…(and then attempt to repent)
ironic image courtesy of PostSecret
I was brushing my teeth last night and feeling sorry for myself. I have one of those Oral-B battery-powered brushes, and as its harmonic buzzing lulled me into a trance-like state, one clear thought popped out of the white noise of self-pity: we have had more than our fair share of sadness these last three years.
And immediately, I felt ashamed. Our fair share? What’s a “fair share” of sadness, really? It’s not like either of us has lost a limb, or each other. Neither of us were in a tall building when it was hit with an airplane. We don’t have debilitating diseases or foreclosure looming. I mean, we just bought a storm door! We’re really fine.
But, if you tilt your head and squint, it would seem that things have had a way of not working out for us ever since Kokoro was diagnosed with an aggressively progressing cancer in 2006. It would seem. After all, three months later (to the day, minus one) we were on the road back home to tend to my father-in-law’s last three weeks of life. But you know that story. And really, who doesn’t have a true life tale of extraordinary hardship? Life is a roller coaster of overused metaphors. It jerks us around.
I am not proud of my funk. Having been told all of my life that I am a brat, I tend to want to hold my adult self to certain standards of gratitude. Namely, I want to be grateful for every shit sandwich life hands me because, after all, isn’t it fortunate that I have a mouth with which to eat them? Some little children in Botswana don’t even have mouths. So, I torture myself with self-pity and then torture myself some more with guilt. Which, when you get down to it it really just more self-pity. Brat!
I know this, yet losing a little dog last week that we’d so recently adopted has thrown me into an inescapable existential loop. The little pleasures in life leave me flat, and I’m questioning the very reasons for stars to be in the sky. In philosophical terms: Why am I on the edge of this cliff? Am I more scared of falling or of throwing myself off? Or is what I’m really scared of the more frightening possibility that there is no force in the cosmos that can compel me to do either because the universe is an empty, cold, dog-less void?
I guess the real question here is do I get a dog, or not? If not, can someone explain this decision to me, maybe in writing?
I know you probably have a different question in mind: what happened? In short: the sweet little dog could not stay in our family. The situation was bad for her and for Lanty. Sometimes the best decision for your pets is the suckiest one for you. Doing the right thing is as simple and as pissy as that. So, I have no dog. And dear, darling Lanty is sick again. Angst.
But, we’re going to see Rifftrax Live on Thursday night, and we now have a Wii. Conspicuous consumption makes everything better.