Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Week 4 Invincible

I boiled some water for some hot tea, made my breakfast, ate my breakfast and then went about my day.

Later, at lunchtime I saw my tea, now fully brewed, now fully luke warm- I tried to drink it. If I didn't see the cup, by accident, I might have never realized that I forgot something.


Ok, shit.

I think my biggest problem is that I am invincible. That is going to be interpreted as sarcasm, and no matter how much your mental defense mechanisms are going to be screaming at you, please hear me out.

My concern is that I was given just the right ingredients to become unstoppable. My genes, emotional guidance, and education were perfect. Right now, you might be looking at my clothes as I say this, noticing my glasses, or looking in my bank account and forming a strong case for "irony." Your still treating my premise: "I am invincible," as if it is a challenge instead of simply accepting it as a given an allowing me to move on to the implications.

Fine, You're right that I am frail in the physical sense, this is the most obvious proof that I am in fact very "vincible." That I can't see well, can't breathe well, and I am over weight are pretty good indicators that like you I can bleed when I am cut and I am scared of falling off things. If that is your definition of "vulnerable" than, you win, I am not invincible.

So, I drink the cup of tea with some brown sugar, because I couldn't find the regular stuff and because I am a hero. I could have given up because it was cold, or because I couldn't find the sugar or honey, but I kept going and forced myself to drink this old leaf water. But, wait, am I a hero? This is a key responsibility of the mighty, to humble one's self and question your own timeless motives. I am wondering if maybe, just maybe, I am only placating my own guilt at wasting a tea packet instead of enjoying the bounty of God's Earth and the scarcity that makes such things so special.

Like a child brought up during the great depression I am constantly leveraging my current happiness against what could be terrible sadness in the future: if I eat a big bowl of cereal maybe I won't have enough left in the box to last until my next paycheck? How little do I have to have left, before I can say, "Don't worry, and no one will care either way."

What if you, like me, get bored sometimes. Sometimes, even when I am enjoying what I am reading, my eyes cross and I end up skimming a paragraph. I am not going to change you by begging, the best thing I can do is make sure the beginning and ending make sense and that the middle stuff carries enough redundant messages so that my point survives.

Despite the fact that I doubt myself and no one has given me a reason not to doubt myself I still dream of a better world that is built in my image. Its as if all data points to failure, but probabilities don't matter. Probabilities don't really matter to the sample, think about it. If you heard a statistic that only 1 in 10 rabbits survive in the wild, do you think that is because 9 rabbits throw down their bodies in a fit of Zen understanding? No, every baby rabbit fights for every minute of their life until sickness, predators, and accidents prove that they are a statistic.

So, am I saying that this is my strength? That I will go down swinging until asthma and debt collectors physically stop me from moving forward?

Well, "strength" is a pretty strong word. Instead, let's just say, I care too much to stop working. If that still sounds too congratulatory maybe we can agree that I enjoy complaining too much to allow the voices of reason and empathy to stop me from building idols in my own image. Maybe that is a little unfair though, because what I really want to is to live in a world where creating things and appreciating things is natural instead of miraculous.

This realization that come what may, I am still going to keep going is pretty troubling.

I mean, its hard enough to spend your mental energy to try to do something without having to budget the mental energy to try to do something, fail, try again, fail, try again, fail, investigate the entire history of both every success and every failure, their design plans and the social currents that caused them to be successes and failures, and then, try again, and to your great surprise- fail harder.

Now, as the sun sets I sip my tea and I toast myself, invincible.

[Text transcribed from the eulogy read at the funeral, which was scheduled shortly after the body was found. Cause of death was a poisoning from debris in the victim's home made ceramic cup.]

I don't want to have to talk about Sean Mills, like this, and I don't consider it an honor. I do, however, consider it a responsibility, which is something Sean would respect.

I knew Sean almost all his life, since he was four. I don't want to talk about myself, but the important thing to know is that we grew up with the same background and we stayed in touch throughout his life- more or less.

Depending when you caught him, Sean was either a really nice guy or a pretty curt asshole. Either way he was always treated you fairly. "Fair" was an important concept for Sean. I don't know what combination of things happened to him as a kid, but his triumphs and failures always stemmed around his vision of right and wrong.

To those who knew him casually, this might sound confusing, because I know he tried to be generally agreeable. He wouldn't force his point of view down your throat all the time, but that didn't mean he didn't have one- he always had one.

So, I think this is why he had such a hard time getting along sometimes, he had very little patience for people he cared about acting in ways he didn't approve, and no patience for people he didn't care for at all. This is what made his true friends respond to him… [sic]

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