A dark sense of humor


Life plays with us. It has a sick, dark sense of humor that I’ve come to accept and almost, but not quite, be able to laugh at it.

My sister was scheduled to move yesterday, and badly broke her ankle. Like, screw/plate bad, and surgery can’t happen until Monday. And she’s in Wisconsin and I’m here in Ohio, in the last two weeks of a major quarterly writing deadline at work, wherein I write a bazillion articles for a trade magazine we produce, about things I never knew about before I set about writing them. So me going there is not an option.

A friend’s mother was very sick and in the hospital, but oh-ho, life was just teasing. She was fixed up and released, and his father died. I go to the calling hours today, unable to attend the funeral tomorrow because of aforementioned magazine. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to go to those for a bit, as my son’s grandfather on his father’s side was suddenly hospitalized for the umpteenth time. But he will be ok, for now. So I proceed. This march back to my hometown to grieve or support others in grief turns out to be most of the trips I make back down there. Need to fix that and find more happy trips there this year. I can’t let life win that one or I’ll have an anxiety attack every time I pass the Richland County limits sign.

Life is like a dumb cat, bringing you presents of dead things and expecting you to be happy about it. I’ve known about this cruel streak for much longer than most people who discover it somewhere around middle age. My life has sometimes seemed a distantly connected series of dumb cat/dead bird incidences. Here, here you go, here’s one problem, but it’s also two problems, because not only does your cat really not understand this is not a good present for you, now you have to get rid of the dead thing, and how gross is that? But the cat gave you a PRESENT, so you can’t punish it. And it’s the animal’s nature, to work in conjunction with life, scythe always swinging.

Life gives you love, and takes it away. Or makes it unavailable or impossible. You gamble and go all in, spend an enormous amount of money on in-vitro and are lucky enough to get a wonderful, amazing, incredible kid out of it … who you will now see for exactly half of the rest of his childhood. Unless you drop dead before that’s over, which is what I laid awake worrying about in a panic last night, clutching my body pillow because the bodies, bless their hearts for loving my fucked-up self, who would be there if they could, cannot for various reasons (life). I tried to calm myself down thinking how my one grandmother lived to be 101 and we have longevity in the family, and then remembered my Dad dropped dead at 60, same side of the family, and not much younger than when his Dad dropped dead, and I was nervous again. Because I am so much like him, minus some of the monstrous tendencies borne of ignorance and selfishness. I can’t be sure of a lot of things but at least, for example, I know I’ll never threaten to cut my son’s finger off with a knife pressed to the joint where the pinky meets the hand if he so much as touches anything in the fine china and crystal shop my family was entering; we could not afford to buy something that would get broken, and I am a notorious klutz. This was how he dealt with it. I parent differently.

Today’s picture reflects life’s humor on this full moon Sunday – look! It’s beautiful out! See how the bend in the creek runs fast and furious? Leaves are everywhere! There is energy, get outside and be one with nature! Of course I ran 5 miles early yesterday in the freezing rain. Which means no running today, and a walk may even be pushing it. But I am such a sucker for this bet, it’s hard not to pick a card when they are right in front of you.

It will be 46 degrees out soon. Tonight it will be 19. Then around 4 the rest of the week. Then I hear it’s going back up into the 30s. Play with that mouse, it may not be dead yet.


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