does. Death, life, superstring theory, work, sick turtles, the unbearable
waiting for what could possibly happen next.
The words seem inadequate, but you
wrestle with them because that’s what you do. That’s what you know how to do,
and even if you think you know how, the hands slip and the tongue knots and the
neurons misfire and sulk and mutter find something else to do the job, we’re
going out to lunch.
And in between the
words, the silences grow.
They grow like
moss on damp rock, slow and easy to ignore, underfoot.
Joel and I had dinner the other night. He asked
me, do you think happiness is the purpose of life? I don’t think we’re here to
be happy, although that’s a good enough byproduct for anyone. The hedonists and
bacchanals of this world certainly think so. In the late 1700s, nitrous oxide
(or laughing gas) inhalation was a recreational fad before it became a dental
anaesthetic. It produced a lot of numb, happy people.
Depending on your cultural upbringing
and your religion (or lack of it), you’re here to: glorify God; suffer; find
enlightenment; execute the chemical commands of your component proteins; die;
muddle along until the mothership lands on a sacred crop circle in Peru. You can
be here just for the money, just for the day, just to look around. You can say
the hell with it and proceed to go there. You can pretty much do anything you
want with the life you have. And you can change your mind every minute if you
want, although that would make you an undesirable roommate.
I can’t say, for sure, that I know why
I’m here. I don’t even know what’s on my to-do list today. (Then again, Mondays
are always difficult for me, and if I had my way, I’d have them stricken from
every desktop calendar in the city.) I can only hope that when I die, my last
words won’t be “What the hell was that?”
Oh, wait. I think I hear the mothership