Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life isn't fair.  How many times have we all said that to someone or heard it said to us?  But I wonder how many of us can really bear to go through life believing it.  Because how many times have we also all taken comfort from the thought that "he'll get what's coming to him" or "what goes around comes around" or "karma's a bitch?"  Deep down, don't we all want to believe, need to believe, that the cosmic scorecard will mostly balance out in the end?

But it doesn't.  Bad things keep happening to good people.  Life doesn't work out for everyone and sometimes the bad guys live pretty happy, tragedy-free lives.  And it isn't much comfort to think that those bad guys were too shallow and selfish to really appreciate their good fortune.  Sometimes innocent guys die in prison from asthma attacks that would have been easily treatable had they been free.  And then some years later, the state might finally admit the terrible mistake of that conviction, as if that can somehow make up for the fact that a man's life was totally wasted.  Sometimes really good people face bad tiding after bad tiding with no respite.  Sometimes the heartbreaker's life goes on merrily while the heartbroken's life falls apart.  Neither good people nor bad people always get what they deserve.

In the lifelong battle that pessimism and optimism have waged for my soul, pessimism has finally, most definitely, gained the upper hand.  I have no more capacity to get through each day by telling myself tomorrow has to be better.  I can no longer look a friend in the eye and assure her it can't get worse.  Because it can.  And there's no reason to believe that cosmic scorecard exists, let alone that it will start evening itself out anytime soon.

Optimism isn't quite ready to throw in the towel just yet, though.  It's just badly beaten and bruised, taking a time-out in the corner.  But it can't go another full round without a little help, Universe.  So you've got one more chance to send something good this way.  But at the rate you're going, it's gonna have to be something big.

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