Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lazy-ass, no-good, paranoid thinking

The trouble with having parents who died in their sixties is that it's easy to think the same will happen to me, which leads to shitty thinking: I only have twenty years left to live, might as well sink into the comfy couch and lick the cheese off Doritos while watching Anderson Cooper talk about his paranoia that flu spores have set up house in his lungs and he's going to be dead before spring comes to Central Park.
Look: Danger is everywhere. I have a news app on my phone that tells me every time a kid is killed by gun violence in Kansas City, which is happening every freaking day in this city that used to inspire me. The flu? Epidemic now, that's what they say. If calm-cool-and-collected Cooper is reporting this news with alarm, shouldn't I be scared? One month ago, that whackadoo kid in Connecticut opened fire on first graders and killed twenty of them in the space of a few minutes, and six of their teachers. What the hell? His mother bought the damn things, one firearm being an assault rife. Then the NRA fanatics spout off, zealousy, that guns don't kill people, why, it's people who kill people. With what? Guns. Guns, guns, guns, and more guns. I have never heard of a drive-by fisting. I have never heard of a child picking up a forgotten yo-yo from a couch and blowing his little head off his body by pulling the string.
I feel the world is getting crazier by the minute, and I am not embarrassed to say that I would not have been surprised one itty-bitty bit that the world might, just might, have ended on 12/21/12, that the Mayans had it right all along. Actually, I wasn't even that sad about contemplating it, because I'd been drinking and smoking and spending thousands of dollars on stuff that made me temporarily happy (makeup and home decor items and candles), thinking So What? if I am further in debt because the world is ending and who will be around to hold me financially accountable. Who? Oh, that would be no one.
And then there's Donald Trump, who has way too much money and thinks because he is a tycoon that anything he says must be Golden. And at the Golden Globes, weirdo Mel Gibson is lauded by the usually cool and intelligent Jodie Foster. She then goes on to deliver a rambling and ambiguous speech that confounds the hell out of me (so is she retiring from acting? does she have cancer and this is her final letter to the world?) and instead of other people (read: experts) agreeing that her speech is strange, the internet blows up with "She's a genius, that Jodie Foster" posts.
Let's not forget that in this great country of ours, the suicide rate is nearly three times the homicide rate ... oh, wait, guns don't kill people ... then someone explain to me why so many adolescent males and former soldiers are putting the barrel of guns into their mouths and pulling triggers.
So what do I do to feel safe in this crazy-ass world? I insulate myself: I overeat and cocoon myself inside a warm coat of flesh (but this is not working as well as I'd hoped, as my gut is large and the size of a seven-month gestation and therefore I don't breathe right much of the time); I sit on the couch with a warm blankie on my lap and stroke my cat; I shop on the internet and wait for boxes to go thunk on my porch (books and cosmetics and a new skillet, a Bialetti, which will make that sixtieth grilled cheese slide right out of the pan ~); I hug my children every time they walk by me; I snuggle into my husband's neck; I spend hours and hours trolling pinterest and facebook; I drink too much coffee.
And I feel sad. A lot.
Good thing there's only twenty years left of this life.

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