Chapter 2c

Needless to say, it's been a long day. If you're wondering why that was "needless to say," maybe you should ask yourself when the last time you had a pleasant and quick day. If you have an answer to that, I envy you.

The issue isn't a matter of doing the dumb things I've got to do, really, although motivation factors into that here and there. No, really it's just a matter of how I deal with those same dumb things. I get them done, at least for the most part, enough to keep my head above water, but it's a matter of how hard those things are. Every little thing drains me.

When I was two I tried to grab the flame of our gas stove and got burnt pretty badly. I don't remember it or how I screamed and cried or how terrified I was when that beautiful blue flame turned and attacked me. I probably just wanted to be friends with it, play and laugh and be jovial and fun. I probably didn't even understand that it could lash out at me like that, much less why it would.

I don't remember any of that but somehow I think some of it persists into my current life. Now, twenty-five years later, I still shy away from anything that could cause pain. Sometimes something so simple as posing a casual question is debilitating. What if I don't like the answer?

I frame the thought in my mind, consider all the possible outcomes, weigh the possibility of a good answer versus a bad. Neutral answers are possible but why account for those if they have no real meaning? The scenario always played out some shade of the same.

"How was your day?"

"It was terrible. I raped a school bus full of children and nailed them to the outside of your home like we're celebrating Christmas in Hell, which was fun, but now the police think you did it and everybody wants you to get the death penalty but I was really hoping to be the one to kill you so now I'm kind of crunched for time."

"Oh, that's rough, so what are you going to do?"

"Well, I think the first step is probably going to be catching you in a bear trap when you start to run. Then, once I've got you caught, I'll need to throw you in the trunk of my car. After that all that's really left is pulling out your fingernails, cutting off your eyelids, stuff like that until you die. But for that, we're really gonna need to get a move on, so if you could just run that way towards the metal thing on the ground."

"Sure, pal, I'll get right on that." Then I would oblige the sick bastard, run into his trap, fall and catch another leg or an arm in a separate trap and I bet when he does get around to pulling my fingernails out they'll probably be stubborn and secure and he'll have to pull and pry each one for a long time.

Just like that damn flame.

Laura and I had dinner tonight, for instance. We shelled out the few extra bucks, got some food, sat and talked, and I was nice. Except that I don't really talk.

"Economics of long term rice evaluations methods in differing third world nations of the southern hemisphere during periods of drought, famine, natural disaster or celebrity appearance," she would tell me.

"Yeah," I would say. I was active, I looked at her, leaned forward, affirmed understanding ("Economics of things like long term rice evaluations, especially with those circumstances...I tell ya..."), I was present and active. Maybe I take too long to decide on things. Alright, that's a maybe about as much as if I'd said, maybe I'm the pope. Still, I can't just reach out and snag those answers from the edge of the flame. She knows, I guess, she doesn't say anything but she hasn't been fooled by my conversations in a while. She's mostly just bored with them, I think, not angry.

Otherwise, though, it was a nice night out, and the day before was no different than the day before that or any other day in my life. Just long, as they all are. Time has a proclivity towards crawling when it can get away with it and just hurrying past the moments we'd like to focus on.

I sometimes wonder about the meaning of time and things like that, things that I can ponder on indefinitely without ever getting answers. Sometimes I think about those things while I'm talking or watching TV or driving. It's just those little moments, the times when I'm doing things that require only a modicum of attention. How can an hour pass so quickly for one person and so slowly for me yet our watches still read the same? How is it that he can do [menial task] 400 times in an hour but I can only manage it 200 times? And yet they tell us it's always the same.

You can measure a second by the time it takes an atom to do something that might always be constant or something. Just because the atom has never been seen doing something else, does that mean it can't? Just because there are "laws" saying these things can't happen, aren't those "laws" just a list of things that people have seen happen only one way? I'm no scientist, maybe I'm wrong, and I'm sure there are strings of numbers and equations that prove it by showing that people have never seen two and two add together into five so obviously it can't be possible. If "Theory of Relativity" weren't already taken, that's what I would call my thoughts on why time is relative. Although, if his concept is that time is relative to the observer then I guess it's not my theory.

The point of my tangent is this: I woke up, I worked, I ate diner, I philosophized and now, I sleep.