terrible things a) makes you joyous and grateful when you’re wrong, and b) makes you right most of the time, which is not the same as being happy, though there is a morbid satisfaction to it. But these past few days I feel…hopeful. This should probably plunge me into despair, because if things can only get better when you’re at the bottom, they can always get worse if you’re not. Instead, feeling hopeful makes me feel more hopeful, which is fork-in-the-toaster levels of shocking, but in a good way.
(* Unless you’re caught in a genocide or pandemic or natural disaster. If so, try to get out! I mean, that’s what I would try to do.)