bunt sign

Saturday, March 3, 2001

What I need is a trigger, a mantra maybe, something to remind me that my life is in my own hands. I'm not a victim of anything besides my own weaknesses, and these can be overcome with effort. Just remembering to make that effort is the biggest hurdle I face in the daily struggle to stay afloat.

Because just pounding my fist against the side of my head, or slapping my forehead, don't seem to do the trick. And kicking the wall, and throwing the phone across the room, don't have the desired effect, either. I guess whatever I decide to use as a reminder will take some practice anyway.

Right now I'm thinking "get over it," but I could probably use something with a more positive spirit to it. Like maybe, "get on with it." It's hard to remember to do this on my own, though. I need someone to whisper these keywords in my ear at the moment just before meltdown.

Yeah, that's what I need. Then my life would be perfect. Why didn't I realize the answer was so simple?

So, does it seem that in the mood I was in yesterday, a wise choice for the evening's entertainment would have been a movie called The Virgin Suicides? But spending a couple of hours reliving a fantasy version of youth's most painful moments did give me a break from my own current reality.

The Virgin Suicides. As macabre a name as that is for a movie (and I didn't read the book, so I had no frame of reference coming in), it's not that kind of film. Oh, sure, five young girls kill themselves, but that's just the framework that the story is built on. Take out the suicides and you still have something worth watching.

This is Sofia Coppola's wickedly funny and yet sweetly innocent black comedy about the difficulty of growing up female in suburban America in the seventies. And it's not just about the girls. It's also about the boys who idealize them, and the problems all of them have coming to terms with the edge of adulthood.

It's odd to look back at the seventies and think of it as a "simpler time," because nothing seemed truly simple then. What it seems like now in retrospect is a transition period, from the regimented innocence of the fifties to the unrestrained abandon of the nineties. The teenagers portrayed in the movie could almost personify the world at large, going through a troubled period in their lives and trying to find their way.

I wonder what we're in transition to now. That's probably the wrong way to look at the present, no matter when you live. Now is now, and it's wise to make the best of it, make it a transition to nothing more than a better tomorrow, and on and on like that.

If you look at where society has been, and where it is now, you can't have great hope for the future. But it's been like that since the beginning of time, I think, or at least since the beginning of "time" as we understand it. The beginning of history. Each generation looks at its children and shakes its collective head, wondering what the world is coming to.

Well, all it's coming to at this very moment is another sunset, followed by another sunrise. If you can say more than that, and be positive about it, you're either fooling yourself or you're an economist. Either way, you're bound to be more wrong than right.

another bird

It's on days like this that I wish most I were a morning person. The storm was supposed to hit this afternoon, so if I had a chance to get anything done in the yard, my best shot would have been before noon.

It takes more than just a thought that maybe it's a good idea to get me out of bed on a Saturday morning, though. Give me somewhere to go, or something to do, especially if someone else is involved, and I have no trouble rousing myself and getting on with the day. Left to my own devices, I'm not likely to make any special effort.

I did get to the post office today, and then paid a call on Mom (who's doing quite well, by the way, thanks). When I got back home, I saw an envelope I'd forgotten to mail, so I made a second trip to the post office, then spent the best part of the day working on the financial worksheets that I once told the Boss I could finish by mid February. (And I could have, if life hadn't got in the way.)

So, no guilt will keep me from watching movies on satellite tonight, since once the sun goes down I can't see the weeds I should have pulled (even though the big rainstorm we were promised never actually showed up).

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