CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: It Just Wasn’t Time to Go

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto
(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on March 23, 2011.)

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Scrounging around in my “Remember When” file, I came across a remark made by an addled philosopher many years ago: “Time heals all . . .”

I learned early on not to question (out loud) the veracity of time-honored savants and oracles. It’s a losing battle. Time does take care of a lot of ills: a broken leg; a broken promise; and in due time, maybe even a broken heart. Closer to reality, the impact of the continuing tragedy that smothers Japan has numbed us all. Humane attempts to share their suffering is an impossible challenge to maintain. Whether we like it or not, time marches on . . .

And as if timed to focus our interest half a world apart, a United Nations coalition launches an attack on Moammar Ghaddafi and his Libyan loyalists. While left to worry about our third Middle Eastern incursion in a decade, at least we can take temporary comfort in the fallacy of not being No. l this time around. If a moment of levity can be excused, who’d have ever thought France would take a military leadership role! While the impact of missiles and instigation of a no-fly zone is yet to be fully measured, it appears peace in our time is but a dream.

On the national scene we have governmental grid- and deadlock. Just when it appeared we were emerging from an economic recession together, political gnomes of all stripes decide it is time to draw a line in the sand. It’s as if a shroud of belligerence and hostility has engulfed us and no one can figure out where the exit door is.

But on the local CR2S scene? Nothing but sweetness and light . . .

I daresay the week started so promising. On consecutive days the mailman brought me (a) the newest version of a California driver’s license and (b) a parking placard. The license, unfortunately, is only good until 2012 but who am I to complain after so many years of doing battle with the DMV? The treasured blue placard is good until 2013 but automatically renewed if you’re still alive.

Success with Thursday’s (tough) Sudoku puzzle added to the ongoing pleasure streak but the best news was a call instructing me to who just might be the answer to my ongoing woes! Isn’t this what they call “being on a roll”?  A hot streak?

Friday morning at 6:07 a sheer white bolt of light suddenly shot (left to right) before my sleeping eyes. I was jolted awake upright and uptight. Then immediately sank back into the pillow, dizzy, disoriented and yeah, scared. After a few seconds I decided to open one (left) eye, wondering if it would see, you know, a certain Gate.

I then opened the other (bad) eye and realized my world was still real and unfortunately still a reel. While somewhat certain it wasn’t a heart attack, a semi-calm WTH wondered what to do now. Call 911 or Jeff at 626? Or a cab to transport me to St. Vincent’s ER, my doctor’s home base? Maybe not the wisest decision was made: Let’s not do nothing. At least for now. [Despite all the recent philosophical pontificating about Japanese Yamato-damashii/gaman-shimbo/shikata-ga-nai/gambatte, CR2S falls into the more common, less admirable category of hesitant chagrin: How embarrassing to panic if this episode is a false alarm. If not, that’s cool, it would be too late to even say “amen.”]

A walker was within reach, which enabled me to hobble to the kitchen so I could unlock the door. (Who wants their door broken down by well-intentioned EMTs?) Then  to the bathroom, where I swallowed two aspirin and sat (down.) I mean, geez, you know, regularity is the spice of life no matter the emergency. I returned to the bedroom. [“Time present and time past. Are both perhaps present in time future?” So sayeth T.S Eliot.]

Like a merry-go-round slowing to a stop, the wooziness dissipates to the point where I can dial my doc for his professional advice. After giving him a verbal, minute-by-minute, blow-by-blow account of the morning’s excitement, I held my breath waiting for his profound verdict:

“Sounds like vertigo,” he responds without hesitation. No heart failure, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke or life-threatening blockage. Just an everyday, common case of vertigo. Not even Alfred Hitchcock kind. Giddiness. Loss of equilibrium. Not much different from lying down when drunk, actually.

So there you go. A poor example of a strong, convicted human being, I have often stated (to whomever would deign to listen) a singular wish to pass in my sleep. You know, the easy way out, nobody suffers or is distressed. Pause and reflect, people,  if you can pick and choose a school, a car and a spouse, why not the manner in which  you become deceased?

At 6:07 Friday morning I was certain my time had arrived. But in typical CR2S fashion, the welcoming white thunderbolt apparently missed its mark. Instead of joining Mom and Eric, now I have to worry about a place at the table. A near miss? A second opportunity? An omen?

Just another confession in the unusual if not exciting life of a veteran scribe who has never paid much attention to the passage of time.  Who wants to witness another Super Moon anyway . . .

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by e-mail. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

 

 

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