Saturday, August 09, 2008

STUPIDITY, Chapter II...

Well, it's Saturday evening, and a lot of things look different. Not only did I manage to get my studio packed up, but I've had time to think about the call I got from the Goat the other night.

He spent the day at the funeral of his old friend N, a local guy from nearby in the Big Woods. The circumstances of his death left little doubt as to his tastes, but despite the fact that dealing with it must have put the good townspeople off a bit, he still received a full community send-off. The sports car crew all drove in parade behind the car with the ashes. The Goat drove, too, but couldn't take his own jalopy, because its guts were spread out all over the garage... so he drove one of N's, which was a good thing for him, and a good thing for a friend to do.

What hit me when he called to tell me about N's death was not that it had nothing to do with me, not that I wasn't sure I wanted anything to do with those far shores of leather where N found his doom--but only that all I cared about was how my Goat was grieving, that all I could think of was how hard it was for the Goat to lose another friend, he who has buried so many over the years of the plague. All I wanted to do was to be with him, to go to the funeral with him, to be able to hug him and let him know life goes on...

And I couldn't.

I was packing, and waiting for my daughter to show up.

In short, it was a wake-up call. If you can call something a wake-up call that went on all day. It was almost as if I could stand and watch as my concern for the Goat steamrolled all my doubts with the full weight of the Mighty Power of Love--mine if not his. The depth and expanse of it were quite mind-blowing.

All of this less than two years from first laying eyes on the man--well, I've never claimed to do anything by halves. In for a penny, in for a pound, it's love that makes the world go 'round, as W.S. Gilbert said. But it can be scary to contemplate, if you're the one that suddenly realizes how far in the "pound" takes you...

And my Long-Legged Daughter, who has recently had her wisdom teeth out, called to say that she wasn't feeling very well, and wouldn't be coming up after all. That's OK: getting a spare bed back together for her was going to be a trick in any case. Well, maybe she'll come up later.

Just a little more than a week to go...

Soon you’ll be there on borrowed wheels
To show respect
To one more man I never knew,

A friend whose death brings many things to light,

Not least how much we and our world have changed.

I’m more than sorry that I couldn’t go,

To travel at your side, to be with you,

To see the day bear witness to the night.

But that’s not how our lives have been arranged.

This will not be the last death—that we know—

I live in hope that next time I can do

What now I couldn’t.

And with all my might I long

To live as if vows were exchanged.

My doubts give way to tend’rest thoughts,

And I know that I love,
And how I love, and why.

You’d think I might at least feel some relief:
One man I do not have to meet,
One more in the unending stream

Of your fast friends.

I find I sorrow now we’ll never meet.

I share in, if I cannot know, your grief—

I’ve lost good friends, and old friends,

Know how sore the heart can be,

And heavy--know the “bends”

From watching all the rest not miss a beat.

Your sorrow’s shadow falls on all I see,

For I know well
More sorrows are in store for both of us,
No matter what our ends,

Or when they come.

All love will know defeat,
and will surrender—
That’s the human story.

Yet love lived out
will one day rise in glory.


  1. Haven't heard from you in awhile, Troll! Hope everything's okay...

  2. Biggo:

    "Everything's okay" might be an overstatement, but I think I am down from months behind to days behind.

    Having made a date with the truck, now I have to show up.

    I'm not at all sure how it's going to work, but I'll let you know once the dust settles...

    if it settles...