Author: Alvira, Marco

Is It Worth the Loathing?

I’m not a guy that’s prone to look at the world with suspicion. While I’m not naive enough to walk downtown at night without keeping an eye on dark corners and nooks, my focus is usually on the colorful glow of neon lights and the pleasant buzz of crowds leaving the theaters and headed to crowded local coffee houses. My natural disposition is generally optimistic. When tough times roll around, it’s best just to lower the shoulder and shove knowing that good times are just around the corner.

My dreams, however, have been troubling lately. I find myself waking up almost nightly at at 3:15 and laying awake for waiting 45 minutes until listless sleep thinly veil my consciousness. This is a rough time of year for teachers. High stakes testing is under way, the summation of a year’s work is in the collective hand of a hundred fourteen year olds. My parents and most my grandparents began their spiral to eternal sleep in the month of May. Still, the garden flowers are in full bloom, music is bountiful lately, everybody at home is healthy (allergies not withstanding), and were not upside with our mortgage like so many of our friends. But why do I find myself staring at the clock almost every night at 3:15?

The thing about Facebook is that in two minutes, one can see how life is treating a large swath of one’s friends and acquaintances. Just this morning, after enjoying a cup of Saturday morning coffee and reading the paper (maybe not the most uplifting activity), I hopped onto Facebook for a few minutes of social voyeurism. Not before long I logged off: moms were struggling with babies; transmissions were breaking; aging parents were ailing; parents with teen age children were lamenting. That’s the thing about social media, there’s no ignoring struggles and woes of those you know. It makes one appreciate the common response to the old question, “How ya doing?” And the normal, quick short-hand answer, “Fine, thank you.” That neat bit of social etiquette keeps us safe from unpleasantries that cannot be ignored on Facebook. This mornings online foray made me wonder if other people were waking up at 3:15.

T.S. Eliot began his poem, “The Wasteland” (an ode to the Age of Anxiety) “April is the cruelest month....” I believe it is May. Maybe May isn’t different than any other month, but it seems the advent of spring plants hope. Reality and daily trials, however, prove to be harsh water for those tiny seeds. Maybe May just gets a bad rap based on my minuscule observations. Perhaps the month itself is blameless, a mere victim of the false hope planted by April. All I know is that I can’t wait to impatiently cross its 31 days of my calendar. I hate May. It wakes me up at 3:15.

One has to be wary of the old platitude, “There by the grace of God, goes I.” I always think of that as a backhanded smugness. It leaves open the notion that God has been stingy and quite selective with his grace. I don’t believe that, but the question is there when ever I hear it. Still, it is smart to count one’s blessings and be thankful...and I do and I am. Objectively, I know this month is no different than any other, and the loathing I bear its annual recurrence belies my general cheerful, daily disposition. I should cut May some slack, but really, 3:15 every night?

Posted:  5/5/2013

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