Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Existentialist

You go to bed swearing (and meaning it) that you will never drink again.  You wake up in the morning knowing that you won't, that you will turn your body into a temple.  Too much of life is getting away from you. . . you know that.  You are not up to the tasks that comprise an adult existence.  Bills go unpaid (not for lack of finances), chores remain undone.  When the next crisis happens, you fall apart completely, become catatonic with anxiety, unable to think either rationally or otherwise.  You worry about not being able to take care of yourself in a few years, worry about all the money you never saved, your looming lack of income, trips to various doctors. . . . So, you decide, your body will become your temple.  You will meditate to uplift your spirit and calm your mind.  And when you wake in the morning as the sun creeps over the transom, you feel as if everything will work out. 

And so you pet the cat and tell her how much you love her.  You give her food and water, then begin to make the morning coffee.  You step on the kitchen rug and the corner is wet.  Uh-oh.  You open the cabinet under the sink and see water.  This is not how you wanted to spend your morning.  You empty the cabinet of the various and overly-plentiful poisonous chemicals wondering if maybe it is a toxic chemical you are getting all over your hands.  Once everything is on the deck, you take handfuls of paper towels and begin to mop.  When that is done, you spread dry ones across the bottom so that you will know if there is a leak from the pipes.  You run your hand on the undersides of them, but they are all dry.  This mystery has cost you the peaceful morning of new bliss you were hoping for.  As you make the coffee, the horrors of life come back to you in full force.  All the things that brought you joy suddenly seem unfulfilling, hollow, empty of meaning, and miles and miles away.  You think that you are certainly suffering from some mental illness for which there is no specific name.  You are an existentialist, you tell yourself, and life means nothing but what you make it mean.  It has added up to nothing, you think, and you wish you were a lifetime member of The Church, a devout Christian Believer so that you could go down on bended knees and pray for help.  That would certainly be comforting,  but it is far too late for that sort of nonsense now.  You are stuck in the ongoing and hideous present and no fantasy will help you now, you think. 

You check the paper towels you placed under the sink, and they are wet.  You feel around for a drip but cannot find one.  What of luck?  Isn't there a sort of divinity in that, you wonder?  You find yourself appealing to luck which is just another name for God, you think.  You are no different from anybody else except for now you are an insensible mess.  You remember that the tax accountant called and left a message.  Jesus, you have not even been able to get the information to the tax guy so that he can file them.  You will have to have another extension.  This is not rational behavior, you think.  This is not even survival. 

You wipe up the water once again and once more place paper towels in the bottom of the cabinet thinking maybe whatever it was is done now.  That is the only way you can possibly fix it, just wait for it to be done.  Life now is overwhelming.  It has been too good.  You've grown too ineffective, too soft.  You will be forced to change or you will go insane.  Those are the choices, you think.  If they are choices at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment