September 4th, 2017


Life'll Kill Ya

This weekend, Beth and I drove down to Virginia to visit my grandmother, my mom's mom, who's my only living grandparent. She's ninety-five and living in an assisted living community, and not doing very well but surviving. She has a lot of trouble seeing, and seems kind of bored. I guess mortality has been on my mind recently. Two people I didn't talk to much but was generally friendly with died in the past month, one after a battle with cancer, and the other quite abruptly. And a few months ago, a guy I knew from social media but had never met in person died just short of his sixtieth birthday. I still see things online that I think he would have liked, and there's no way for me to share them with him. It's easier when there's a chance to say goodbye and wrap up loose ends, but even then it's disturbing and sad. I feel like, when I was growing up, people thought I was insensitive about such things because I didn't really visibly mourn, but I think that's something everybody deals with in their own way. When you consider how fragile we really are, it's astounding how many people manage to live and thrive for so long. My grandmother tells herself that God must not be ready for her yet, but I've never been religious, and the idea of an afterlife seems unlikely to me. That said, I can see why people want to believe in it, and it's a pretty standard belief throughout the world. Our consciousness is how we interact with the world, and it's difficult to grasp the idea that it could just end all of a sudden. I guess part of me thinks that people should be entitled to see how their legacy turns out, even if they don't get some kind of eternal existence in spirit form. But then, who said life (or afterlife) was fair? I'm sometimes bothered by the fact that I've never accomplished anything that I can be remembered by, but I'd really rather be remembered while I'm still alive to appreciate it.

To switch from something depressing to something that's merely annoying, I did a lot driving in the past two days, and I've hardly driven at all since moving to Brooklyn. It rained for much of the drive down, but it was actually pretty clear when we crossed the Bay Bride Tunnel, which gives some awe-inspiring views of the Chesapeake. I kind of wish we'd taken some pictures there. I appreciate that there are Wawas all the way down now, when they were just a southeastern Pennsylvania and environs thing in my youth. I hear they have them in Florida now. We had dinner on Saturday at Cheddar's, a restaurant we don't have in our area. We're back home now, and don't have any plans of doing anything today. It's back-to-school time now, which doesn't affect us, but brings back some unpleasant memories. As with a lot of things, the prospect of going to school was often worse than actually being there, but there were certainly exceptions. I'm still not entirely sure how I managed to survive junior high. Anyway, to commemorate Labor Day, here's a relevant Andy Partridge demo: