Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE VIEW FROM 19,500 DAYS

At first it doesn't sound like so many — a hundred here, a thousand there. Sweet Christ, but I could have sworn I've had 19,500 weird episodes in the past decade alone. They add up, those splinters of nutty goodness.

But then I fiddled with the numbers; I won't hit the 20,000-day mark until November 2015, and that's too far out there to consider. I hit 19,000 days in March 2013, an ancient era. There are great stretches between the markers, and it's here that we make most of our memories. We are generally on our vanilla behavior on the special days, when the artificial hurdles must be noted and cleared.

Because really, that's all they are — shams turned into milestones because the numbers are catchy. We do that with most tragedies. It's convenient to mark the one, five and 10-year anniversaries of a massacre. But Year 2, or 8? Meh, not so much.

Day 18,396 was the best day of my life. Day 7,615 was the worst. They didn't need striking digits to make marks on me. They just reared up and smacked me broadside. The only significant round number in my life was Day 1,000 — Nov. 22, 1963 — and I wasn't the one shot in the head that day, so it really doesn't mean much to me.

Before and in between and ever since those times: a steady winding through the fabric of the days, noting (but trying to dismiss) the easy-to-remember landmarks. It's too easy to get all torqued up about that nonsense and What It All Means when the answer is easy: nothing. It means nothing.

Day 19,500 will be just another, but the next day, or the next ... some sort of devilment will most certainly happen. There is a lot of time until Day 20,000. Much mischief to make.

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