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Okay, let's be serious for a moment.
No, wait. There's a little more...
It has come to my reluctant attention that Things Fall Apart.
And ever since that bit of angioplasty in Canada last fall, I've been thinking that one of those things may be me.
Now it's pretty darn cold comfort that this happens to everyone. I know, I know. We all get the ticket and show up the same way, coming round the bend, as waterborne as Moses ever was among the reeds, washing out of woman and -whoops- into the light. No dress rehearsal, that we can ever remember.
Then we get to hang around here for a while, until another current comes along. Then off we go into the night. Simple enough.
A fun game in the middle and a mystery at both ends. We all make what we can of it, and are shaped by what we do. I myself was a child and student for 26 years, and a fireman for 30 more. That's the Reader's Digest version. And it's all done now.
I've had three heart attacks and a broken neck, and lucked out every time. Go figure.
But let's get something straight. It isn't Death that makes me nervous. Really. You can't screw up Death. C'mon. You ever see an epitaph that reads: "Gee, what do I do now?" Death is not a problem. Wherever we're going, I think we'll get there in much the same way we got here. Willy-nilly. Without a dress rehearsal. Ta Da.
The real problem is all this life we've got left.
It's a practical problem. Which gives me pause, since only this morning I learned that I can't reliably make an omelette, even when I do break eggs.
And so it is, late in life, that I find myself intrigued by the mechanics of reincarnation - but only this side of the Void. This is where the work seems to be. Like a child is born again to be a man. Like I somehow morphed into a fireman once.
I need to do something like that again. I guess I could pray on it, and maybe I will, but God probably gets entirely too much spam already.
I'm having a little trouble remembering the details. Seems like there was a good bit of desperation...er...motivation involved. Some organization, a little effort. Maybe a dollop or two of entirely premature despair. A short leap of faith....
Hey, I've got all the ingredients right here.
Except, except.... Those old indians, the ones that used to go on Vision Quests to get their True Names and be Born Again.... weren't they supposed to suffer for it? Hunger, thirst, fatigue, bruises, that sort of thing?
Hmmm. Suffering. Don't get much call for that, living in an RV. Let's see what I've got with me. There's clean clothes, hot showers, a soft bed, vented heat...steak and ham and eggs and cantaloupe in the fridge, pie and ice cream, various interesting warm and cold libations, a whole rack of spices.
Even a small drawer full of irritations and annoyance. Better empty that out. There's certainly no shortage. Any traveler can tell you that annoyance is a weed that grows wild by the side of the road, everywhere you go.
But no suffering. Darn. Guess I'll have to go shopping. And that means another trip.
You knew this was coming, right?
If the fabric of the cosmos doesn't always ride up in the crotch, maybe I can find something out there that fits me. On sale, even. Hmmm. Of course, if I do, there's a good chance I may not be strong or smart or good or even good-looking enough to deal with it.
But heck, I'll give it a shot.
What do you think? Is it likely? Is it foolish?
Here between lives, and barely before Things Fall Apart, can a man still climb up out of the canyon of his own despair, dragging a trailer behind him?
I guess I'll find out. You can come along if you want.
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