Sometimes all you can do is laugh. For example, last week I saw an old hearse on the road with two mattresses strapped to its roof - lending new meaning to the phrase FINAL RESTING PLACE. And now, despite the driving rain, there is a man with a chain saw in the back yard, dangling from the same limb he's attempting to remove. Gosh, it's funny stuff. Mud and giant wood chippers and a forest of branches decorating the driveway, and oh, yes, the 15 ft. hole dug by the sewer company just beneath the place where the man is sawing - which is, at least, practical - and ironic given the recent sighting of the hearse.
And to think last week I thought the worst thing that could happen was to receive six rejections in the same day - five of which chimed in before noon. Of course when you submit as often as I do, it's bound to happen. Mass rejection, that is, and eventually I pulled myself together. Baked a batch of lemon raspberry muffins and finished the story I was working on. Sent it out into the world - as if to say SEE HERE YE FORCES OF DARKNESS - I WILL NOT BE BROKEN.
And then the Great Hammer responded: CARE TO MAKE A WAGER?
Yes, over the past six months I have felt very much like a nail. As if, unbeknownst to me, some jerk has been directing every hammer wielding asshole across two continents to my doorstep. And to those folks, I'd like to say: NAILS HAVE FEELINGS, TOO. But my guess is there are many more nails than hammers out there. The people whose homes have been washed away by floods, for example. The parents whose children have been stolen and the children whose parents have been betrayed by sick bodies. Not to mention all the little whacks on the head. Stuff like accidentally bouncing a check or being honked at for hesistating two seconds after the light turns green or placing your trust in someone who does not have your best interests at heart. Perhaps the BeeGees say it best: "We're living in a world of fools, breaking us down - when they all should let us be. We belong to you and me."
Sometimes though, we nails are the self-same fool.
Which leads me to the final question: Is it better to be the hammer than the nail? Would I feel better if I started beating people about the head and shoulders? If I became as sharp-tongued as the aforementined chainsaw? Or worse, if I lost my nail-like faith in people and assumed every person I encountered was a hammer intent on carrying out my demise?
No matter how many times it happens, I am always surprised when the hit comes and yup. It hurts. But I'd still rather be the nail. Blind - but most certainly not mute.