I remember a long time ago during our college years, my friend Vernon gave us this little piece of advice: if you are having a hard time choosing, it is better to pick one at random, and then make it work. That was at a time when another friend of ours was having difficulty in deciding whether he should get married or not. Vern had added that, if in the event the option he chose did not work out, move on to the second one. Impressionable as I was during those early days, I had then thought, wow, these were words of wisdom indeed. “Make it work.” Truth be told, I made it one of my guiding principles for a good many years and I admit to practicing it from time to time. For a while. I think.
Then as years went by, I realized that while it may have been applicable in some situations, when taken in the context of other things in life, it WAS an absolutely nonsensical credo to go by. Take choosing electoral candidates for example, but I promised not to go there. On the whole, this concept of bentot-bentot (localese equivalent for heads-or-tails) becomes nothing but a childish exercise, especially when in the same room with other more scientific ways at arriving at a decision.
But enough of this already. I never intended this piece to be about tools for analysis and other boring subjects. It is just that the bentot bentot story just reminded me of Vern, my college buddy who passed away last December.
On the subject of friends, the past year had indeed shown that the passage of time could be sad and painful (I lost four friends last year total). To add to that, you cannot just simply turn the page and let it go. Healing, along with its dubious associates, booze among others, is at most, nothing but a sugar pill, offering temporary relief to deaden the wounds and making you forget for a while that your loss is in real time. They are never really gone, so the poem goes, and the pain sleeps lightly too. So you bide your time, carry that load, and wait.
On a happier note, my other old friends had moved on as well, but to greener pastures, like old cows. Actually, pigs that they are, I regularly see them hamming it up on social media, flashing their pearly whites like movie stars. As Babe’s master would say, “Well done, pig.”
One way or another, we have all moved on I guess. For better or for worst. Bentot or no bentot.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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