Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jackpot In Time

Douglas Adams wrote in Hitchhiker's Guide that the answer was 42.

I've been playing a game with time lately.  When I look at the clock I celebrate when I receive a run or a straight.  Like at three thirty-three.  It's coming, in a few minutes, as I write this sentence.  But I don't know for sure if I'll catch it.  I'm doing other things, after all.

I celebrate when it comes to me, and I try not to seek it out or "camp" on the clock until I get a winning combination.  It's kind of like playing the slots without the cash involved.  The payout is emotional, not financial.

I did some calculating after I had been playing for a few days and realized that there were 21 combinations of numbers that qualified as a jackpot in this game.  And then, with the am/pm, that number was doubled.


My calculations have since shown a different solution (I forgot to include ten o'clock's three zeros), but it's still a bit of a fun play with time.  This way, when you wake up at four forty-four in the morning, you get a smile on your face, because you've hit a fortuitous time signature.

There was a time where my friend and I tried to catch each occurrence of the 12:34 time on my digital watch.  I think we only got three in a row before we abandoned the experiment.  Still, there was some exhilaration in the anticipation of seeing it happen.  Like the odometer thing.

And by the way, this is my two-hundred twenty-second blog.  Yesterday was February 22nd.  And I missed 3:33am because I've been blogging and surfing and linking and such.  I even missed 3:45. 

Maybe I'll start wearing a watch again.  Digital, of course.  Game doesn't work as well with clock hands.  Will this become an obsession?  Has it already?

Time will tell.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Epitaph First Draft

Will I be remembered fondly?

I erect a grand scheme of God-like perfection when I come to judge myself.  I want to cure ills, make friends of my enemies.  I want to heal the sick and feed the hungry.  I want to find a way so that even the devil and the Lord Almighty can reach across the chasm and shake hands.  Then wrap it up in a lovely box and put a shimmering bow on top.

I've got such expectations.  Are they hard-wired?  Or have they grown in me, over time, like my waistline?

I've always aimed high, or at least I was led to believe I was aiming high.  I placed high on my IQ test at an early age, and so it seemed that there were to be great things to come in my life.  I continued to excel academically through high school, and landed a favorable financial aid package to go to my first choice in colleges.

But I'd also kind of developed the idea that I'd "figured it out" by the time I was to leave high school.  Maybe I didn't have the love of my life that I wanted, but I thought I had already met her.  I had a close knit group of friends that had a blast spending time together the summer after we graduated high school.  I'd worked hard to reinvent myself and "make it" socially, after my friends had unceremoniously dumped me just before the start of my sophomore year.  I think I've written about this before, but I'm not remembering when or where.  Was it my pencil scribbled journal, complete with doodles and extremely hard to read when I would get excited about a particular subject?  Or is it here, in the bloggerverse?  Something I'll have to look into further, no doubt.

But for now, I need to summarize.  I thought, since I had succeeded so famously in high school, that my hardest challenges were behind me.  I had made it to adulthood without killing myself or anybody else.  I had it figured out.  I was enjoying myself, and that was what was important.  I had plenty time to grow old and die-- that would come much later.  Like when I was in my forties.

Well, welcome to your forties, buddy.  You've had your shit stirred with a splintering stick and it's gotten kinda messy, wouldn't you say?  Maybe you did have a few more things to learn...

Like how to set goals to exceed expectations, only by making a bunch of small attainable goals that add up to something special.  I tended to try and do just enough to get by.  And I didn't get by.  But that's my cross to bear.  I've had lots of chances, maybe more than most.  And I've made the best of them that I could.

Like being no credits short of a B.A. degree, and yet not having said B.A. degree.  Like needing a "C" and receiving a "D".  And yet, finding my way and building my resume without telling that story.  But each time I list my education on a job application, there I go again.  Most of my friends from college have a degree, perhaps even framed and hanging on the wall in the den of their home.  Me, I didn't even get to keep the empty folder with the note saying I hadn't satisfied all of my major requirements.

It's a hard pill to swallow, that kind of failure.  But I've made the best of it.  I'm finding my way, the path for my steps alone.  Sometimes it's a lonely road.

So what will the epitaph say?  "Didn't satisfy major requirements?"

Needs work.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nothing To See Here

Nothing is sustainable.

Meaning, all things change, yes.  That is, all known things twist and turn, ebb and flow, live and die.  Except nothing.  Nothing sustains.  Infinitely.

In living this life, I try to sustain stability.  I try to maintain equilibrium and flow with my emotions and the forces I encounter.  Sometimes I walk, and other times I crawl.  Still other times I sit still and notice the void.  I breathe in. I breathe out.  My consciousness cycles like waves at the beach, synchronized with my breathing.  Water stretches out, then recedes.  As do we.

I see it again.  My own mortality.  I know it is coming, but when?  Do I have a say?  Is it predetermined, part of a grand plan? 

Can I imagine myself out of these thoughts I've been molded with?  Am I just consciousness, perceiving itself?  And what is consciousness, anyway?  Awareness?  What are these things?  What is the nature of existence?

Right now the dishwasher is cycling, and there is a rhythmic rattle or clang of a dish, and it sounds like a dog is barking, but away in the distance, and much too rhythmically to actually be a dog.  Such a thing hooks my wandering attention and distracts me, long after my attempts to relay the experience in writing have droned on, and the experience and sounds shifted.  While I tried to capture the sand in my hand, it seeps away and I'm left with something different. 

I struggle.  I struggle well.  Struggling is my super-power.  I'm Struggle Man.  More powerful than a stomach tied in knots.  Able to leap large gaps of logic in a single bound.

There's merit, so I'll share it.  I'm writing because I care.  Maybe someday you will, too.  Perhaps you already do.

There is a light.  And when that light goes out, it is very dark.  In fact, there's nothing darker.

Nothing is.