Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What, Me Worry

Doesn't everybody?

If worry were a conscious choice I would gladly set aside twenty minutes in the late afternoon, prepare a bowl of fruit, get comfortable in my favorite chair, do some serious worrying and get it over with. However, worry is an involuntary act hard-wired into my marrow so I’ll have to make the best of it which usually means a 3 AM session.

One strategy is to re-name it; "concern" or "anticipation" as part of the "what ifs" of life. Wouldn’t the outfielder be better off wearing sun glasses in case he loses the fly ball in the glare? What if there's no gas station for the next 60 miles and my cell phone goes dead and then what...

So I bark and growl, like an early warning system ahead of the seismograph with a premonition for burst bubbles or tantrum from the gods. Maybe I’m ahead of the curve. Could it be that my bad-case scenario actually saved the day? Was it my creased brow that quieted the rupture and rumble? I doubt it.

When there’s nothing to fret over I fret over that. Could the quietude be the lull before that proverbial storm? Maybe it is only a scene in act two with a tragic third act to follow. Perhaps I’ve been trained by all those movies. About one hour in, when everything is peachy I pick up on the tell-tale cough or the raised eyebrow signifying the coming doom. Just when the G.I. from Brooklyn talks about opening up a Deli when the war’s over, he takes a bullet to the vitals.

Peggy has been working on me to see the gibbous moon as full while I’m still possessed by its apostrophe as if dark clouds were my preference over silver linings. She trusts her resources while I can only do the high wire act having previously negotiated with malevolent fate in advance. I cushion myself against that late-night knock at the door, prepare a table for its visit, drink from the half-empty glass, give it my nose for trouble and then finally kiss it off like old news.

If life is indeed a stage I’m the player wasting all those hours of rehearsal for tragedy when life is absurd theatre after all.

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