June 13th, 2007

Brian and Anne

Things to know by 50

Scalzi recently linked to this (oddly uneven) AARP compendium of 50 Things to Know by 50

My favorites:
12. How to Die

The point of the party is not your leaving it. Apologize for any breakage, thank your hosts, listen when they say they were glad you could come, mean it when you say you had a wonderful time, then grab your coat and go. Make sure the door closes behind you. Don't forget your hat.

21. How to Grieve

"After the first death, there is no other," wrote Dylan Thomas. That doesn't mean the ones that come after won't break your heart, but it's the first that punches your soul's passport. Welcome, fellow human, to a different country than the one you woke up to this morning. The air's different here; so is the scenery. Your knees don't work so well; in fact, you may want to fall to them.

For a precious little while, you are allowed to be stunned into silence, or to shriek, or to talk—recounting stories of who he was, what she meant to you, and how it all came to an end. Tell those stories. Some people may try to enforce "The Rules," to wit: Enough of This Drama Is Enough. Ignore them. Besides, if you treat yourself gently and take the time you need, someday soon you'll hear the faint but steady voice of your own good sense. Play music you love, sit in the sunshine if you can find some, and if anyone offers you a hand, hold it. Let them feed the cat, too, because they want to be useful. If your good sense does not kick in on its own, help it along: scramble some eggs. It will feel strange at first. But if you pretend that scrambling eggs is normal, eventually it will become normal. Soon you can squeeze some orange juice, too.

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My friend John is a zombie. Again.

At work today Steve was explaining to a different Jonathon that when he'd found his friend's dead body he'd thought about not leaving it to the zombie to dismember and eat, but what can you do? Jonathon confirmed that the zombies had in fact gotten him. *

Maybe I'm a little blasé about the zombie takeover this time around but it kinda just feels like business as usual, you know? So there better not be any zombies outside my door when I go out to get the mail in a minute, or they'll get what's coming to them. And then I'll go back inside for a cool drink and get started cooking dinner.

*real conversation, no joke. I swear.