I felt unproductive today, so I got a haircut. It doesn't matter how little I get done now — at least I can say I got my hair cut.
Driving out of Isla Vista, I stopped at the Pardall Road crossing to let an old lady in a walker cross. She was slow, but not ridiculously so. I'd say it took her about a minute to make it across, from sidewalk to sidewalk. Though she wasn't much of a sprinter, she didn't look that old, really. She made eye contact with me to make sure I'd let her cross, which is something I wouldn't have expected from a person so old to have lost touch with reality. She was dressed nicely, too. Old lady nice, but nice nonetheless. Her shirt matched her pants and she had done her hair.
As I watched her cross, I couldn't help admire her a little. Not like that lame old age veneration that we're all expected to practice. No, I admired this lady simply for having not died. I started to think about it: I'm surprised anybody could be old, what with how easy it would be to die. I could have died twenty different ways just on the drive home. I didn't, but I could have.
It's not remarkable that I survived today, but when you look at life as a series of near misses it seems entirely plausibly that after thirty or so years, the finger of God won't miss and will instead smoosh your head, right where you stand.
Even now, I'm looking around my bedroom and thinking of how easily I could off myself, if I so chose. I could just tear into my flat screen monitor and begin chewing on whatever cords I could find until I find one with enough juice to cook myself from the inside out. I could choke on my stapler. I could inhale a vitamin. I could chip the paint from my painting and give myself whatever poisoning your get from ultramarine blue. And that's just the stuff that I could do. There's a whole mess of devilry waiting to do us all in that we don't even have control over. Roving ocelot packs. Helicopter crashes. Gas fumes. You name it.
Old lady, I take my hat off my newly shorn head. Though slow today, you apparently have been nimble enough to stave off death and his many forms. And not only that, but you're still brave enough to stroll out into Isla Vista, where the young people ride their skateboards and their segways and their hoverscooters, for all you know.
Maybe not being smooshed by the finger of God won't be so bad after all. She seemed to be coping well.