But even clowns despair. Even Jerry Lewis must weep, even in France. Even Charlie Chaplin had to make Limelight. Even Pee Wee Herman had to have time-outs to... well, no, that's not a good example. But you get the idea.
It's my turn. I'm in a foul mood. I am probably coming down with a virus or two, most likely viruses previously used by Anitra "Oh no you don't, YOU gave it to ME" Freeman, who is just now recovering from bronchitis and who is no help at all. On top of that there's this war thing. On top of that, I've never been to Bora Bora. It was just Thanksgiving the other day, and the turkey we had was much too dry. Furthermore, I've never learned how to dance the Rhumba, a modern ballroom adaptation of a complex rhythmical dance that originated in Cuba. As if all that wasn't enough, there's this whole bleakness-of-the-universe business that comes up from time to time.
Here's another thing. Don't ever try to use your flesh-and-blood partner for a Muse. It never works. They'll talk too much or they'll talk too little. They'll try to take over from you or they'll bore you with their own whiny gripes about their own deadlines. Worse yet, they'll try to tell you how sick and tired they are, as if you have time for that.
Fortunately, I have never retired my one True Muse, Cindy Holly, Muse of Other, AKA Muse of Few Words. So I asked her what I should do here today.
"Well, let's see. You're depressed, right? And you're feeling desperate, right?"
"Well, then, if I were you, I'd write about that."
"But what would that have to do with homelessness, or poverty issues, or the concerns of other marginalized peoples?"
"What wouldn't it have to do with them?"
I had to admit, she had me there. How many times, I wondered, had I been homeless, starving, desperate, and just a little bit sore at the cosmos? At least once or twice.
For me, what was so horribly depressing about homelessness wasn't so much the periodic hunger or the absence of a warm dry bed, or the fact that I didn't have money to replace the shoes I was wearing -- the shoes that leaked and kept my socks cold and wet all winter. No, what was so horribly depressing about homelessness was that Life Sucks and Then You Die, but unlike homeful people I had none of the usual means to distract me from that fact.
If only I could have been watching Señor Wences, instead of sitting in that alley forced to be aware that we as humans lack the means to become truly connected, or that the one most human thing we all do, which is to die, we must all do alone.
If only I could have been bowling and sharing pizza with some buddies, instead of scrounging the gutters for pennies unable to forget as I did so that the alternative to this un-asked-for life was and remains, as far as any of us really knows, only the eternity of oblivion that we can imagine as having proceeded all of our recollections, and in all likelihood will succeed them.
Surely I am better off even now, even in my depression, given that I may spend an evening watching the TV premier of The Phantom Menace, rather than spend my dark nights counting the number of stars above me that couldn't relieve the anguish of existence and dividing the total into the amount of my anguish.
Surely I am better off too, as I can now watch election returns, and can witness the political fortunes of Mark Sidran. Yes, now I feel much better.