Black cloud fadingPosted: April 8, 2011
Yesterday I felt lower than I have in a long time. One of my oldest friends must have sensed it, and he reached out to me. I hung out with him and his family last night. As always, our conversation ricocheted between weighty and inane topics. We compared our respective ordeals with dying family members. We had a lengthy debate about God and scriptural interpretation. He took potshots at my pathetic love life, all of them richly deserved. His wife tore apart my manuscript (again, an ordeal that was richly deserved). I made fun of his recent hand injury, which resulted from errant swordplay. Then we argued about the artistic merits of the newest Iron Maiden album, Christopher Moore’s Lamb, and Garth Ennis’s revision of The Punisher. I drove home with a lighter heart.
Today was a bit better. I destroyed myself in the gym this morning. That’s always a great stress relief. This afternoon, I sat outside and basked in this glorious spring weather. I listened to Lucinda Williams, went through my daily readings in the Bible, and read a chunk of Confederacy of Dunces. I’m almost feeling normal again.
Praying definitely helped. I rarely pray for myself, but I made an exception today. I just asked for some understanding and patience amidst the chaos and sadness that’s hanging over my family right now. Then I made sure to give my mom and grandmother crushing bear hugs and tell them that I loved them, because I don’t do that nearly as often as I should. And I’ll probably do that to all of my friends and family going forward, so don’t be alarmed. While I get angry and disillusioned with a lot of people and situations on a daily basis, there’s one thing about every single stinkin’ one of you that I love – you’re alive. I love all of your lives. We only get one, and no one knows when it could be taken away. I know that’s probably just some vacuous truism, but my year in Iraq and the past two weeks really brought that point home.
And there you have it. Today was pretty good. Hopefully tomorrow is a little better. And so on.