John Ege

The List

Blog Post created by John Ege Employee on Dec 2, 2016

The list of items that have come up broken over the last three weeks has become so long that it has reached a threshold of comical, where I am tempted to say, “Well, nothing else can go wrong,” which is probably the wrong way to end said list, as challenging worse can present itself with addendums. One at a time and on their own, they probably be no big deal, but it has morphed Hamlet’s soliloquy from “the slings and arrows of life’s outrageous fortunes” to a “volley of concussion grenades tripping landmines.”

Do you need the list to be able to commiserate? I don’t think I want keep imparting said list, even with the fact it has started to become laughable. Kind of an insane laugh. I wonder if there is a way of communicating distress without using the language that may represent both a real and perceived series of happenings that at the same time doesn’t vilify other players or otherwise empower the external events to the point that they continue to have the same intensity of influence over the experiencer. I find that there is a part of me that actually is wanting to be immersed in the drama, validating the emotions through repetition. Most of me just wants out and wants to encourage other players to join me on the other side where we laugh, and just deal with the stuff the way anyone else would. It strikes me that the movie Apollo 13 got that part right, where Tom Hanks calls a halt to crying and blaming and let’s just focus on what we can do, because after all the lamenting and emotions are spent, we still have this thing we need to fix. Of course, I don’t have the stage presence of Tom Hanks. Even at my most patience, I seem to be failing to communicate the voice of reason.

I also notice that there is part of me that wants to exaggerate, by embellishing the list, even though the length of the list now no longer requires escalation to justify the emotional response. I wonder if inflation is a pathway for done, like blowing it up. And I am perfectly okay with blowing things up. Bridge Over River Kwai, yep, I pushed that lever. Family, relationships, friendships, I have had no problems pushing that same lever, whistling that tune. And in this instance, I would like to exercise controlled demolition and blow some things up, but leave most of the world intact. Why do folks have to result to ugliness in order to disengage? Can’t we just agree to something like this: your expectations are yours, and reasonably valid for your paradigm, but not necessarily applicable to me, but since your perspective is inflexible, from an overall human measure, maybe you should just carry on somewhere else?

Then again, maybe I should exaggerate. No, more specifically, I should employ my skills at fabricating structures to the point that the situation no longer resembles anything in my world. You see, what happen was, I was sitting at dinner, several chairs away from the Captain, when this singer began this peculiar song that got everyone’s attention. “There’s a got to be a morning after…” No foreshadowing there at all. I mean, not for you. You know what’s coming, right? No? Well, you see, there was this Roque wave, which is not an xmen, or even a reference to Vader’s return. I am curious why I keep coming back to this cursed boat! I mean, why is it even called the Poseidon Adventure? Really, people are dying here? Drowning, fires, broken limbs, heart attacks, etc. That’s an adventure? Did I miss that ride at Disneyland?

But this is the important part, right. I am Gene Hackman’s character that was cut out in the second movie. I am the voice of reason. I have to be. It’s my story. It’s my list. You would be wise to listen to me, because I might just get you to the top of the boat which use to be the bottom of the boat, but is now likely the only way we’re getting out of here, unless we go to like the pool deck and hold our breath and swim to the surface. I wonder if I could hold my breath that long. Speaking about breathing, I should probably start breathing again.

Did you ever read that book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst? Being on the Poseidon probably warrants that title. If I recall, that book had its own list. I suppose it doesn’t matter who is making the list, as the list is always valid to the person listing. Listing, kind of like what a boat does that is taking on water. If I stop listing do I stop taking on water? And, if we all have lists, can we hear each other’s list without comparing and taking notes or trying to trump each other? We do that, too, right. I do have enough perspective that I can clearly see that my list is nowhere comparable to many, if not most people in the world.

Maybe I am on the wrong list. Here is the list you should have: I am healthy. I am loving, and kind, and compassionate, to self and others, most of the time. I got six hours of sleep. I exchanged texts with a friend. I was able to drive in to work today. My colleague who sits in the office across from me was kind, and we joked about how her freshly opened chip bag didn’t seem to have the quantity to justify that sized bag, which was a fun sad observation. More air than chips, but there was still chips. I have food. I had coffee. I have never been hungry, not real hunger. I have a dollar in my pocket. I have been consistently employed every year since my freshman year of high school, 1983. I have the ability to think and process information, even if I fail to arrive at the same conclusion as other players in my life. I can humbly bow “Namaste” and validate the perspective I don’t concur with. I can end a sentence with ‘with’ without worrying about preposition correctness. I have a peculiar sense of humor. I saw a squirrel run along the side of a fence to join a party of others that ran joyfully around a tree; I like squirrels. I have a healthy son. We have a roof over our head. I have neighbors I actually like enough that I will hold conversations with them. I have workmates I love and appreciate. I actually have friends that I can call and speak with. I can be moved to tears by a song or a cartoon or my son making his own lists. I have perseverance, endurance, resilience, and the ability to summon songs that can propel me into a different mood, such as HEM’s song, “The part where you let go,” or “Calling all Angels” Siberry and Lang. I have a list.