Thursday, October 12, 2006


There's something on my mind. Personal. Not very personal. Just personal. It's not that I'm irritated. Not depressed. But something has been bothering me. As those who are familiar with these pages will know, I have my little sport that I do. I give a fair amount of time to it each week, but I pretty much leave it, when I leave it. I seem to have brought it home, tonight.

I got tapped out, decisively, twice, today. Because I'm longer than anyone else, and stronger than is entirely reasonable, I have a general advantage. My skill level is not all that impressive, but because of my physical attributes I perform above my ability. Not modesty, just analysis. Anyway, I really don't get tapped out too often. I try to keep it in perspective, and remind myself that with bigger guys I'd be put in my place more often, but the cold fact is that I'm not used to submitting. Boo hoo. Poor little big man.

So both of the fellas who got me are considerably smaller than I am. One is something like five inches shorter and thirty pounds lighter, the other perhaps 8 inches shorter and twenty pounds lighter. They're both much more skilled than I am. But I'm bigger, so I can often avoid getting tapped by the first, and pretty much hold my own with the second. I've got this in perspective, and it's no big deal if I get beat. So what's the bother?

There I was, home, doing whatever it is that I do at home, and something, something was bothering me. Getting tapped? No. I wanted to go again. I wasn't done rolling. But they were. So there I am, all competitive feeling, and no one to roll with. Grr. Can't blame them. It's pretty grueling, whichever way it goes. They're all younger and faster and more mobile than I am, but for a vegetarian I'm not a softy. I didn't entirely suck in gymnastics, back when Ford was president. I've forgotten everything, and I'm about as flexible as the Tin Woodman, but not everything was lost, apparently, and some of it is coming back ... like the Valley of Dry Bones.

So rolling with me is tough. But it's not any tougher for them, than for me. I do bear it in mind when I outweigh someone, and I don't put all my weight on them. And their greater skill has to count for something. So we're both working hard. I'm stronger, they're faster. I'm longer, they're more skilled. Evens out, right? And I'm way too old to be doing what I'm doing. No, not old, but old for this. And yeah, mate, it makes a huge difference. Gigantically huge. I am not the man I used to be. I ache like I've been trampled by rhinoceri. It never used to be like that. And they're in their prime. So what's up with that, huh? Rhinoceri are very fierce, you know. More human fatalities are caused by rhinoceri attack than by cancer and heart disease. It is sacred in India, where large herds of rhinoceri roam unmolested through the village streets, often entering cafes and attacking diners. Did you know an elephant's heart weighs in excess of 500 pounds and beats once every thirty minutes? Every day they have bowel movements that weigh between ten and twelve tons. They can't stop swimming or they die. Isn't that interesting? And lions can ejaculate 17 times in six minutes. Reminds me of my college days. Gee I'm smart.

I offer all this to demonstrate that ... well, I don't know why I offered it. I seem to have forgotten my point.

But I was just thinking. Some of the fellas were joking about a gay move. Gay. "Would you do that gay move to save your son?" And the other fella, childless, said, "I'd let him die." A joke. And I was sitting here thinking about what I have done, to save my boys. I took a lot of pain into myself, to save them. Didn't turn out as brightly as I might have hoped. The scary thing, for me, is that I would do it again. Hoping, hoping it would turn out differently. Madness, I know. I can give up on myself, but I couldn't give up on them. It isn't the pain that makes us give up. It's the futility.

Ho hum.

I'd like to be done, though, when I leave. I'd like to have rolled as much as I want to roll. I'd like to leave it all on the mat, and take none of it home with me. Especially if I get tapped. That's when I need to roll even more. It seems that I have to get beat before I start getting competitive -- or maybe I mean aggressive. That's not a good thing, is it. At least it's not futile. Not all beatings are permanent.

My son left me a message this morning. He's heading into a hot area. I save his messages. He said the line for the phone was hours long. That doesn't seem right.

Maybe that was what was bothering me.

Now I'm bothered again.



imp said...

Prayers up.

Teresa said...

I sometimes wonder if adults without children can even begin to know how much parents love their children. You're right, we can never give up on them, no matter what the pain might be. Prayers for your son.

Vandy said...

No they can't teresa. How can they?

I'll pray for your son Jack. My son graduated basic last Friday, please pray for him too.