A Reason to be Happy
October 22, 2010
To William Wordsworth, About A Lamb
October 28, 2010

The trouble with me is that I think. And that I think I know. Par exemple

Yesterday, I stumbled over the word “namesake.” Being an English major with a fetish for words, it was appropriate that I would know (and be able to use) such a word. But it tripped me. Like these infernal high-soled shoes. (It’s just embarrassing walking down the street anymore.)

I submitted a handful of poems to two literary journals recently. They both said, “no.” One was more polite than the other, but neither one said anything like, “Well if you had just swapped the words in the fourth line of that third poem, I think you’d have it.” Nobody has the time.

And I could say, frankly, nobody gets me—I’m a genius and nobody understands. But that’s assuming far more than I have the ego to assume. And anyway, we all know what happens when I assume. It’s happened once before.

No, I’ll tell you flatly, like my chest: I can’t stand jelly beans. That’s a thing to know about me. It’s not an appropriate gift, you see. I don’t care if the holiday calls for it, keep your vanilla-chocolate-raspberry-marshmallow candied kidney beans to yourself. My teeth decry the offering.

(Did I use that word right? Would somebody look that up for me?)

I also detest grapefruit. Save for the moments when my mother indulges, and she’s a lovely woman, so it’s sometimes comfortable. But acid is acidic (haven’t you read?), and being so, stabs the senses all too gleefully. Fruit that parries is fruit that should be left on the tree. Take note.

Toads, on the other hand, are a bit of a lump on a log. When I was up-growing, there came along a story called “Wind in the Willows.” I still look at the debauched scenarios of life and think: “There was only one problem with Rat’s plan. It didn’t work.” Because, you see, Toad escaped to find himself a motor car. As I have sometimes done.

And yet am still without a vehicle.

These days, however, I’m a bit more like Gandalf. (Curse you who think of my inability to grow facial hair and scoff.) I am the white wizard, scant and snarky with a bit of poise and a bleeding heart. I know things that are good, and often I endear them to myself. Other times, I fight viscously with Balrogs and they vex me. But it doesn’t matter; the little people keep me sane.

Now, it’s on to it: a prodigious month with fighting in between, and whether or not the plan goes awry I shall need no redemption in candy. Don’t ask for what you cannot swallow. That’s a principle of living.

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