The Zoey Blog: Augustus McCrae, Ray Lamontagne, and Michigan Football FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Augustus McCrae, Ray Lamontagne, and Michigan Football

It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.
Augustus McCrea, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

I've wanted to post all week but it's been a busy and uncomfortable four days. With one suicide and three attempts, I've been struggling to keep things in perspective and in balance, and by ignoring everything but myself, my family, and my work, it was manageable. Even now, I haven't much to type. I'm fairly spellbound by ACC football that I couldn't care a whole lot less about, and the strange comfort of Ray Lamontagne's Jolene...makes me want to throw on a flannel jacket, pack an old army duffel and buy a Greyhound ticket. It wouldn't be the first time, but I've got enough history behind me to know that escape like that doesn't do much but stack up what's bothering you like the snow drifts that pile high in Walmart parking lots long after the temperatures have risen above zero. Some desert sunsets would be nice right about now though.

Zed keeps me philosophizing how things can go so terribly wrong in people's lives. Each time I look at her everything seems so implausibly right...nearly impossible to go wrong, but it's a fine line we all walk. It doesn't take much to throw the fragile balance of our lives off. Right now Zed makes me hopeful, but we're all hopeful at some point, aren't we? Sure we are.

I've been around enough of this stuff now to know that there are no explanations, there is no understanding. Like Hunter Thompson once said, "The edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over it." It just may be impossible to nail it down any better than the good doctor did. There's not much to understand about any of this.

This afternoon I found myself running for familiar ground, on the phone with the Athletic Dept. at Michigan trying to score tickets to the long since sold out football game with Nebraska this weekend. I must have sounded desperate because a good, old friend found them for me. She's always been nothing but stellar and I doubt she knows the times that her goodness has saved my sanity. The company of 100,000 people will surely erase portions of this hectic week. If not, I'm in trouble. And Ian's home...Uncle Ian's home from the great, empty wilderness, and so I've got a good friend to pull me from this trance too. It'll be just fine.

Whenever this kind of haze settles in all around me I always think of the choices that we make in our lives...some as simple as what kind of damn car to drive, and some as big as what home to spend the rest of our lives paying off...but still for others it's about what they chose to do with their days, and where they choose to do it. I chose this. I chose these people, and these kids, in this familiar place, in and all around where I grew up. I didn't necessarily expect it to fall that way, but it has, and I suspect that choosing to live here, in this place of occasional strain and sorrow, matters more than dying somewhere that doesn't matter quite as much. I dunno. I only know that I chose this, and sometimes it harder than other things that I could do. This week it was harder.


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