March 29
Over the years I've discovered that inspiration is very much like being struck by lightning. The wonderful thing ... is that it strikes again, and again, and again.


DECEMBER 26, 2010 6:22PM


Rate: 5 Flag


Waiting for a friend to die is a bitch.

My children are here for the Christmas holiday.   My daughter made her airline reservations months ago and my son has brought his girlfriend here to finally meet his father.   She seems so very young, but I am reminded that she is already a college graduate and he will graduate in a few months.   Both of my children are young adults now, but at Christmas they revert to five-year-old versions of themselves from years past … and we play.  

My new wife watches with amusement as her husband assumes a completely new persona.  He is somehow able to laugh along with them at shared recollections and precious memories, as if he were a child himself.   We are together once again to escape from the pressures of work and school and life.  With them all here with me, the bitch is far more tolerable and for short periods of time… I forget her entirely. 

We have a wonderful arsenal of weapons with which to keep the bitch at bay.   We have a backlog of video games to play, that we only play on the occasion of their visits.   On this trip we will strive to complete the “Dragon Age – Origins” expansion game, “Awakening”- so that we can finally move on to “Fall-out - New Vegas”.  Meanwhile there are new games under the Christmas tree to add to the “play list” that they still don’t know anything about.  One game my son has already mentioned to me, but I feigned ignorance.   He will once again be amazed at my ability to select the games that he wants (but didn’t have time to play, out of all of the games that he does play in-between visits) without actually discussing it with him.  We will all laugh loudly and make a great deal out of this before returning to the business of working the play list.   Together we will beat that bitch back for a while. 

My wife and my son's girl friend are not video game aficionados.  They do not understand how such successful, intelligent, intellectual people can spend hours, days, weeks (if given the opportunity) engrossed in video worlds that bear little resemblance to reality.   For me the answers are obvious and simple.  First, I get to spend serious quality time with the two people that I truly love most in this world.  (My wife understands this and she is not jealous.  She is wise.)  Second, and in some respects even more timely and relevant, the video designers of today are extraordinarily talented in creating fantasy worlds where cancer cannot actually kill my closest friend… slowly destroying the spark of life that made him someone special and precious to me.

In their infinite wisdom the developers have set it up so that when we die in video games, we are endowed with a reset button.  Here, in this real world, we do not have a reset button, and so I must contend with this bitch. 

After a week or so, my children will return to their daily lives in other states.  We are always as close as Facebook or the iPhone these days, but without their presence I am at the mercy of the bitch.  She actually gains strength and crawls up my spine when the telephone rings at an odd hour… or when I see a message from one of the appointed care-givers.  Yesterday I caught myself becoming teary-eyed unexpectedly and I knew it was the bitch at work once again. 

I’ve got a new wife and my children are here at home with me.  We have video games, movies, the three-dimensional version of the Scrabble board game called “Up-words” and my son’s new girl friend. I've also got a ton of work waiting for me after the holiday. There are plenty of wonderful things with which to occupy my time.  I’ve got some back-up for a while… so stand-down bitch.  

Please… stand down.      

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'm sorry about your friend. I suppose a "reset" button in life would be great but I like to think things are so good on the other side no one would want to come back, even if they could. That's my hope anyway. Hang in there.
Oh no.
I can hardly read this without tears pouring.
I know the bitch too well here.
I lost two family members this year.
Thinking of you.
Strength, peace and love.
I just read your profile. And yes, this post is something really special. That particular bitch is a real nag, so I'm glad you've had a reprieve, if only for a day or two.

Margaret… Wouldn’t that be wonderful? “Things are so good on the other side no one would want to come back.” I remember feeling that way after an extended business trip to Sydney. I loved it. It was all the things I look for in a metropolitan playground, but spotless, and safe, and friendly, and accessible. Unfortunately, it might as well be on the moon because it is so very far away from all of those I love so dearly. It would have to be more than extraordinary to cause me to willingly give them up. I think your view of the “other side” is something like that. Even if it is glorious… I would want my loved ones. Now if they have all gone on ahead of me… I now must believe that they await my coming. There is suddenly a more tangible hook to that thing called “faith.” Thank you so much for commenting

Mission… My heart goes out to you. To lose one family member in a given year is painful. To lose two in the same year is just wrong. I am very sorry for your loss. I will think of you as well.

Scylla… Thank you. After returning to the Salon after a long absence, I’d gotten out of the habit of responding to each comment. I now remember that it was satisfying to do so. Perhaps a sense of closure! Thank you again.

AlleyOops… To say so much with so few letters. Tis a gift.

Lezlie… the nicest surprise I can imagine to close out 2010. Smile lovely one… smile.
ah haaaaa. a new wife. well, you've been a busy boy. Also, very sorry to hear about this particular bitch. I deal with her fallout quite a bit in my work and it never gets easier.
Yup.... this particular Bitch has been hard to handle. It is most probably why I've returned to the Open Salon. I cannot really write my troubles away, but the true expression of feelings is a big help. Thanks for coming by again Gabby.