Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fractional Shares

It seems almost incomprehensible to me that today heralds the arrival of April's final weekend.  2013 is essentially one-third of the way complete.  Already.   One might think that my ability to sustain myself on four to five hours of sleep a night would give me an edge in keeping an eye on time and its slippery nature.  One would be wrong.  

Busy times afoot in our little part of the world.  It seems to me that these days every word the Missus utters is related to one of three topics:  Suzanne's wedding, Suzanne's bridal shower and our impending move.  Of the three, only the middle one involves me not at all.  Consequently - and not surprisingly to anyone who has ever spent a minute in my company - it is her preferred conversational topic that interests me least of all.   I recognize its importance to both my wife and my daughter.  Similarly they recognize that having a palpable interest in such a shindig is decidedly a "chick thing" and appear to take no umbrage at my ambivalence towards it.  While it does seem to me that it is an event that could have taken place as readily in our backyard with me manning the grill as it shall in the very nice little joint in Bound Brook that Margaret has booked for the occasion, mine was not a proposal considered.  

Given that not even I am 100% sure where I shall be calling "home" in three short weeks, perhaps Margaret's decision to have it where it shall take place was predicated upon logistics as much as anything else.  I know it shall be a beautiful event.  And I know that both the bride-to-be and her mother shall enjoy it.  I have reached the point in my life where scant little else matters.  

I have reached the age I am - the oldest age I have ever attained I am proud to say (on a daily basis) - in a manner not always noted for its smoothness.  At its core, my difficulty interacting with others of the human persuasion is that my overriding feeling regarding other people is one of abject apathy.  Truth be told, I would rather spend a Sunday afternoon hanging out in my backyard with Rosie than I would spend an evening out with friends.  Four and one-half decades into this crazy little set-piece called 'Life' I have yet to encounter one person who has expressed disappointment at my preference.  I have every confidence that should I live another four and one-half decades, no protesting voice shall ever be heard.  

I presume I am not alone in having to devote a portion of my day to tamping down the frustration that rises out of the pit of my stomach and stalks an upward trajectory towards the expulsion chamber that is my mouth.  The question is never whether time shall be spent on a particular day doing so but simply how much time shall be wasted on this task.  Given that I spend a disproportionately significant percentage of my time at work, the overwhelming amount of time I spend on this particular task revolves around that which occurs there.  On more than one occasion this past week, far too much time had to be allocated to it.   Far, far too much.

Rather than exploding, which would have made life in the workplace decidedly uncomfortable for one or more of my perpetually under-performing colleagues, I listened to the sound of my mother's voice in my ear, counseling me to count backwards from ten until the rage subsided.  

It turns out that there are a hell of a lot of fractions between ten and zero.  A hell of a lot.  Damn good thing too.  The great Pete Hamill wrote in "Downtown:  My Manhattan", "Sometimes no truth is more powerful than one expressed in anger by a melancholy man."  That is indeed true.  But it is not always a truth best shared.  

Bite down hard.  Pass the Mylanta.... 


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