Falling, Failing and Flailing
It's not very often that I break fourth wall here and just talk about a personal issue. I always try to build a wall of comedy or satire to slowly slip my political or personal information in to the mix here, but today I'm just going to go out with guns a blazing. It has been one hell of a week so far.
Last Monday I took a nasty fall on some stairs. Fell down about 5 feet of steps hitting every one on the way down. Gravity, she be a harsh mistress. Somehow I survived such a fall and am here today telling you the tale of how I bumped my ass and have a bruised arm from such a dangerous adventure. Yeah, I'm still walking with a slight limp because of it.
Oddly enough, having that fall didn't stop me from going hiking later that same day. Why would I do such a thing? I have no idea. But I did and this was the first time in a long while where Griffith Park, the hiking spot I go to so often, kicked my ass well and good. I took a path that I hadn't taken before and it was already late in the day thinking that sunlight would remain for a couple more hours.
The hiking path was pretty steep of an incline going up. So coming down it at night was not a piece of cake. I fell a few times making the injuries from before slightly worse. I did get a great view of Saturn and Jupiter in the sky above.
If Monday was the day I injured myself physically, Tuesday was the day that emotionally and mentally I got beat the shit out of. For you see, about a year ago the dog I grew up with most my adult life was put down. Now this isn't that shocking. She was old. About 15 years. Which in dog years is George Burns style. At first my mother, who had decided that the cancer filled dalmatian needed to be put under, stuck with the story that Cha Cha (yes, that was her name) had gotten out. Now I knew something was wrong with this story. Clearly a 15 year old dog who's activities included sleeping and then grumbling in pain to get up to fall asleep somewhere else, was not going to be that active in running out of the gate.
I still took more time than I thought I could to go around the block and look for her. Because hey, she did get sudden waves of energy when she was free to run. I later found out that she was taken to be put down and end the suffering. This new found info hurt me a little, but I understood. She was in pain.
Flash to the other day. My 16-18 year old cat, who has been in my care for a good 6-7 years, is suffering. He's thin. Shaky legs. Stopped eating a couple of days ago and is going into "I'm going to hide in a spot and slowly die" mode. Which, my reaction was to dig up the past and ask my mother how much exactly did it cost to put Cha Cha down as I don't want my cat to suffer.
Her answer... was not pleasant. She basically told me that you can take them to the pound and they'll do it if no one adopts them. Shocked. Shocked was my reaction. I think it hit me harder than when I found out the dog was put down. Mainly because of the thought that the dog was there sitting in an unknown cage for a day or so before getting the shot. Sure it ended the suffering, but what dignity was there to it?
Which led to more questions. Such as the realization that we are born crying and we die crying. You may as well say that you are born alone and die alone. But that's not really true. You are born with your loved ones around you. I feel that maybe, just maybe it would be nice to go out with those who meant something to you around you as well.
Well, not like any of that even mattered. Which is the worse part of it. After a couple of days of not eating and slowly wasting away, the cat died. His name was Goldberg. Well, his name is still Goldberg. Much like in Fight Club, someone's name still remains even after death. But he passed away yesterday morning sometime. I last checked on him around 3am and woke up to him gone. It was rather sad. But I took comfort in knowing that he was no longer suffering.
Did he die with dignity? Maybe. Hours before he passed I took him one last time to the outside world. I knew he loved going up to a tree whenever he did get outside time, and just scratching the ever living fuck out of it. I carried him over to the tree and his first reaction was to just lunge at it. Even with as little energy he had -- Back legs not even able to hold him up -- he still showed signs of being himself.
I took him inside and he went into the corner box and before I slept I gave him what ended up being a final goodbye petting.
So add one more kitty grave to the list of ones I've dug before. The worse was Charlie. Man, that one broke me up. But even though Charlie was my first stray cat turned Lone Wolf and Cub sort of companion, Goldberg, the cat that died a few days ago was literally the first cat I called my own. Prior to that I didn't grow up with cats. My father hated them for some reason that I still can not understand. We were a dog family. A Dalmatian dog family. For 25+ years of my 31 years of existence there has been a Dalmatian in my life.
So yeah, part of me feels like I failed him. Did I put him out of his misery through putting him down? No. I'm conflicted on all that. He would have hated the car ride to the vet anyway.
So I guess that covers the falling, failing and flailing. Though I guess I still have far more falling to do. It seems that's all I keep doing lately. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Falling into some luck is nice. Vague enough? Yeah.. I think so. Hey, I'm an open book today but even some stuff is redacted - God how an ex made me hate that word -
Oh yeah, then there's the phone. Man, I had a shitty week for my phone. It was an old "unsmart" phone to begin with that was clearly a few years outdated. But suddenly I lost the ability to see the screen every few times I opened it. So the signs were there that the end was in fact near for it. Then on Friday while out and about and in the middle of using it - it just crapped out on me. How embarrassing.
Anyhow, so I had to use an older phone for half of the day and I just bit the bullet and went in and you can welcome me into the ranks of those finally getting with the program and owning a smart phone. Oh man, I'm a total hipster now with my god damn Apple product.. which is odd since it's a day after This American Life did a story retracting their previous episode on "should we feel wrong about apple?" the answer is always yes. Yes you should feel wrong about capitalism. But anyhow, now I have an iPhone. I am king douche..
Which, I don't know why, but maybe it was some moral or ethical thing that caused me to hold off on getting a smart phone for all this time. I sort of liked the lack of temptation in having simply a phone that was a phone and nothing else. Now I have to deal with checking out shit on the internet every five minutes. And believe me, if I'm not an alcoholic, I'm an internet addicted freak. It's a terrible habit, I know.
In retrospect, that cell phone thing worked itself out well in the long run. Even if the Verizon employee pretty much made me feel like a complete caveman for having such an old phone. But I got a smart phone by changing my plan just slightly to be, what, a buck or two more expensive monthly than I currently was paying. Not to mention that since I held out so long for a smart phone, the sucker only cost me a few bucks in tax with all their promotions - though in exchange I had to sign over my soul to them for another number of years. Eh, with the way you can fuck around with a phone plan, it worked out fine.
So I guess the bigger picture here is that while shit looks and feels bad while you're in the dumps and life is one hell of a confusing mess during it, and even if it's been a very tough year so far, what with that odd feeling, making ends meet with an expected unexpected long hiatus, I do feel a bit more optimistic about the year.
I can't help but feel that the year will turn around for the better. What with an extended work schedule up ahead and getting stuff cleared up, there's a lot to look forward to out there in the horizon. Hell, maybe this was just that whole birthday slump I seem to have every year anyway. Though none of my down in the dump feelings seemed to have anything to do with the fact that I'm aging another year. Looking in the mirror today I saw a huge gray streak on my head. The shocking thing is that it didn't bother me one bit. If anything, I was sort of proud of it. It makes me look a bit distinguished, I would say.
So maybe, just maybe I'll make it through this year.. if it kills me.
Thanks for listening, I swear I'll be more on point with random bullshit, comic related crap and a ton of political commentary and satire you probably didn't want to read anyway.