(Stubb solus,and mending a brace.)
Ha! ha! ha! ha! hem! clear
my throat!- I've been thinking over it ever since, and that ha, ha's the
final consequence. Why so? Because a laugh's the wisest, easiest answer
to all that's queer; and come what will, one comfort's always left-
that unfailing comfort is, it's all predestinated. I heard not all his
talk with Starbuck; but to my poor eye Starbuck then looked something as
I the other evening felt. Be sure the old Mogul has fixed him, too. I
twigged it, knew it; had the gift, might readily have prophesied it- for
when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it. Well, Stubb, wise Stubb-
that's my title- well, Stubb, what of it, Stubb? Here's a carcase. I
know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it
laughing. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles! I feel
funny. Fa, la! lirra, skirra! What's my juicy little pear at home doing
now? Crying its eyes out?- Giving a party to the last arrived
harpooneers, I dare say, gay as a frigate's pennant, and so am I- fa,
la! lirra, skirra! Oh-
We'll drink to-night with hearts as light,
To love, as gay and fleeting As bubbles that swim, on the beaker's brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.
A brave stave that- who
calls? Mr. Starbuck? Aye, aye, sir- (Aside) he's my superior, he has his
too, if I'm not mistaken.- Aye, aye, sir, just through with this job-
Stubb is good-natured. His response to Ahab's unhinging and Starbuck's attempt at defiance is laughter. Stubb can't do anything to change his situation. He believes what will happen is predestined. So, instead of wringing his hands, gnashing his teeth, losing sleep, Stubb laughs, because "a laugh's the wisest . . ."
I like to think that I'm good-natured. I try not to let things get under my skin. Not always successful at this, but I try. Today is going to be a day of stress. My daughter and her boyfriend are going to the prom this evening. So, it's all about hair and makeup and pictures and dinner and grand marches. Me? I have to wash and vacuum out my car. Chauffeur them around to various photo ops.
It's a difficult thing for me--to think that my little girl is a junior in high school, one year away from graduation. That I'm no longer the most important male in her life. That colleges are trying to court her. She's driving now, talking about getting a job this summer. Before my eyes, she has become her own person with her own ideas. Thank God one of those ideas is that Donald Trump is a friggin' moron.
No matter how much I want to protect my daughter from heartbreak and disappointment and failure, I know she will experience all of those things in the years to come. I can't do anything about that. I'm not saying my daughter is predestined for disasters of the heart and soul. I'm saying that the world and people are imperfect. Because of that imperfection, my daughter will be hurt and disappointed at times in her life. Can't get around it.
This day, however, is all about celebration of youth and love and accomplishment. Like Stubb, I'm taking it one day (sometimes one minute or second) at a time. I'm going to laugh and enjoy all that happens today--the ridiculous and sublime. She's my little girl still. At least for another year. She's beautiful and sweet and smart.
Saint Marty is thankful today for his daughter.