Tiny burdens: death by inches

How was your day?

My day was great. Yesterday, too.

It feels so boastful to say that. Crazy, right? I’m so used to suffering through my life, to admit out loud that I’m really happy seems ego-driven. It’s so different to be excited about what I’m doing, and who I’m meeting, and where I’m going, and what I’m doing. There are extreme challenges, don’t get me wrong, and some of them scare me shitless, and I am terrified sometimes, but I don’t feel like I’m living just to die anymore. I can’t say I believe in a purpose, because that’s not how I roll, but I do feel like I’m going in a direction–in the same direction repeatedly, like I’m making a real pattern for myself, not starting and giving up, or waggling around like a bee-dance, and that’s fantastic.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not surrounded by people who are hurting.

Water torture being executed in Sing Sing prison in 1860. From the Burns Archive


Today, I met Sisyphus. He has been freed of the boulder, but that’s nothing compared to his next task. Professor Hades purposefully didn’t order one of the books he is requiring from the bookstore, because part of the assignment is to return from the Underworld of Campus to the world of the living to find this item. Sisyphus is bewildered. This is an impossible task. How on earth will he do this by next week? The Iliad? Are you kidding? Where will he find it?

I also met Esau. He was unable to add a class. There were seats in the room, but Professor Jacob wouldn’t add more students to the class, because the class limit had been reached. This wasn’t fair. There were seats! The room was big enough! His birthright snatched, Esau declared Professor Jacob was “a dick” and left, having now been cursed a second time, still unloved by G_d.

Who am I? How am I taking things? I have been Persephone. I have done my time in the Underworld as well. My descent, though, was facilitated by a year of headsickness brought on by shifting chemistry. My return came through the same means, and quite unexpectedly. I have been Job. I have felt that everything I did was an undeservered punishment inflicted by a gambling deity determined to prove my devotion–or foolishness. The hospital bill, that was one of the things, and the cancer-or-severe-allergic-reaction scare that put me on disability, that was another. Oh, and the bad reaction to the medicine that put me in the hospital, and then they wouldn’t let me out. And the job. And my friend dying. And having to go to court. And the bird mites. And, and, and. So persecuted! I had it so hard, when I was Job.

I don’t know who I am now. I don’t know what character this is. I’m having a good time. I’m happy to soak up the fog, and hear the professors dispense knowledge I want and need, and be in the company of people who think about writing as much as I do.

I am grateful today that I don’t feel my life is wasted. I hope this lasts.

How you? You good?


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