Notes from the small pond: It never ends
August 11, 2023
I get it that it never ends until it ends. Until I do.
I get it that it never mends until it mends. And that it never will.
And, I get it that life includes sorrow. As it always has.
And, I get it that mine ain’t special. As no one’s is.
Still, the narcissist in me wants the planet to bow to my individual misery and worship at the altar of my living loves. And to raise the specter of my unliving loves, like the Holy Ghosts they are, not make believe.
And when I drive down the freeway and that song shows up, Chris Cornell warning someone about longing to be in their house, alone like a stone, waiting and wanting, and I have to pull over and vomit my coffee into the passenger seat before I show up at work to play Rock Star, it feels like forever is already over.
And it feels like Forever is fake.
And it feels like Always is another echoing broken promise, as every promise is doomed to be.
And then the sheriff’s deputy is kindly asking WTF am I doing.
“Mostly just throwing up.”
“I’m throwing up.”
“Been drinking at all?”
“What do you mean at all?”
“Have you been drinking?”
“… well … it’s 6:48 am.”
“I’m aware. Have you been drinking?”
“You have no idea.”
“Can you get out of the car, please.”
“I can. Are you asking me if I’m able, or are you telling me to do so?”
“Get out of the car, please.”
And then I’m doing gymnastics on the side of the road and blowing into a straw.
“How long we gonna do this? I’m depressed and pissed and half crazy. But I ain’t drunk.”
“You sure you’re OK to drive? You want me to escort you home?”
“Very kind of you. Home where?”
“Where you live. Home.”
“Where I live?”
“Yes. Home. What’s your address?”
“Am I under arrest? I passed the damn tests. I’m not drunk.”
“Yes, you’re right. But you seem distracted and preoccupied.”
“Is distraction and preoccupation against the law?”
“Distracted driving is a violation, yes.”
“But you never saw me driving, distracted or otherwise. You saw me throwing up.”
“That seems distracted to me.”
“But I wasn’t throwing up when I was driving. I’d pulled over.”
“Have a good day, Sir.”
“You too, Sir.”
And then it’s just me again in the car with the smell of coffee vomit and the pulse of adrenaline and the unceasing knowing that it never ends until it ends, which is the beginning of it.
Cloquet’s Parnell Thill is an award-winning columnist and author of “Killing the Devil and Other Excellent Tricks.” This year, his son died at age 28.
Contact Parnell at news@pine knotnews.com.