Sunday, April 22, 2007


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I'm on a major highway, and I can see the waters rising on the sides of the road. The eastbound lane has already been closed down, the river is a day and half from cresting, and parking lots of businesses are flooding as geese are swimming next to cars that someone should have moved. The National Guard has been deployed, and there are cops everywhere. It's 9 AM, and I have no idea if I will be able to get home tonight. The rain continues on, and somewhere, "Gimme Shelter" is playing on a radio.

You think you control your life?

Don't feel bad; that's a human thing. We all think that we can run our lives, and everything we do is a product of the choices we make (sounding kind of Republican-ish, huh?). It's a nice thought, that we are responsible for what we make of ourselves, and the like Emerson said, we should always land on our feet, no matter what (I once tried to argue with a professor about this, and I asked her how much hardship Emerson ever really saw. She dodge me... liberal cunt.) But yes, we should always prevail! This world is ours, it's yours, we can take it!

Whatever, We're all fucking wrong.

Sure, we control a little bit. But if you thought that you really controlled your life, or, really, that humans really control anything (as a group), then you are mistaken. If you don't believe me, then you should have seen the traffic on this highway the last couple days, people huddled and massed on roadways that were built arrow straight just in case the Russians attacked and we needed to use them as airstrips. You can see for miles, and it is car after car after car, sitting, waiting. Eventually, when it gets bad enough, people start riding the shoulder, and the highway turns into a three lane road, and the cops can't do anything. You'd think a damn tsunami was coming.

And what if one did? Where would we go? People would pack themselves onto the highways in a scene right out of White Noise (the book, not the goofy movie), trying to avoid the great cloud/wave/fire/aliens. Whatever. Does it matter?

But no, humans control it.


You think global warming is a joke? Have fun with that. When that tsunami hit on December 26th, it destroyed everything on a cataclysmic scale, and nearly swept away civilization. That supervolcano in Yellowstone is still due to erupt, and one day, a meteor will hit us. A black hole could pop up next to Earth, suck the Van Allen Belt away, and leave the sun to scorch the Earth with it's solar winds. If the Earth got sucked into it, it would rip the molecules that make you up apart, because even gravity doesn't know how to deal with a black hole.

And so, to deal with this, we race around in our cars and pretend that it really matters whether you punch in at 1:02 or 8:48. We pretend that these things only happen in Bruce Willis movies, and that we will never be caught in a flood or an earthquake or get hit by a meteor. We act like that ten bucks you saved on groceries is going to save you. I pretend that by weightlifting, I can beat the odds no matter what happens because I'm strong, and that's what the guys are in the movies who survive.

The flood waters began to recede yesterday, and all that is left are branches and garbage from an angry, overflowing River. We've destroyed it with pollution, and once in a while it rises up and hurls our plastic bags and body parts and used condoms onto the roads and into our backyards, and tells us that we can go fuck ourselves.... because when it comes down to it, the River runs the show.

If you ever thought any differently, then you were a damn fool.


Matthew said...

Guess my parents were lucky, they didn't mention anything about flooding in their part of Morris county. Makes me glad I don't have to drive to work in heavy rain anymore... I hated when the streets of Newark flooded on my drive home.

Rita said...

I remember feeling the same just after Katrina.

Funny how we humans can compartmentalize. I hadn't really thought about that in awhile until I read your post, then it dawned on me again.

Too right.