Mar 09, 2012
It’d be nice if we were angels, wouldn’t it? None of this back-and-forth, these mixed motives, these bodies that never work right, that have to be fed every single day, that bits keep on falling off of. Just be what you are, all in one piece (or maybe no pieces?), and that’s that.
It’s not just when our bodies go wrong that they’re a pain in the ass.1 Having a body is a liability: it means that you, your very self, that part of you that you imagine somehow to be inviolable and totally under the control of your will, is subject to everything from disease to distraction. A few grains of pollen could destroy your capacity for contemplation; a few hours of missing sleep could cripple your capacity for charity.
Speaking of sleep, I keep having to remind myself not to listen to anything I think when I’m tired. Don’t engage the tired thoughts, don’t refute them: ignore, ignore, ignore. This is important to remember when a friend tells some innocent joke and instead of laughing like I normally would, I think “That’s it, the friendship’s over. I could never be friends with such a stupid, stupid idiot. Just look at his stupid teeth when he laughs in that stupid way,” etc., etc.
That’s why, when I get sufficiently tired, the wisest thing is just to go hide (and sleep) somewhere until it blows over; otherwise I’d have no friends left.
Of course you can’t always hide, and you can’t always sleep. Those are the times when you need to duck into the nearest bathroom for a second (not unlike Superman, if Superman’s superpower was not-succumbing-to-irritability), howl if possible, and pray: Lord, you see what I’m like? See what happens to me? Can you take over, please?
And see if he won’t spare you a couple drops of his overflowing charity. Or at least maybe keep you from homicide.