Sometimes I think that time’s running out; I feel like someone marooned on a melting iceberg, trying to write a message in a bottle that will save him and the rest of the world (egomania), only some demonic demigod editor has given him a scrap of paper the size of half a postcard and a pen with enough ink for 30 small words (delusions of grandeur and incipient paranoid psychosis)….What nonsense!
Take three chill pills a day and call me if symptoms worsen; signs may include dressing up like Napoleon, delivering lengthy sermons about the path to Nirvana to baffled elk on the Valley Floor, and….
But I digress….
The Dineh’ (Navajos) believe that sickness is a sign that something has gone wrong not only with patient but with the world, and that concept makes more and more sense to me.
I may have hepatitis, cancer and who knows what-all else lurking around holding a knife behind its back, but considering the phalanx of plagues that’s battering the earth and its people – human, animal; slow and green; the unrighteous anger, sadness, madness, “life out of balance,” sanity wobbling on its axis, churning waters, burning eyes and an inescapable creeping creepy suspicion that something’s gone very, very wrong and the guardians and benevolent handyspirits that used to fix things have unaccountably gone missing – my “problems” are small cheese, indeed.
In fact, so far I’ve been one of the very lucky ones.
I’m glad the Khad agent bombed the wrong bus out of Terri Mangal, that the bombs that fell on Spina Bora sailed wide and exploded in the gorge below (not like the one that left a crater as wide and deep as a townhouse across the entrance to the marcaz the day before); that the would-be assassin slipped off the roof of my bungalow at Deans Hotel in the middle of a rainy night and limped away groaning, and that Sher Mohammed was awake watching over me when the snotty little Saudi Arabian fanatic decided to try to shoot me as I lay sleeping in Jegdeleg (Sher Mohammed, bravest and best of the Ahmedzai tribe, I pray you are still alive and well somewhere; Saudi Salafi punk, I hope you’ve died a hundred deaths by now, and even that is not enough).
I’m glad the riptide released me before I drowned off the Outer Banks, and that I outran the two angry bamboo vipers on the steep rainy trail in the above Dharmsala; that my rental car miraculously landed upright in a cushiony alpine bog after going offroad and airborne for a hundred feet (advice: don’t drive mountain highways at 85 mph after dropping acid); and that I didn’t tumble the remaining thousand vertical feet off Mt. Neva’s lonesome west side, arms and legs snapping, ribcage smashing, skull cracking, extremities twisted backwards till I looked like a werewolf’s lunch, but instead somehow stopped on that impossible sloping ledge; that the treacherous “guide” was the one who died, not me, on the trail through Azrow south to the border; et cetera et cetera, und so weiter, ad infinitum….
I’ve wandered through life like the village idiot with everything exploding, collapsing and disintegrating all around me, whistling a merry tune, but somehow never realizing that though I was passing through unscathed, what did it really matter, what was it worth, when it was the world for god’s sake that was ending on all sides, so what good would it do me in the end? What a dumbkopf, idiot, Bedlamite wacko!
“Hooray, I made it to the – oh, shit, that’s on fire too!”
Color me running between the raindrops, waiting for the rainbows to come….