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A truly great answer...
A truly great answer...
I was doing something with some junk store antique brass fittings that I had found, and it would have been just perfect except I needed one more. That shouldn't be insurmountable I figured. Just go find one. So off I went on the round of hardware stores and junk shops. Home improvement megastores were no help, junk stores came up empty, specialty stores were equally unhelpful. They couldn't tell me what it was, or where another might be located.
I finally ended up in a small town hardware store looking at a guy who would get my vote as most wrinkled, wizened, mummified human that could still move under his own power in existance. He twiddled the fitting in his bony fingers for a moment, like he was looking at a rare and beautiful gem, then looked at me as if about to be taken with the gift of second sight, and wheezed through the smoke of his hand rolled cigarette, "Well, Son, this is a fittin' off an old ice box ain't been made in fifty years. You ain't gonna find another one."
I waited expectantly for this soothsayer to come up with the solution to my dilemma. He was clearly a sage among hardware guys. I knew there was more to this statement, some nifty down home solution, but he just looked at me in silent contemplation. Finally unable to bear the silent staring match I blurted out, "So what are you saying?"
A placid smile spread across his ancient mug as if I had asked the ultimate question, and he was prepared with the ultimate answer.
"Son," He wheezed. "You're just fucked."
I instantly flashed through the usual spectrum of frustrated consumer emotions, trying vainly to come up with some kind of response. It wasn't what I wanted to hear. I wanted a fitting which probably didn't exist, and if I wanted it there must be a way to will one into being, and here is "old mummy guy", not even willing to play the "you might try" game.
I felt I had a right to indignant outrage, but I wasn't sure just why. Aren't people supposed to do better than that? Aren't they supposed to at least attempt to tell me something that will make me happy? Aren't they supposed to lie to me or present hopeless options so I can feel other than "just fucked"....I was fortunate that my marginal mental processes ground to a halt before I made a further idiot of myself. A light in my benighted brain flickered to life.
"Yes Sir," I nodded. "Fucked is what I am alright. Thanks, and you have a nice day."
He was right. I was fucked. Sometimes it's like that. There isn't always an answer, no matter how much I want there to be. There are a ton of problems floating around that have no real solutions, and time spent ranting and fuming about things that will ultimate defy all my efforts to change them are pieces of my life that could have been spent on battles where victory is still possible.
I think if I ever had to design a coat of arms for myself that would be the motto, "Sometimes Your Just Fucked", and if anybody knows how it goes in latin I'd be grateful if you'd pass it along.
3/14/2006 9:57 am
i love your stories and your insights.|