Of Sunsets and Sentimentality

IMG_1874another spectacular sunset for a less than spectacular day

There’s nothing quite like a magnificent sunset to calm a man’s senses and allow him to put things into perspective for a few moments in an otherwise listless and godforsaken day.  We had a remarkable sunset last night in the Ozarks, and again tonight, and I felt like sharing my shitty iPhone pics on this blog.  It rained damn near all day yesterday (a miserable downpour worthy of building an ark), but as the sun began to sink over the horizon, the rain ceased and the sky opened up just enough to put on one hell of a show.  It was a much needed show, too.

Anymore, most of my days are spent mired in despondency and regret to a debilitating degree.  Fortunately, I’ve been busy enough at work as of late to keep my mind off of unpleasant things (idle hands and all that), but as soon as I return home and am left to my own devices, the loneliness becomes too unbearable to ignore.  I keep waiting for circumstances to change and for things to get better, or at the very least to become more palatable, but they never do.  Which is why it’s so important for someone such as myself to take the time to appreciate something as simple and powerful as a beautiful sunset.  Sometimes a sunset makes all the difference.

IMG_1887tonight’s sunset, as seen from a nursing home parking lot

For far too long now I’ve been telling myself that things could always be worse, and I’m tired of using that thought as a crutch.  Speaking of crutches, I visited my mother in the nursing home tonight, and while I was walking down the hallway of the home I witnessed an old man in a wheelchair camped out at the twenty-five cent candy machines with a cup full of quarters as if he were an old lady playing the slots.  Both of his legs were gone, likely long-since lost to diabetes.  And yet there he was, eating fistfulls of Skittles at a time.  One must have priorities, I reckoned, and I suddenly remembered my paternal grandfather, who was diabetic.  For the life of him, despite his diabetes, he couldn’t give up his favorite candy– those cheap gummy orange slices.

orangeslicesmy grandfather’s kryptonite

I loved those crappy candies when I was a kid, and I’ve always associated them with the memory of my grandfather.  He shot himself around this time some thirty years ago, which is crazy to think about.  When I wrote a post about the concept of deathdays a while back, I forgot to include that it was my grandfather who actually introduced that concept to my father.  And the older I get, the more I recognize the significance of this concept.  To every thing (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven.  [apologies to Pete Seeger and the Byrds]

Thought For The Day

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And what if you don’t have EITHER of those things, Gretchen darlin’?  What then?

Coincidentally, Gretchen Rubin is originally from Kansas City, home to the baseball team I rooted for as a child (who just won Game 1 of the World Series in 14 innings) and home also to one of my oldest (and loneliest) friends, Steve, who I actually drove up to K.C. to visit last week.  It was good catching up with my ol’ pal whom I hadn’t seen in years, but Steve is a fellow depressive as well as a fellow victim of loneliness, so it was a little despiriting to commisserate with someone who’s also battling melancholia as severely as I am.  What makes Steve different, though, is that he’s hands down the funniest motherfucker I’ve ever known as well as an optimist at heart, so through all of his adversity he has managed to retain both his senses of humor and hope, which is more than I can say for myself.

Thought For The Day

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I know what you’re thinking: “He fucked up that proverb! It’s supposed to be ‘When one door closes, another door opens‘, right?” But no– I didn’t fuck up that proverb. Quite the contrary, actually, as that proverb fucked me up, and now I simply can’t help seeing it from the other way around. But then again, I’ve always been a bit of a “glass half-empty” kinda guy.

It’s downright ignorant to assume that closing the door on a crucial part of your life will automatically lead to something better. I mean, who even knows what’s behind that second door? Could be something good… could be something bad… we don’t know. And who’s to say there’s even going to BE a second door? Guess what, folks– sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes when a door closes, you’re left standing with your proverbial dick in your hand in an empty hallway full of other closed doors, and no matter how hard you knock on any of those doors, they’re going to remain shut. That’s cerrado, pendejo.

I think what’s too often overlooked in this expression is the finality involved in the closing of that first door, and that’s exactly why I’ve restructured it for this blog post– because people need to fully grasp the significance of having that first door forever shut. News flash, Holmes: regardless of whether or not another door ever opens, whatever once was behind that first door is now essentially gone forever. So consider this a PSA from your friendly neighborhood perennial loser.

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