Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Life of the Day

John Hodgman, "Slingshot" via iTunes (from This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear) (The Last Angry Man)

"As well, as you may recall from my last letter, my grandmother died the following Christmas & my mother died the following June, six days after my birthday, both quickly, both with little warning. And then in August we returned to Ocean City. People asked, 'Will it be hard going back, without your mother?'

"And I had no answer, the same non-answer I had & have to any question about how hard it is, or will be, now that all these things have happened: 'Jesus, I don't know. Let's go to the boardwalk.'…

"I do not tell Catherine this, & really haven't considered it until now, but we are there too, I think, not just to defy death, but to welcome it. It has been a hard year. It has been an unfair year, in which we have been taught to think of the unthinkable, taught that we are not exempt from tragedy but in fact can be its strange attractors. It's not quite a suicide pact, but I think that we share an agreement, unspoken even to ourselves, that if this thing kills us, we can live with that, so to speak.…

"As metaphors for life & death on the boardwalk go, gambling in Atlantic City is pretty promising, but the Slingshot is better, for two reason: One, though it is unlikely, it may actually kill you. And two, it reminds you that when you are close to death & intimate with it, when you are spinning fast & high in the dark night with nothing around you, it is difficult to tell what it happening, it is difficult to be afraid, far more difficult than it is on the ground."

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