strike me now

Defeat. I want to think it's like those moments when you clip your fingernail too close, there is a sharp burst of pain and you pull back immediately the finger rushing to your mouth, the blood always seems to take an eternity to make its appearance, so long you are not even sure if you cut yourself or are just being a big insensitive babe. We had a chippy game, and the more I lost, the more I told myself, this is a test, you will keep losing until you have proven yourself, but I just kept losing until my face was disconsolate and no one wanted my stoic humorless companionship.

The entire ride home was consumed with the thought that this sense of loss and defeat is essential. Which led to far away warning bells that it is far past time I gave serious consideration to my will and testament. What happens to my retirement should I perish, be absorbed into the ether after another poorly decided hand and wither with my powdered bones?

These perils are navigated with frantic feverish emails to financial counselors, and my appointment was today. The guy looked at my savings balance and said something along the lines of, You're about my age. People my age, I am pleased if they have a current balance that is 1 to 1 ½ times their annual income. You're doing good.

He told me his age, and I was all, GUFFAW.

What happens if I die? Don't answer that goddamn it.

I meant to ask, What happens should I win the lottery tomorrow? Or what happens should I fake amnesia and run away? Should I put more of my allocation in real estate? What happens if I someday get the courage to shoot off an email and ask do you love me? Should I open a brokerage account?

I’m trying to teach my children that occasional bad service is necessary and that from time to time you are supposed to buy something, be unsatisfied with it and simply swallow the loss. This is something I believe that probably 90% of the population would find horrid.

There are some things we expect to get refunded. A bad meal. Ill fitting footwear. But there are others for which few people would request a cancellation of payment. An unenjoyable taxi ride. A shitty movie.

I feel like there is something about loss and defeat I am close to understanding. Not that it is good for you in a personal growth kind of way, but more, that it is good for you on its own merits.

I have to be able to take loss and defeat and disappointment and make it a part of my name. Make it so intimate that it can never be used against me.

Doubt is often referred to as gnawing, as though it is a parasite burrowing holes into your being, but burrowing also describes how we mine for precious gems and maybe I am simply baring a heather covered adit leading to exposed veins of lodestone and corundum. Strike me now.


Dave2 said…
Faking amnesia and running away is my escape plan! We can't both do that, as it would look too suspicious. Why don't you fake an alien abduction instead? That was my first choice for years, but I think it would be too obvious for me. But for you? THEY WOULDN'T EXPECT A THING!
eclectic said…
Make sure you put in for your Enchantments permit before you run away, die, lose you memory or whatever. If nothing else, getting lost in the mountains makes a great story for later.
Brandon said…
dave, hmm, maybe i can fake being an alien with amnesia? MAYBE I CAN SAY I'VE ABDUCTED MYSELF. i've got the probing part down pat.

Those last two paragraphs (Stanzas? Sentence bundles? Word snakes?) were perfect. The ability to gracefully weather defeat and disappointment instantly makes the person doing the weathering more interesting. It also allegedly builds character, but now we're starting to fly too close to cliche.
brando said…
ya, i'm all for building character and avoiding cliche, which in and of itself qualifies me to teach creative writing at the local community college.

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