Thursday, November 11, 2010

I remember not long ago, that there were certain quotes that I tried to live by, or at least utilize in conversation. They were famous quotes about honor and integrity, said by famous honorable people, like Lincoln and Ghandi. Really meaty stuff that could change the world...

I'm not so into those quotes anymore. I still hold the sayers in high esteem and I still believe strongly in the values they tried to teach, but, frankly, I feel a little too ordinary and cynical to be slinging this kind of ideal eloquence around. For starters, I use the f-word too much (still working on it) and I still laugh at really loud farts and utterly indecent picto/audio texts which I receive mostly from my brothers and my father. I'm still one of the boys in this regard. My brother's wife has blocked his number because she wants nothing to do with these messages.

I laugh uncontrollably and forward them to my friends.

So, you see, I am lacking in that idealism that I had all those years ago. Could it be a sign of depression? Or age? Or just the big work boot of reality that has finally met up with my once unscathed forehead?

I have a friend, I'll call her Red, and she has many more years of wisdom on me, meaning she could be my mother with some years to spare. Yet, when I see her and we chat, I feel like somehow, despite my comparative youth, we are equals in many ways. I am lulled into thinking that my jaded edgy personality trumps her nearly 70 years of surviving and raising children and falling in and out of love and burying children and illness.

But she always surprises me, in the end. Always. I think I was trying to find words to describe to her my utter desolation and my confusion about love and my insecurity as a writer and a mother and how I felt injured by the world. She, in turn, told me that she had a morning where she opened her eyes and just wanted to die. Literally.

"But," said Red, "I just keep reminding myself what my friend Don always says to me."

"Oh yeah, what's that?" I say, hoping that this is the answer to my sadness and chaos.

"He always says, 'Red, you gotta remember, life is a shit sandwich. It's just a shit sandwich.'"

"Wow," I said, feeling the life drain out of my shoulders. "He's absolutely right."

And it's full of idiots like me and Red who will keep eating, hoping against all hope, that the menu will change.

And if it doesn't, there's always something to write about.

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