Born on The fourth of July

The flash and flare in the east and it is time. Move away from the comfort and deep sleep, awaken to dawn.

There are duties and places to be and now, it’s easier to find things because there is light streaming in. A little bit of Brownian movement from the dust and put on the pot. Find the good bread and drop two slices in with the timer set to max. The good bread is heavy. Got to find the cash for that upgrade on my cell phone is important too. Can I afford it? After all, everyone in the family has a new phone. Mine is old and I need to be current.

There is a shuffle and purpose at hand to indeed waken fully and the hot caffeine warms the old ceramic cup. Carefully, set it down besides the fresh toast and open up a book next to the vitamins and various pills.

The accouterments of morning rituals. The book at hand is a collection of short stories that are a bit hard to understand. Sarte, Sallinger and the rabbit eared current selection is Tolstoy’s ‘The death of Ivan Illych’

Nothing to it. Toast and coffee and a little orange juice to sluice down a hearty meal of existential writing and with some of the greatest short stories ever written. It’s still early and Jack’s son is stirring a bit. Jack comes to the part of the story when Ivan knows he is dying and no one will be honest with him about how they feel about it and him. Only a peasant boy that tells the truth.

A quote from la Rochefoucauld is at hand: “One can neither stare long at the sun nor at death” During the war the thought was, it will come quickly perhaps? It did to that shipmate on the horizon. It was close but I am OK. Next stop, Palma De Mallorca. Great liberty!

As the inevitable death to Ivan comes, close behind is the funeral. All attend and all contemplate what this means to us as perhaps connections for work. How will the widow get by? Really, there is nothing we can do financially for her. Our own debt is big and that new payment for the big pickup is going to really strap our finances. Of course, how could I forget that vacation to Venice! I think I have enough saved.

We go on, inwardly feeling we will live forever and poor old Ivan, it must have been his diet or that he just wouldn’t go to gymnasium as we advised him so many times. After all, his whist game was more important to him. There was nothing to be done and here I am, dressed as though I was in a church service. Listening to one after another speak of Ivan. The fact that we are in that silken and narrow box does not cross our conscience.

Even when the preacher tells us we are off the hook by death of sacrifice, we do not comprehend the sacrifice not really understood. Put a few quarters or even a dollar bill in the red kettle. Tithe well and perhaps, just perhaps, we will walk as Enoch did and not have to suffer as Ivan did. That’s it! The second coming and it will all work out! Don’t worry, be happy.

Death was defeated lingers and we are all good to go. Mourning seems to have passed us by. Ask not who the bell tolls for, it’s you. Old Ivan, it was his time to go. Is there lunch after this, should be. It’s pretty good here at the church of endless life. Maybe I should get in line before every one else does. Jack Gator

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