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post #59
bio: stu
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6/8/2005
15:26

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Why do I have this feeling of impending doom?
A free flowing story of the last 18 hours or so, pointing us towards the inevitable:

I was in bed by 10pm--which is weird enough by itself for us all to take a step back and wonder what the hell is going on with me...in bed 5 hours before I normally go to sleep?! To make matters worse, I was falling asleep after less than half a bottle of fine wine. That enough leads me to believe that I should probably go in for some tests. First of all, fine wine?! Not rotgut? Not Boone's? But good wine?! And less than two bottles of it before I went to sleep?

I really can't explain it. Not at all.

I was so disoriented when I woke up--still dressed from the night before, and with all the lights on in my room--that I grabbed the remaining wine in my glass and downed it before looking at the clock. So suddenly, I'm now one of those people who drinks a glass of wine at 8am before going off to work. I blame the alcohol for why I left for work 15 minutes earlier than normal.

The subway in New York City has an on-going series of subway ads called "Poetry in Motion:" little fragments of poetry intended to brighten up your morning commute. I generally like this series as a welcome change from the normal "Dr. Zizmor" or Trimspa ads, but today, the two in my car gave me a horrible feeling of impending doom.

The first, directly across from my seat, was from "Macbeth."

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

What insane MTA official thought that this was the perfect fragment of poetry to welcome people on their morning commute to a job that slowly kills them? Is the MTA trying to solve the problem of overcrowded trains by driving commuters to kill themselves? Don't they realize that it'll make a helluva mess if people start throwing themselves in front of trains?

Discontent and with a glimmering of impending doom, I got up to get off my train after reading and re-reading this little bit of sunshine, only to find that another Poetry in Motion was dangling right above my exit: the closing stanzas of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach." I love this poem, but obviously, the same psychotic MTA employee was at work here, giving us an extra dose of fin de siecle doom and gloom for our workday. The lines that ushered me in to work were:

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

The portents are not good--first I'm not able to stay awake, drink heavily, or show up late to work, and now the gods are clearly communicating to us all that the end times are here.

Call up your family, tell them you love them (or hate them, as the case may be), find an appropriate partner, and usher in the end of days however you see fit.






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