Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Mediocrity Codex: Volume I, Issue II
Section II: the keyhole is the key

I almost lost my keys today. Keys are such small things. So easy to lose. It’s a wonder I don’t lose my keys all the time. But I did today. I was dreading getting off that bus and coming back to my car, calling my dad, praying and hoping there would be a spare so that I wouldn’t have to leave my car overnight at the bus station.

At work it was out of sight, out of mind. it’s times like these where I really believe something is wrong with me. I don’t panic. I don’t get scared. I don’t suffer from anxiety. Even when I should. I necessarily should. I’ve lost my keys! I mean, right? I’m sititng at my desk, watching Louis C.K. I’ve lost my keys. I have no idea where my keys are. I picture them in my mind, lying in the gravel and rain, silently waiting for me to pick them up. They could be in someone else’s hands by now. Worse yet, my CAR could be in someone else’s hands by now. I’m watching Louis C.K. talk about how he hates having to raise kids.

What do I feel? Well, to be honest I’m laughing. The guy is hilarious. I’m thinking about how I don’t have much to do at work and it’s awesome. I have to put in some orders for supplies and I get to loaf around waiting for my boss decide whether she wants to spend $3000 on lab supplies. The Chinese guy who I’ve been mentoring for the past month and a half asks me questions about the buffering capability of sodium bicarbonate and I look it up on Wikipedia. After explaining it to him I get curious about all the other links I find in the article and end up looking at zwitterions for the next half hour. Then I’m back watching Louis C.K. Where are my keys? WHERE ARE MY KEYS?

In the back of my mind, back in that place that I don’t often go because it goes pretty far back there, like how there are certain houses with attics or long closets and when you first find them you’re look “woooaahhhh awesome” and then you stuff it full of stuff but then a couple years later you go back and you only ever take stuff out of the first two feet of stuff in there and then you finally realize “damn there’s a lot of stuff back there” but at that point you also realize how much it scares the bejeezus out of you because only God knows what could have made its home back there by now. Like spiders and shit. Oh my God, I’m so unsettled by spiders. So back there, I think God is like typing my thoughts out on this little typewriter that is probably loud if you sat right next to it, but since its in the back of the attic all it ends up sounding like is *plink plink tic tac plink ching*. Like little children who are the size of raindrops wearing tap shoes dancing the hood of your aluminum roof in the fall. Each *plink* corresponds to a thought which meander their way through these large, dusty Narnian coats and boxes of used mothballs until they hit me in the back of my head, like they’re saying “hey.”

And it’s like “hey, hey”. “hey.” “hey.” That’s all it ever says. Nothing deep, like “everything will be alright” or “we are all connected” or “life is so fragile and be happy you even have a car at all even though now you may not because you don’t’ know where your keys are but it’s alright because you still have a family that loves you and a girlfriend who will probably feel really sorry for you if you lose your keys.” Just “hey.”

But I realize, that’s enough for me. Does that make me strange? Maybe that’s all that there is to strangeness. I’m comforted by nothingness. By void. I infer meaning from a lot of things, but I do so consciously. As if every time I infer meaning from something that typewriter in the back of my mind is basically saying “PSHHHHHH you know that’s a lie.” And I know it is. There’s nothing more to having a family than having people who care for you. There’s nothing more to a school or a university or even a church than what the people that attend it believe. Objects, events, even nature has no meaning that we don’t give to it. Even seeing my keys, stuck in the keyhole in the side of my driver-side door after a long day at work, miraculously hanging there, in the rain, untouched, inherently means nothing. But that damn typewriter still says “hey.”

And all I can say is “thank you Lord.”