Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Case Study in Battle Weariness: The Rolling Soldier

Hello, my lovelies!

The holidays are upon us. Christmas... Kwaanza... Chanukah... Solstice... Eid... Festivus for the Restivus....whatever you celebrate; may you too gain twenty pounds of holiday party fat and get an itchy sweater that you don't want.

Happy holidays to you and yours from your very favorite blogger!

I have delegated all of the less than fantastic tasks of the season (licking Christmas card envelopes) to Dear Sainted Husband to spend a few hours playing useless video games (I hear they're good for making essential neuronal connections relating to fine motor control and visual-spatial relationships. It might be a load of shit, but who cares? That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) and writing a long, boring blog that no one will read (save for Dear, Sainted Husband, whom I will park in front of the computer and bite my nails anxiously whilst he soaks it in)

I have not blogged in a while. Here I sit, hopped up on my favorite carcinogen in a can (aka Coca Cola), contemplating the big, esoteric things in life. The Don Valley Parkway is lit up like a Christmas tree on crack and Dear Sainted Husband has vacated the premises in favor of a leisurely stroll in that fresh -13 degree I figure it's a good time to write.

Why is it that two inches of snow turns city drivers (most of them) into accidents waiting to happen? It seems that every night there's a backup as long as my intestines. I wonder about these people (and worry for their safety) when the real snow hits. Real snow - you know, the kind your grandparents tell you about...they walked to school in it. "Uphill. With bread bags on our feet because of the holes. If we were lucky enough to have boots. And a Coke was a nickle. If we had a nickle." You know exactly what I am talking about.

Anyway. I digress. I don't drive, so I guess I have no right to comment. But, I'm just sayin', is all.

Here at Casa Figment... we are busily preparing for Mass Consumer Day (ie. Christmas). We sent out our Christmas cards (okay, some of them), wrapped our gifts (some of those, too. We'll probably wait until 2 or 3 am Christmas Eve in reverance to tradition) and have been drooling over Christmas-related confection over which to file for divorce (or not quite - see earlier blogs, new readers).

I must be experiencing some post-academic withdrawal-Christmas shopping shock. I am a wreck. How does Santa deal with this crap?

Hire me some elves. I'm in.

Really. The "cold" (talk to me about cold at 8 am on a Monday in February in Thunder Bay) must be affecting my ability to function properly. Consider: strangely weird dreams that wake me up to my own mumblings in what I believe to be Mandarin, and cravings for things like McDonalds (barf!) "Jolly Green Apple" nugget sauce (dramatic heaving barf!).

Trust me. Don't go there. It's a lot less jolly over the toilet heaving at 3 am. Thanks, Ronald McDonald (ps. bionic slime colored jam is not for chicken, Sir! What would the great Julia Child say? Definitely not haute cuisine francaise!)

I had a dream that I was at my own funeral. (How "meaning of life" is that?) I saw everyone there - my parents, and all of my lovely friends...all of whom seemed to be rather indifferent at my passing. Anxious for the tea sandwiches and Tang.

How many times in our lives do we sit back and take stock of what we've accomplished? Does it ever measure up against what we had planned as idealistic and naive five year olds who thought that the world was our oyster?

I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice. The Chief Justice, actually. The Big Kahuna of the Canadian legal world. Righting the legal wrongs of a justice system misaligned. I imagined myself showing up to work every day, taking on Goliath and prevailing, because it was right and just.

Pass me a barf bag.

But it set me to thinking: isn't that really what's happening with each letter I write, blog I post, debate I lose sleep over - demanding fairness and equality for everyone: on a bus, in an elevator, an accessible bathroom, old age home, blood bank, piercing parlour or at a Pride parade? It was a regular American woman who refused to give up her seat on that bus, because she refused to tolerate being treated that way - not any judge. How funny that she sat down for what is right?

Is it possible that I am right where I should be, writing letters that other people couldn't be bothered to...arguing the argument that some don't want to hear...smoothing the road less travelled for those who follow?

There are people that take each step and revolution of a wheel with me. I know that. I know who you are, and I love you. Each of you, in your own way, supplement my desire to carry on and push forward. It is for you that I fight, and for the people out there who do not have the strength to mount battle.

But let me tell you something: I was drafted.

Conscripted into a battle that appears to have nothing to do with me but with what everyone thinks is wrong with my existence.

I've been assigned a tour of duty that appears endless and the battle exhausts me. This equality soldier is tired. I feel like I need to give the battle axe to someone else for a while. It has crossed my mind more than once.

What will people say about me after I have taken my last breath? Am I to be remembered for the things that were important to me...or things that I don't even know I've done?

This year, I've been to four funerals. Each of those people fought horrible battles: three with cancer and one with life-long disability and then cancer. Every person at those funerals said something along the lines of "fought hard; never gave up".

So what of the soldier who wants to pack it in and go home? Is there a purse for the boxer who quits; a medal for the soldier who surrenders his weapon? No one ever talks about the people who fight and just can't take it anymore. No front-page spread or honorable mention for them. They're remarked upon with pity, an embarassed bashfulness.

Shakespeare - bless his heart - once said, "Some are born great; some achieve greatness; and others have it thrust upon them".

Which begs the question: which is it, and how do we know for sure?

I guess I'll have to wait to find out.

Happy Christmas; but war is not over.

My love to each of you. I am thinking of you. xo