Saturday, November 22, 2008

overrated virtue

On January 16, 1991 when I was 10 years old and didn't like my scrawny, insecure self labeled stupid by my own father, the world was busy worrying about other things. The Gulf War started. Serial killer Aileen Wurnos admitted to killing six men. It rained in New York.

That same day, my favorite writer Kurt Vonnegut was busy answering questions for the Weekly Guardian. His replies to the otherwise dull interrogation were brilliant, of course, and you only have to read his works to see that in a thousand years, he will be to future humans what Descartes is to us.

"All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental."

* * * *

Anyway, I thought about how I would answer the questions thrown at him, for no practical reason except to see if my thoughts make as much sense on paper as they do in the socialist republic that is my head, where they go unopposed.

Q: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Traveling with one bag knowing I don't need anything else.

Q: What living person do you most admire?
Whoever invented the alarm clock. He/she put the world on schedule.

Q: What do you not like?
People who order nonfat latte.
Bad bed sheets.
Dogs in clothes.

Q: What is your favorite smell?
Leather seats of a luxury car. Good bread. MSP fresh from the shower. Don't make me choose.

Q: What is your favorite word?
Now.

Q: What is your least favorite word?
Maybe. (I need definite answers.)

Q: When were you happiest?
When I realized that my life is now all mine.

Q: How would you like to die?
Quickly.

Q: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patriotism. It starts wars.

* * * *

You? How would you answer these questions?

* * * *

This weekend, I intend to stay in and play dead as my muscles are still sore from yoga. Hibernating for a couple of days shouldn't be too hard now that I have unlimited internet and a full season of THE OFFICE. My refrigerator is stocked and there are two books waiting to be read. I'm already excited.

I am thankful for this city pad. When before it felt impersonal, now it feels safe. This passive investment really paid off; in fact, it kept my world together.

* * * *

I turned 45 last month. The math says I didn't, but it sure feels like I did. I've been through so much already; surely, I can't just be 28.

My life has always been on steroids. Among my friends (all of whom have above-average IQs), I was often first: The first to buy a car, to buy a house, to lose a parent. All these things eventually happen to everyone; they just happened to me sooner.

At 21, I did what a 27-year old does. I bought a car. I've had three since.

At 23, I did what a 30-year-old does. I bought a house. (Now, I don't even live there. It is empty, waiting for things to smoothen out so it could be put in the market.)

At 25, I did what a 35-year old does. I quit my job and built a company. (It's still a company until now, thank God.)

That year, I also lost my mom. It's the kind of loss that happens, on average, to people in their 40's; the kind of loss that leads humans to worry about their health and/or start to seize life. Me? I'm 15 years earlier than the norm. Sad, but at least it's over, right?

Henyway, so now, I'm 45.

By the time my friends are really 45 years old, I'll at least be 70, which was the age Confucius retired.
Shit.

7 Comments:

Blogger {illyria} said...

i admire how you can put a "timeline" to your life. jerry's like that, too. maybe it's a scorpio thing? i, on the other hand, find myself averse to it, but i guess that's what makes me, me. :) where did you do yoga? bikram? how was it? excellent?

8:58 AM  
Blogger ennui said...

perhaps like people, living or dead, your age is purely coincidental too Ü

1:29 AM  
Blogger bismuth said...

we're older than we think we are. i can't wait to finish the black swan and swap with you. it could occupy our conversations well into the new year.

and oh, the important thing is to never look your age. whatever that means in your context.

11:35 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

illy> I saw this yoga DVD at shangrila http://www.seasonedwithlove.com/mtv_poweryoga.jpg

Been doing yoga alone once a week for about three weeks now. I should do it more often. Right now I can't even do the hard poses yet. Turns out I have bad balance.

and yes, maybe it's a scorpio thing. we love beeping organizers and alarm clocks.

ennui and bismuth> if i go at the rate i am going, i will have my second childhood at the chronological age of 45, when normal people are just starting their midlife crisis.

by then i would behave like a stupid old fart who gets away with shoplifting and does not care about other people's feelings. oh wait, i already don't care about other people's feelings. errrm. well, i hope by 45 i can just pay off people i offend, or buy the whole store where i shoplift.

2:50 PM  
Blogger ennui said...

wow that's so ... WINONA RYDER. hahahaha

1:37 AM  
Blogger Erica is Rich said...

Hi Ingrid,

Thanks for the condolences you sent via my blog.

Cheers,
Ekay

3:49 PM  
Blogger mussolini said...

ekay> hey! i hope you are okay. sana you stayed here longer. you could have visited my office and seen the brutal world of business ownership hehe :) maybe next year.

4:14 PM  

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