8/29/14

A letter and a kid (1)

I’m not sure I wanted to be born. Don’t get me wrong: I’m no suicide candidate. I cherish life. Mine, far from turning out a long and calm river so far, has taken me up and down. But I’ve always considered a waste of time and energy to deplore things I can’t change. I’m used to ups and downs now.
Deep inside, though, I keep thinking that my previous state must have been delightful. Those nine months when I was kind of floating in my mother’s womb, starting as a single cell that divided into two, then four, then eight and more, eventually growing into something more complex, more complicated.
Maybe the whole problem started with that cell division thing? Maybe I was happiest when I existed as a simple one-cell organism? It just figures, right? Since that didn’t last long. Happy times never do.
My point is that after a short period of pure bliss, bad things started to happen. They started the moment I was born. We’re talking about the pre-epidural years, here, so the first things I heard were my mom’s piercing screams and the midwife barking, “Push! Chrissake, woman, push!
Of course, my memories don’t reach back that far. I only know these things from hearsay, which always lacks the ring of truth that memories, even false ones, have. Yet as far as my pre-birth period is concerned, I can’t be wrong. My mom’s such a warm-hearted, emotional and nurturing woman that I’m certain I was fine in her womb. Fine and happy.
The repercussions of that early, let’s say pre-historical happiness still show through in my character. First of all, I’m an optimist. Go beat me. Secondly, I like to live in my bubble. I guess you can call me a procrastinator.
I’ve got this theory. About procrastinators.
They come in three forms, okay? Let’s begin with the lazybones. People who dodge anything looking like work, even remotely. Their astute assumption is that most things, when left until later, tend to be done by others.
Type #2 are the conflict-haters. They make every effort to avoid confrontations, dithering over decisions and actions until someone else decides or acts in their place. Those guys need to be thick-skinned because others will badmouth them as cowards or people pleasers. I should know; I’m one of them. A bit. Or a lot. Depends on who you ask.
That doesn’t imply those guys are losers. If they manage to ignore all the badmouthing, they can still get into politics and become natural success stories. Pity I was never tempted by that path.
Now, type #3. This is important, okay? The idealists. Caught in the reflections of their bubble and allergic to the many vicissitudes reality casts their way. They live like ostriches, their heads buried deep in the sand. Theirs is a world of imagination and dreams. Don’t ask them to deal with situations requiring a quick response. Open-eyed and numb, they’ll stare at problems like rabbits surprised by a cobra.
But unlike the two other types, if the going gets so tough that their bubble bursts for good, they’re able to shake off the shards. And do something.
Not always the right thing.
But still.
And that’s me. Cornelius in a nutshell.
But wasn’t I talking about my birth? Sorry, I’m a fuss-head.
So. I was born, we got that. But I would never have been conceived if there hadn’t been that letter. Yes, I’m that old. People still wrote letters back then, you know.
To be precise, it’s not the whole letter. It’s one sentence. That triggered it all off, I mean. My parents meeting, falling in love, marrying, engaging in regular fiddly-diddling, until—ta-da!—the afore-mentioned single cell that was to become fabulous me appeared in my mom’s uterus.

No comments:

Post a Comment