"In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments. Those whom life does not cure death will. The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting."
"He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all."
From "All The Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy.
Had a miserable day at work on Thursday. As I was walking up the walk to report for duty I saw a woman measuring the opening to the back of her van.
This is never a good sign. Two minutes later I was helping her load a large sofa into the van. I spent forty five minutes outside, removing the legs, twisting, turning and cajoling the goddamn thing into the vehicle.
The temperature was over 90 degrees; the humidity was 10,000%.
When I finished my t-shirt was soaked to my skin, my work shirt was soaked front and back.
I walked back into a building where the two main air conditioners were not functioning. Toweled myself off as best I could and spent the next couple of hours waiting on people with shirts stuck to my body.
The store closes at 6:00; I was alone from 5:30 on. Big sales promotion that day. I looked up at 6:00 to see five or six people lined up to check out with stacks of clothes that would qualify them for the sale.
I asked them to wait as I ran outside to grab the open flag and came back in to lock the front doors so nobody else could get in.
It was 6:30 by the time I checked everybody out.
My irritation level was at the max, between starting my shift the way I did, working wet in the inside heat, and the fact that one woman in line had multiple kids who were loud as hell as I checked her out at the end.
I wanted to scream at the kids. I wanted to scream for the sake of screaming.
It was literally one of those rare moments when I had to will myself not to scream; not to yell. I kept my mouth shut through sheer force of will but my nerves were burning in frustration.
As I headed home I felt empty. Devoid of life, energy, enthusiasm. Not really giving a shit about anything.
Feeling absolutely nothing.
And who could blame me. Obviously I suffered more on that day than Jesus on the way to his crucifixion.
I woke up Friday feeling empty. Nothing there at all. My goal was to make it through my shift. Nothing more than that.
Hollow all Friday night.
This morning I sat down with a cup of coffee and Cormac McCarthy. Finished the book.
As I read I felt myself coming back alive. Resuscitated by exceptional prose. Rejuvenated by words and deep truths like the ones I began this post with.
That's how my body works. It feeds on art. On creativity. On the unique and beautifully expressed.
I like it that way.
Especially when raw truth is expressed in a manner that I can respect; that I can connect with.
And so I begin again.