About to bury my damned head in the sand…

Did you ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you feel like any moment someone is going to come up behind you and brain you with a hammer?

Ok, before you start to wonder if your humble narrator here has gone off the paranoid deep end, let me explain.  We mammals, whether your religion allows you to accept it or not, evolved from little critters who lived in holes in the ground.  These little critters lived in perpetual danger of being eaten by other critters.  This grim smiling death tended to come from above, so over the ages we mammals got hard-wired to be fearful of stuff swooping down on us.  We also got hard-wired to be especially nervous and cautious when the critters in our neighboring holes start to get picked off left and right.  This is a big part of the reason why standing in the middle of an open field or a flat prairie makes us excited and energized – our hard-wiring is telling us to get the hell out of there, but it’s been so many millions of years since we needed to hear that message that it gets muddled up and just ends up making us feel exhilarated.

So, why am I feeling like a critter who is about to get gobbled up by some grim smiling death dealer from above?  Because my fellow critters are dropping like proverbial flies, that’s why.

First on the list is my dear friend Jenny, who has been devoured or rent limb from limb, but who has had her share of very, very bad luck lately.  Health problems, unemployment, relationship trauma, driving cross country to take a new job only to find out the new employer had gone belly-up.  Stuff like that.  Jenny even said to me something to the effect of “can you help me find the old gypsy woman I pissed off?”

Next up comes Andy Fredericks.  Andy and I met in 6th grade and spent a few years in high school stirring up, well, the kind of stuff two teenagers stir up in high school.  Andy died recently.  He wasn’t even 40 years old.  I can’t even begin to be articulate about Andy’s death right now.  The last time I saw him we were in our early 20s.  It is therefore utterly impossible for me to conceive of him as no longer living.

This past Sunday one of my co-workers collapsed after crossing the finish line at the Bay To Breakers.  He’d suffered a heart attack and died shortly thereafter.  He was 53 years old.  He’d run the Bay To Breakers before and apparently many other races, which just goes to show that fitness and health are not the same thing at all.  I actually didn’t know him all that well, but I do know his wife, who is also a co-worker of mine.  The two of them were inseparable.  They met at work and from what I know the romance never waned in their relationship.

And for the icing on the proverbial cake one of the guys in my department died this afternoon.  He’d been ill for several weeks and was out sick.  He’d gone to the hospital when he became concerned that this wasn’t just a flu bug and had a heart attack and died there this afternoon.  He was 31 years old and leaves behind a 6 year old boy.

So, you’ll forgive me if I make like a nervous little lemur for a bit.

The larger lesson here is that none of us, when we’re issued a ticket for this little ride here, is told how long the ride is going to be, or how bumpy.  I’m a very lucky man, with an abundance of, for lack of a better term, blessings in my life.  I think I’ll go hug all of them very, very tightly.

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