Just for a moment, I found myself weeping for the crew of the Russian submarine Kursk; those poor souls never had a chance. And then, just to get my mind off of them, I found myself thinking about me, and to my disgust, I felt even worse.

Now obviously nothing has happened to me quite as horrible, quite as final, as drowning at the bottom of the Barents Sea. Nor do I have any reason to expect that my inevitable demise will be that dramatic. And I am fairly certain that there are people whose lives are so barren and unrewarding that in comparison, they might find the life I lead somewhat enjoyable. I'm hardly starving, and while my income is fairly meager by North American standards, a Third World visitor might well see it as great wealth indeed.

Regular readers, and I assume I still have one or two out there somewhere, will probably point out that they've sampled this particular whine before, and that the 2000 vintage is no more palatable than 1999's. In my defense, I must point out that (1) my level of frustration hasn't declined, and isn't likely to do so, and (2) various drug therapies are having little discernible effect. At some point, sooner or later, I'm going to snap. I know it. It's as inevitable as dawn after dark.

The next question (aside from "Who cares?") is "What's going to happen when you do?" The answer, unfortunately, is "Probably nothing." I don't think anyone will even notice, at least at first. It's hardly a matter of great interest. People have their own lives to worry about. My life, except to a couple of insurance companies, is worth essentially nothing; while I used to fret about how it might end, the real issue, as it turns out, is when. And if I'm going to continue to wake up mornings wondering why I continue to wake up mornings, perhaps it's time to hurry things along a bit. The sheer fact that I'm able to complain about my lot while 118 sailors lie dead on the ocean floor, I submit, ought to disqualify me for further existence.

Addendum: After proofreading this screed, I decided not to upload it to the site right away, but to wait an hour or so to see if I was still stuck at the same level of despondency. You can probably guess the answer to that, too.

The Vent

22 August 2000

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 Copyright © 2000 by Charles G. Hill