September 8th, 2004

there!, Hello

Endings, Outros and Other Ruminations on Completion

So, Lynn from next door stopped by to check her weight. As our lab is one of the only ones with a person sized, digital scale, we get a lot of traffic. She paused to chat with me.

Turns out, her son is not applying to colleges. He's still in high school at this point. She asked him, last night, what's holding him back. His reply? A strangely honest one: he doesn't want to give up what he's got. He's a preppy sort of kid, also a jock (football player), and conservative (quite unlike his parents, who are liberal nerdy types, kind of like me, I suppose). He doesn't want to lose high school, etc. Lynn mentioned to him how left behind he'll feel when all of his friends go off to school and he stays behind. "It's not the end of the world," she told him.

My reply to all this? "Oh, yes it is." His world is coming to an end, and beyond it lies the unknown. Got me to thinking about endings. I recalled one of my favorite philosphical ruminations, about "Savor the Good things in your life as much as you can because they are precious, they don't come often." I used to believe that Badness filled up the huge gaps between Good Things. Not true. There are worse fillers between the scance Goods and Bads, the Ups and Downs. There is malaise. Indifference. There are holding patterns. If you get caught up in them too much, well, I suppose you can spend your whole life in one. I cannot imagine a worse fate. Just to sit and wait for something to happen, while simultaneously dread it happening.

My first novel, Adapting to the Cold, ended with this notion. It was the truest piece of horror I could compose, and it's still effective (for me, anyway). I am a lazy creature by nature. I've gotten terribly lazy as I've grown more and more comfortable in my circumstances. "Some day, all this is gonna end," Captain Kilgore (was that his name? the surfer nutjob military guy in Apocalypse Now) said, with a touch of sadness.

Funny, Adapting... is sitting around, waiting for me to rewrite and sell it.

I don't know what this piece is supposed to be saying. It's just a poor attempt to crack open my skull and get out some of the contents. I think I need to go write something for real.
  • Current Music
    "The End" The Doors, duh.