This week was almost a week from hell, but not really. It was more like a week from one of the upper regions of Tartarus that the Book of Enoch describes. It was neither bad, nor good, just hectic. I hesitate to call it a bad week because I find that when we sift our experiences through the filters of bad or good, we end up with a black and white, archaic, and just plain cartoony view of reality. This week, every academic deadline came of age and threw a bat mitzvah party; I had my midterm exams, presentations, concert reports and all the other assignments which make you want to question your life philosophy.
My philosophy in life is actually pretty simple: when life hands you limes – demand vodka and make a margarita. If life wont give you vodka, slip gunpowder into your limes and throw them back at life.
Having mentioned that, aside from being put in the academic pressure cooker, I was also run through the ringer washer of relationship possibilities. Opportunities have arisen for me to break my flawless track record of blissful singlehood. I hesitate to call him a cute boy when a significant gap in age is staring at me in the face. He’s an opera singer – with a face that makes you want to believe in a few more Greek deities. You would reach out to touch him, except for the fear of being electrocuted. So instead, you stand there and play it cool. Or try. Keep trying as you sit in a little cafe swapping stories from your travels in Europe. Keep trying as he asks for your number – and you plan out the next few days of time to be spent together. Keep trying as the days pass and he tells you things about himself that confuse you.
It’s like being moments away from launching a shuttle to the moon. You can feel the fire. You can feel the exhilaration pushing you forward against the forces which have held you in the same place for so long. But you have this feeling that somewhere, in some minute place, there will be a washer missing, and that will make all the difference to the success of the expedition. I don’t believe in overriding hesitations when something just doesn’t feel quite right.
In the midst of this uncertainty, I was given one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten. Two of my best friends told me I should write novels. They were sitting there in the sunshine reading a few pages of my journal, two pretty girls giggling shamelessly, saying, “I can’t believe how well you describe an apple core, sitting between two people on a bench, then being thrown into a nearby bush by the person who didn’t eat it – this is such a page turner!”
My whole life is a page turner. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can make plans – but I haven’t been spoiled by the luxury of having my plans work out too well. As I’m mining for gold in the day to day rubble, I am in no danger of believing that life is pre-determined. Yes, things happen for a reason – yes, but fate happens to you so that you have the opportunity to push the limits of your influence over it. Dear life, you can keep shitting on me, but I will continue to reinvent the feeble umbrella of Wile E. Coyote until I find ways to protect myself from the damage. My life is a real page turner. And while the pen is in my hand, I will write my way as close to a happy ending as is possible, but there’s nothing I can do to prevent the obstacles the protagonist must face if this is going to be a good literature. As for me, in the here and now, I’m choosing to stay flexible.