Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Trying to Reach my Tiny Umbrella in Time
That's actually from Tom Clancy's novel Red Storm Rising as he describes the "thought" process of a defensive system trying to decide which incoming missle to destroy. In the end, the CIWS can't decide and shuts down for good. The ship is destroyed. I read that in the novel and figured that either incoming missle would have destroyed the ship anyway, so deciding which lethal threat to destroy was particularly pointless.
That's pretty much how I feel on bad days. I've got so much to deal with, so much stuff that feels like it will destroy me that I don't know where to start bitching, I don't know where to start trying to defend myself. And I feel like any of the "threats" against me will be lethal.
I love Warner Brothers cartoons, particularly the Roadrunner. I've always identified with Wyle E. Coyote. Whatever he does turns out wrong even if all of the physics and mathematics in the universe would seem to prove otherwise.
I was very ill once when I was in high school. I was having horrible nightmares of horrifying situations involving myself and people I cared about. Of course, when I woke up, everything seemed completely unreasonable and I just let them go. One still freaks me out a little to this day.
In a Roadrunner epsiode, Wyle E. bought a large catapault from the ACME corporation (which was, incidentally, delivered in mere moments). He put a huge, house sized bolder in the contraption. He stood off to the side, pulled the lanyard and the bolder flew right onto him. He stood behind the catapault. When he pulled the lanyard, the bolder stayed in place and the catapault flew backwards and smashed my hero. In short, he tried everything that seemed reasonable, always with the same result.
Finally he settled inches beneath the bolder as it sat on the catapault's arm. He pulled the lanyard and for a split second you could see an animated coyote's realization that this wasn't going to turn out good. He couldn't run as the distance between him and the bolder was too small, the bolder was too large for him to be able to avoid being crushed. The time before the bolder hit was just too short to do anything. He didn't even have time to pull out a tiny umbrella.
In my illness induced delerium, that all seemed very reasonable. Even when I woke up it seemed fucking reasonable. I suppose we all have our own image of the definition of "impending doom," but that's mine. And I can feel that big bolder over my head. I've got my hand on the tiny umbrella, but I'll never be able to get to it fast enough to save myself.
And also, I really hate telemarketers.