Life Is So Fatal

My photo of Lake Berryessa, California.


I’m not a doctor. Nor am I scientist. I do not reject science, as, inexplicably, many do, and I do not oppose medicine, particularly not the need for insurance coverage. One of my recurring frustrations is how experts have fallen into disfavor. It seems to me that one would respect the view of climatologists where climate is concerned. It even makes sense to go to a grocer for groceries. If my car won’t start, I’ll go to a mechanic.

Well, after I try the jumper cables.

My crummy sketch of my photograph.
My crummy sketch of my photograph.

I do, however, have my eccentricities. Perhaps they are a consequence of advancing age and the realization that, unless I live to be a hundred, which is really unlikely and, also, in my mind, frightening to contemplate, I’m not middle-aged. I’m old enough to be perceived as old, which I realize, sadly, every time I try to relate to and mingle with the young.

I’m old enough to be unduly influenced by activities and goals that worked in my youth but are no longer relevant to this place in time. I have tumbled into the “bah, humbug!” stage of life. I liked it better when I was one of the people my parents warned me about. Now I might as well be shaking a stick and croaking, “No good can come from that!”

Oh, I’ve evolved, but it’s really more a case of notions deemed radical in my youth that have gained acceptance. The world came to me, albeit too late for me to derive much enjoyment. Now it’s headed off in directions I don’t understand, and one day, the kids are going to have to sort it out for themselves.

I’m sure I’ll write a blog soon in which I rant about what I perceive to be life’s little stupidities. I believe, by the way, in people’s right to be stupid. Without stupidity, truly, life as we know it would grind to a halt.

My central point this morning, though, is this. Life is fatal.

The things people worry about! Overdosing on water, and God forbid if it’s not bottled. Too many carbs, or is it too much fat? The nicknames of sports teams. Whether or not politicians ever smoked pot. I worry more if they didn’t, because if they claim that, I suspect they are lying.

Being inactive will kill you. Exercising too much will kill you. Driving will kill you. Walking will kill you. Sugar will kill you. Diet drinks will kill you. Newspapers are obsolete, which is too bad, because the radiation from this laptop will kill you. Not having a cell phone will kill you, but using one will, too. If, somehow, you manage to navigate through all these competing eddies of doom, the stress of navigation will kill you.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Embed from Getty Images

I’m reading a Wallace Stegner novel, The Spectator Bird, whose main character is “just killing time until time gets around to killing me.” It’s a noble pastime. You can gussy it up and romanticize, but that’s how life is. As Kris Kristofferson asked, “Ain’t it just like a human? (Here comes that rainbow again.)”

Many of you have expressed your enjoyment of these essays and short stories. I hope this will extend to my two novels, The Audacity of Dope and The Intangibles, both of which were published by Neverland Publishing LLC ( and are available at (Kindle edition, too) and, as well as through the website.


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