Lots of Thoughts on Life and Death — Sept. 18, 2021

The term “hot as balls” definitely applied to today, though I don’t know exactly what it means. It was parents weekend at Mizzou, so we traveled yesterday evening to see Boy The Elder and attend a football game today in which the Tigers took on the mighty Southeast Missouri State Somethingorothers. The game itself was a rout in which fans in attendance marinated in their own sweat. The pregame tailgating, also toasty, was what was really special. Bro-in-Law #2 (labeled as such only because he was last in) specializes in tailgating. He’s a huge Mizzou fan (though he graduated from another of its little brothers, Central Missouri, and is amazing at hosting. An 11 a.m. kickoff cut down on the possibilities, but it was fun nonetheless. Friends and family mixing together easily with no drama — I’ll take that any day.

Nighttime Peace

The thing I like most about New Home so far is the screened-in back deck. It’s really a side deck, as New Home is oriented kinda differently. Anywho, I type this while sitting out on said deck, smoking a cigar and listening to the night bugs sing their songs. Wifey Poo and Sister #1 (labeled as such only because she popped out of The Judester first) are at the Alanis Morissette concert, a COVID-delayed outdoor celebration of 1990s Canadian angst. Boy The Younger is staying with cousins in Columbia tonight. Boy The Elder and The Girlfriend are on their way back from Columbia. So right now it’s just me.

Sorry, Bug

I killed a fly with my bare hands the other day. It’s been bothering me. At first, I basked in my badassery. Don’t get my wrong. I’m not a fan of flies. The noise they make when they move is tuned perfectly to annoy the crap out of humans. But that’s not their fault. Whatever supreme being or evolutionary process controls the fate of species made them that way. And I wouldn’t exalt if, say, I punted a puppy into the neighbor’s yard. The fly was just being a fly, and I callously ended its existence. I know nothing of fly spouses and fly children and fly friends, but surely something out there should at least pause and mourn. And if his fly wife isn’t around to do it, well, I’ll take a moment right now. RIP, fly. I’m sorry.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘We are not ISIS or Daesh and this was a family home — where my brothers lived with their families.’

An unnamed relative of the ten innocent civilians slaughtered by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul

In a completed unrelated note to the item above, the lives of 10 human beings who had done nothing wrong to the United States or any of its allies were snuffed out without them ever knowing what happened. One minute, Farzad, 9, Faisal, 10, Zemaray, 40, Zamir, 20, Naseer, 30, Binyamen, 3, Armin, 4, and Sumaya, 2, were alive and living whatever constitutes daily life in Kabul, Afghanistan. And the next minute, they were dead.

Imagine had a Taliban air strike killed whiter faces on American soil. We like to think of ourselves as a nation of moral absolutists. Right is right and wrong is wrong and America determines each. But there sure seems to be a helluva lot of relativism based on geography, religion and skin tone. I would have loved to have met Zamir, top right. His sense of fashion and hair seem pretty dope.

I think it’s important to look at those photos. It’s so easy to de-humanize those unfortunate enough to be born in any area that incurs the wrath of the great and mighty United States. They were people. They did nothing wrong. And in the name of that flag that I stood up and took off my hat for at the football game today to sing a patriotic hymn, they’re dead. And that feels pretty shitty.

Dreams of College

Wifey Poo and I rested our heads in the room of my nephew at the home of Sister-in-Law #2 and Bro-in-Law #2 last night. I slept fitfully and had constant dreams of living in a dorm as a freshman in college. The best thing that ever happened to me occurred in a dorm as a freshman — I met my wife. She doesn’t often read what I write, though I wish she did, but she’s extremely busy. I guess this is a safe space for me to say that she is indeed the best thing to ever happen to me. We’ll be married for 25 years in March. Life with me isn’t easy. She’s likely the only one who could do it.

‘I Want to Kill Myself’

When you tell someone you want to kill yourself, people tend to take notice. The problem is that most of the people who do kill themselves don’t come out and tell anyone that they want to do it. For all that we’d like to believe that we’re this progressive society when it comes to mental illness, my personal experiences tell me otherwise. In the Great Thing I Can’t Even Confirm Exists Because of the Letters N, D and A, I felt fully the level of discrimination that can take place when you are up front about your battles with what is actually an organ disease. I don’t think anyone’s ever had his managerial duties removed and been shoved into a corner in the hope he would just quit because he had a lung problem or a kidney ailment. But that mighty organ, the brain? That’s a different story. And lest you think those in the Great Palace of Christian Righteousness would never do such a thing, well, I have a whole treasure trove of documents and personal stories to provide you a more complete education.

All of which is to say this: There’s a damn good reason why people are sometimes surprised when a loved one kills himself. And no, it’s no one’s “fault” but the person who ends his life. But battling a disease of the brain organ is a helluva lot more lonely and isolating than for those who have a cardiac issue.

So I’ll ask you: Who do you know who could use a phone call or a check-in text with a real, serious, committed, lasting effort to reach his heart and let him know he should stick around a while longer? And then I’ll say this: What the fuck are you waiting for?

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. Tomorrow we celebrate the memory of a great man, my father-in-law, who died in November following heart surgery and complication from that virus Trump said was just one person who came from China. I want to be there for that celebration. He would have had a great time at the football game today.
  2. I’m only about halfway done with this cigar, and I think I’ll stick around to see if the rest is equally mellow.
  3. Chiefs football. It took me an hour today to find the right app and troubleshoot a whole bunch of crap to link my Apple TV with a streamable local CBS affiliate. I’ve gotta stick around to bask in my glory. It’ll be better than when I did so for killing the fly.

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