Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We'll Take A Cup Of Kindness Yet For Lives Gone By

It's almost New Year's Eve. New Year's doesn't really mean much to me anymore, least not the way it used to. When I was young, New Year's always meant new beginnings. The older I got, the more it came to define the passage of time, the concrete indicator that there was less sand in the hourglass and the chance of eking out a shred of happiness and create an actual meaning to my life was getting slimmer and slimmer.

This is no longer an issue now that I'm dead and becoming an angel has given me the opportunity to make something of myself. So what should this new year mean to me? Well, it's the first year I'll start off dead and the first full one in the kingdom of Heaven. And this new year won't be the usual reminder that the end is coming 'cause my end already came. Then again, it's just the end as I used to define it, because I found out the hard way this year that death was only the beginning. I guess that's what this year is: the ultimate new beginning, the first year that never knew me as anything less than an angel.

But the other important thing is that this is also a new decade. When I went back and looked at all the events leading up to my death; all the abandonment, breakups and misery that lead me to all the bitterness I entered Heaven with, I realized that the vast majority of it happened over this last decade. Boy, what a fucking horrorshow that was. Getting hit by that car seems like the least of my troubles compared to all that crap.

So, instead of being sad that a whole decade has gone by, I'm just happy to see it go. Does that mean I'm glad I'm dead? That's a really tough question. I'm much happier that I was when I was alive; at least right before I died. I mean, you're supposed to be happy, you're in fucking Heaven for fuck's sake. But it's not just all the superficial joy stuff here, like the apartment, the Tagalong cookies and Disney World, it's people in my existence now that make it all really worth it. If I could have had that on Earth without getting a piece of my head ripped off, I think that's the route I'd have rather gone. But I didn't, and I'm fucking dead, so there we are. At least it all worked out in a way I can live with (so to speak).

Goodbye 00s, fuck you very much, and thanks for everything.

Happy New Year everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be Moody (Fa La La La La, La La, La, FUCK)

Well, Chanukah's over and Christmas is almost here. Believe it or not, this is our busy season. A lot of people don't realize that depression runs rampant around the holidays. It's a time for family and loved ones; as a result, lonely people feel lonelier. The shorter days don't help either; people get depressed without sunlight. Most people associate the holidays with joy, which does indeed exist, but the suicide rate is higher in December than any other month. A Disease Of The Week screenwriter couldn't script it better; the worst emotional trauma is never without a crushing blow of irony. Looking back, if I had to die, I'm glad it was in autumn. If I'd made it to December without Shannon, who knows, maybe I'd have sent myself here. Then I wouldn't be an angel.

Anyway, it's been pretty damn busy lately. Not quite as bad as the first two weeks in February (Valentine's Day is to an angel what April 15th is to an accountant), but pretty intense nonetheless. One of the problems is too many people feel guilt for their depression. Since it's particularly strong this time of year, it has a greater impact on the victim's life and thus can feel relatively new. Some people are compelled to compare it to the major strife around the world and feel their emotional well being is not worthy of healing. I've felt this way in the past about things in my life, at least until the night Marley told me that everyone has a right to their own pain.

So if you're sad or disappointed, don't add guilt to the mix. Even if it's just over the fucking DVD you didn't get for Christmas, just know that something has take away your joy, and that's not fair. You deserve to be happy.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

She's Not The Human Race

So I've been shadowing Randall for a little while, popping up every now and then as he went to his local places. Marley found out from following his fiance that the wedding was actually a few months off, so we had time. You can't take too much time; you want to set your inspiration in before his doubt gets too great, otherwise you risk letting them go beyond help. It started with a conversation over the football game that was on. He's a Giant fan, like me, and we've both been a little frustrated for a lot of the season. Good thing he's not a Dallas fan; it was hard enough accepting the idea of helping people, I don't think I'm ready to extend it to someone who actually likes the Cowboys. So, I tried to steer the conversation towards girls and relationships, but he was a little more guarded than most, even with a few drinks in him. This was gonna take some time.

Anyway, after that, I'd see him from time to time, and usually I'd just swing by and say hello while he was rapping with his friends. Then one night, when I saw him by himself, I appeared and struck up talks. Finally, he told me he was engaged.

"Wow! That's awesome dude!"

"Yeah," he said. "It's not easy though. It's a big step."

"But you're ready, right?"

"I guess so."

"You guess so?"

"Yeah. I mean, you always wonder, right? It's like, I'm thirty-two. I've never been engaged before, but you know, years ago, like, just a couple years out of college, I met a girl I thought I was gonna marry. Man, I was so in love with her. Then, I had this job, I was a writer at a travel magazine, and we got downsized after 9/11. A few weeks after that, she dumped me."

"Because you were unemployed?" I asked.

"I don't know, at the time I didn't think she was shallow like that, but the timing was pretty suspicious."

At this point, once you've figured out what the problem is, it's often better to say it before they do. It makes them feel like you really understand. So I said, "And you're worried that if you get married, what if your wife flakes on you when there's trouble."

"Exactly, man! It's like, how can you trust anyone?"

"Well, you know, ask yourself, have you ever dated anyone who didn't bail when things got rough?"

"Well, nothing that bad ever really happened before."

"Anything though. Even a minor crisis can say a lot about how people respond."

He said, "OK, then, yeah, sure."

"Well that's what you should base things on. Not to cling to hope based on the slightest glimmer, just to know that not all people respond with such negativity." Then I went in for the kicker. "If you base your life on your worst experience, you're never gonna find any satisfaction for yourself. You might as well give up now. Go hole up in your room and try to forget how alone you are by playing video games. I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and I'm telling you, if there's a risk, it's NOTHING compared to the chance of letting that happen."

He smiled, and asked, "You got a girl?" I grinned too and said yes. "How long you been together?"

"A few months now."

"Going well?"

I smiled again. "It's forever."

I looked up and Marley was there in spirit mode. She looked at Randall and gave me the thumbs up sign. I finished my beer and left.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You're Supposed To Have A Ph. D. For This

Been spending a lot of time lately in this one assignment, and it's been a pleasant reminder of how great it is to not have the burden of an energy level to maintain. It's a guy who has cold feet before his wedding. Sounds simple enough, but you can't underestimate the level of fear before a major life change. Fear changes us, and this fellow, we'll call him Randall, is depressed, acting distant to his friends and family and slightly beligerant to his fiancé. We're spendinga lot of time on this one, mostly late nights at bars posing as friendly patrons. One of the reasons this works is because some subjects will be more honest with a stranger, since the opinion of someone you'll probably never see again doesn't feel as important. Now, the reason I said "we" is because I had to pull some people on this one. First, I took Marley with me to find out if he really wanted to get married, because for all I knew, he could have be pressured or pushed into something he didn't want. "No, he wants to marry her," Marley said. "the idea of committing for the rest of his life has him terrified."

I took a look at him and figured, "Probably worried about there being hotter girls his could bang."

She took another look and said, "Hmmm, no, that's not it. There's something in his past that's left him afraid of commitment."

So there's something of a mystery to unravel. Stay tuned.