I can handle only so much happiness. It’s exhausting.
I suffered a loss yesterday, one I knew was a possibility, but I held on to hope. I’m not bitter or angry. I haven’t lost faith in God or rejected the value of hope. I have mentally distanced myself from feeling, though my heart hasn’t—I feel the tears run down my cheeks but I don’t have a conscious attachment to them. I feel like a shell, like we are all shells, and regardless of state or status our wandering shells are what equalize us. We are fools to think that any of us is different than the other. Our situations may be different, our responses to them may be also, but trade you for me and our blood pumps all the same.
I downloaded an app a while back that trains me to run. I hate running but I want to do it. I used the app once and then regularly thought about using it as if being conscious of its effectiveness was enough. I decided to buy new running shoes today to make the idea tangible. I was programming myself, and like a machine I’ll get dressed and go get the shoes.
I made that decision today while I sat on the front porch eating cold left over orange chicken from Panda Express from a carton and watching the wind toss around the leaves on the bushes. The air was warm. The street was quiet. And the world was empty. I felt the void in us all, and I questioned the purpose of everything. I thought back over the week and saw the faces of two young humans whose eyes reached out to me. I invited them into that space between the door to the outside world and the door to me, that space that keeps the cold air from blowing my insides. I sheltered them for a moment and they were comforted. And earlier, between being jolted to a seated position from a dream and climbing out out of bed, I thought most randomly of Wayne Gretzky. Like the shooting of JFK and the fall of the Twin Towers I thought of the question everyone asks, “Where were you when…” I don’t watch sports, and I wasn’t watching the game. My back was to the floor with the TV noise in the background and he scored. Then I thought of another time when I walked past the TV and saw Dale Earnhardt’s car slam into a wall. I don’t watch car races either. And that led to the memory of sitting on the couch to take a load off, with no intention of watching the game playing on the TV, during the last two minutes of the 1997 playoff game between Buffalo and New York. The connections of being in the right place at the right time mean nothing, but I can’t help think that there may be something cosmic about life and that the cosmos has a sense of humor. Of all the people to waste the greatest and most devastating moments in sports history on…
On the front porch, sitting in the void, I remembered the train of thought that I rode while waking up and I wondered how the wind tosses around our fates. Does it find amusement in meaningless connections? Or are we simply blind to how and why the dominoes fall? What purpose could any of this possibly serve?
I am a shell, shielding myself from pain while turmoil churns the empty air of my insides. And the wind blows. And shells collide. And after a billion collisions, either by odds or by purposeful cause and effect, between the devastating moments and the meaningless connections something good and meaningful will happen.
In the meantime, I’ll distract myself on a treadmill. Something good is bound to come of that.