Monday, September 10, 2007
Tomorrow as everybody knows is the anniversary of a day that will be discussed in solemn remembrance until the end of time, which according to global warming conspiracy theorists should be right around next Tuesday. Everybody with the ability to have an opinion will have something to say about where they were and how they felt and continue to feel about 9/11/01. And everyone with the ability to publicly express their opinions (i.e. - everyone but my parents and the approximately 19-20 other people worldwide who do not yet have a blog/Facebook page/Twitter account) will jam up cyberspace with odes to the end of innocence. Rather than adding to the monumental 9/11 pile, I've decided to write about September 10th. Since the box on the calendar corresponding to 9/11 symbolizes all that can go wrong when you least expect it, as I see it, 9/10 symbolizes the bliss of ignorance that envelops us when all appears to be (and perhaps actually is) well with the world. It is the day before you're diagnosed with cancer, the day before your wife walks out the door, the day before the drunk driver ignores that stop sign, the day before you are downsized, the day before the postman delivers that rejection letter, the day before you realize you forfeited your virginity to a callous dirtbag, the day before she informs you that she likes you only "as a friend", the day before you learn you are pregnant, the day before you learn you are not pregnant, the day before the blind man can no longer see and the deaf man can no longer hear and the fat woman has hit the final note of her melancholy song. 9/10 is the day on which we still have hope, ambition, fearless wonder and unstoppable determination. It is the last day upon which we look forward with zero caution towards tomorrow. For these reasons it is a date that is equally deserving as 9/11 to be remembered and commemorated.
That is why starting today I will make a conscious effort to record and recall the remaining 9/10's of my life. I made a promise to myself on 9/10/07 to get back on the saddle of writing regularly. I'm starting with this blog entry. Later today, perhaps I will resume work on my novel in progress or get started on a short story that I have yet to conceive. 9/10/07 is the first Monday after the first Sunday of the '07 football season. My New York Jets started off slowly and have a 0-1 record to show for it. I was at the game and hated to watch them lose, but enjoyed the fine weather and company of friends and family. My wife was at home with our daughter, and my highlight of the day was when Erin sent a text message to alert me that Ava said "touchdown" for the first time. I am so delighted by her firsts. They are coming at a fast and furious pace, and despite her incredible memory she most likely will not remember them. But I certainly will, at least until the onset of senility which I'm hoping won't kick in until the day after I'm buried. If Ava becomes a Jets fan like her old man, 9/10/07 is the first of many 0 - 1 starts she'll have to endure. The beautiful thing about being 0 - 1 is that you have 15 upcoming opportunities to redeem yourself. Not a bad deal, or a bad thing to realize.
I made a mistake yesterday that I hope not to repeat on 9/10/07 or any of my days to follow. Now I know to always open the cover before turning on my grill to make sure nothing is sitting on it. By doing so I should never again partially melt the plastic handles of utensils. I may not be learning new things at quite as rapid a clip as Ava, but I am still being taught valuable life lessons. I greatly appreciate this because it seems to me that once once you're done learning about the world, there's little point of continuing to live in it.
On 9/10/07 I read about the MTV award show that took place over the weekend. Apparently the ex-husbands of Pamela Anderson got into a scuffle. This reminded me that even though passion is often misguided, it is as necessary a fuel to the soul as oxygen is to the lungs. I also read about Britney Spears' comeback performance where she failed to master lip synching or to display much enthusiasm through her dancing or facial expression. This served as a reminder that when the world knocks you down, even from all the way up on top of it, sometimes it's best to stay on the mat for a bit rather than hopping right back up. There will always be another battle on another day upon which you can emerge victorious. Getting up too soon is usually a surefire way to be brutally knocked down again. You can't win them all, but you can learn from each loss so as to minimize the amount of them.
I'm done for today with attempting to be profound. Time to move on to other things, like lunch. After all, 9/10 is not about being wise or making practical plans or chasing improbable dreams or buying the world a Coke. It is simply a day to appreciate everything you have, however little or much that is. It is a day to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow is no guarantee.
- Roy L. Pickering Jr. (author of Feeding the Squirrels: A Novella)