Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of 2014 — Navel Gazing

Fascinating stuff I wrote about myself.

Will to live (2/16)
Over the years, I've lost many friends and family. Inevitably, someone said it was their time. And I would think, "If God has someone for all eternity, why can't we have them for a little while longer? It would still be eternity after that." Also, I bounced around happily in back seats as a kid, and I managed to escape injury. Does that mean God had a plan for me, and not those kids? Or does it mean God didn't deem me worthy of heaven's ball pit? So many questions, so few of them comforting and so many troubling — and none with definite answers.

On Tuesday, I received my furniture and effects after having them in storage for 17 months. I've lived for the past seven months in my apartment with what fit in my car and a few other items purchased since then — and the previous 9 1/2 months was spent at my parents' house, among their furnishings and shared bathrooms, keeping my toiletries and laundry in travel totes. In sports terms, I hadn't nested since the NFL was using replacement officials.

It's enough of a time period where you don't even miss things, but forget you have them, and forget you need them. It plays with your head.

Brenner's humor in all its forms resonated with me because he could mine comedy, or a meaningful anecdote, out of nearly anything. I've been working at that ever since. The forces that compelled me to start Not Right About Anything are rooted in Brenner's inspiration. Above all, though, I'll remember Brenner for a single, pivotal statement that's largely determined who I've been ever since.

The immediate aftermath on that June 11 day taught me many things about life. Some poignant, and some funny.

When my mom came into the kitchen, I asked her if Ninnin (as we called her) had died. "Yes, she passed away," she replied. That was the first time I ever heard that expression. Well, misheard it.

"She passed out," I would say for several days thereafter. Kids say the darnedest things.

We never exchanged phone numbers, social-media follows or even last names. I know her first name and where she's from — that's about it, and about what she knows of me. She said we were about the same age, but neither of us mentioned our ages (I'm sure 34 is far off for her). We promised to stay in touch, but that seems unlikely now.

That makes me sad. But in a way, it doesn't.

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