Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28: Never Hurry, Never Worry, Dead Donkey Fairy Tale

"Well," replied Charlotte, "you must try to build yourself up.  I want you to get plenty of sleep, and stop worrying.  Never hurry and never worry!  Chew your food thoroughly and eat every bit of it, except you must leave just enough for Templeton.  Gain weight and stay well--that's the way you can help.  Keep fit, and don't lose your nerve.  Do you think you understand?"

It's the end of a very long week.  Started out with really bad news.  Ended with a dead car battery and the purchase of a new tire for my car.  When I went out to start my car this morning, the engine clicked, and the light flickered.  The 40-below zero night had cast a Sleeping Beauty spell over my vehicle.  The spell wasn't broken by true love's first kiss; it was broken by getting jumped, if you know what I mean.

Then, I took my car to a tire shop, hoping that my flat tire could be repaired.  After three minutes, the mechanic told me my tire was under a terminally evil spell.  I needed to purchase a new one.  In 15 minutes, I was on the road with a fancy new wheel on my pumpkin carriage.

As I said, not the best week of my life.  I'm waiting for some kind of happily ever after to come my way.  Or a fairy godmother.  When I got home last night, my wife handed me two pieces of mail.  One envelope held a paycheck for the poetry workshop I've been teaching.  The other envelope held a gift from a poet friend:  it was her new collection of poetry.  A wonderful surprise.

I have friends and family who really care about me, the way Charlotte cares for Wilbur.  Many of these friends and family have said reassuring things to me this week.  Things like, "God's watching out for you."  And, "A door's closing, but a window's opening."  And, "What the hell, man?  That sucks."  At the beginning of this week, I felt like my world was coming to an end.  At the end of this week, I feel like I've been run over by a truck, but I'm not giving in to despair.  I plan to follow Charlotte's good advice:  I will build myself up, get plenty of sleep, and try to stop worrying.

Once upon a time, a farmer named Oscar decided to take a load of turnips to the village farmer's market to sell.  He hitched up his donkey cart, loaded up his cart, and started on his way.

Twenty miles down the road, his donkey stopped at a drainage ditch to guzzle some water.  A mile later, the donkey fell to its knees.  Oscar tried to get the donkey moving again, but, after ten minutes, the donkey died.  Oscar tried to pull the cart to the village himself, but, ten miles later, he suffered a heart attack.

Oscar eventually walked back to his farm and spent the rest of the harvest season in bed.

The turnips never got to market.  Oscar lost his crop, his donkey, and, eventually, his farm.

Moral of the story:  never bet the farm on turnips; you'll lose your ass.

And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.

It's hard to get your ass moving sometimes

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