February 03, 2007

Funerals and Other Blatherings

This is a post I started back at the first week of February. Sorry it took me this long to finish.

Most funerals suck. No one likes going to them and most people will rationalize a non-appearance. Today's event was no different except- it didn't suck.

I mean sure it sucked. Our friend is dead and no matter what Father O'Toole said, he ain't coming back. Shame. Life will be a lot less colorful with him gone. But, all in all, I had a good experience just enjoying see who came out to support the living left behind.

It was sorta weird for me. It was the first funeral I went to since coming out of the Atheist closet. What made it weird was being able to sit through a Catholic funeral with all the obejectivism of Marie Curie looking through a microscope. There was no anger. No sadness. Just a quiet understanding by me that religion no matter how joyous some may profess to be by adhering to it is rooted in fear of death of loss of loved ones. Or fear of one's own death. Yeah, I think that's mostly it.

Thing is I don't have any fear of an afterlife good or bad. I do fear not living my life as well as I can. Unfortunately, I don't think most people feel or think the same way.

There are people who are just schmucks. They treat everyone badly. Then there are those who would commit suicide. Maybe they're tired. Maybe they're just outwitted by life's unfortunate circumstances. Honestly, I can't blame all of them.

Now that statement isn't an endorsement of offing oneself. Far from it, but I do understand that sense of hopeless we all will encounter at some point or another in our lives. What I don't get is the people who have low threshholds of tolerance for pain. You know, the ones who off themselves because they were not elected homecoming queen or the ones distraught over Suzie Whatsherace not liking them back. To them, I say: whatever. I say the same to the folks who slowly kill themselves day in and day out by abusing themselves and those around them. Years of eating like shit and pumping your veins full of toxins counts goes in that category. Self-hatred is a powerful emotion, but so is a survival instinct.

I should know. I have spent my whole life surviving. Once, I was even hit by a police car going at high speeds. I was on my 10 speed bike. They hit me. I still remember the whole slow motion scene in my head. I can replay it at will. Fast forward. Rewind. Pause. I still remember the pause. I paused briefly when pushing down the pedal. My finer senses heard the car (which had no lights or sirens in a dark road) and for whatever reason made me pause just that brief instant. Like I was pushing down harder to gain more momentum. Instead, it slowed me that one millisecond it took to save my life from the wheels that were merely inches from my head as I hit the pavement on my left side. I remember the impact. My hip, Then my side. Then my shoulder. Then my head. And my life was saved. I walked away with just a few bruises and a back outta whack. But I was alive. And it didn't take Jesus to do it.

Maybe it's because of that that I don't get people who have no survival instinct. They don't possess some inner need to live. And it maddens me to no end to be constantly forced into some scapegoat position with them when I encounter them. The emotional blackmail that they people generate is plainly criminal. They should get holed up in some prison for every utterance along the lines of "If you don't _____, then I will _____." Fuck them. In. The. Ass.

Anyhow, back to non-appearances- life is like a funeral. You either show up, or you don't. Some will suck, some will be moderately tolerable. But sometimes, they'll be slightly enlightening and you find a bit of peace. Where ever Brodie is, I hope he has found some peace. At least with respect to religion and my former hatred of it, I have. And it's all because I recognize I don't stink of fear like those people in those pews that day.

.....At least not the fears they have. Mine are wholly my own and cannot be remedied by a once a week trip to an alter.


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