Derek Zoolander: What? Are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am?
Matilda: A what?
Derek Zoolander: A eugoogoolizer… you know one who speaks at funerals.
[Matilda looks at Derek confused]
Derek Zoolander: Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?
Schizoanalysis on the fly. I realised I missed someone this past week when I couldn’t help but keep thinking about how I didn’t miss her and asking myself why I wasn’t missing her. Yes, it would be nice to simply miss someone, and now I don’t feel so bad about all the other people I haven’t missed, but maybe really did.
My dad had a heart attack yesterday. I was at work when I got the call. There isn’t much to do when all the action is on the other side of the continent. Once it had sunk-in I checked flights online and so on, in case I had to go home yesterday or today. He is ok, although still not entirely in the clear. He was lucky (to whatever extent such events can be lucky) to have collapsed 50m from the finish line of some sort of marathon in which he was competing. He is part of a running club and is pretty fit. A doctor was in the crowd and started CPR, etc. Then the first aid arrived with the defib machine. So he was dead for a while. He is in hospital and they are doing tests today, the results of which I don’t know about.
The first thing I thought of (after the initial phone call and a whole bunch of questions, etc for my mum who rang me up) was preparing to write a eulogy. I am glad I had realised the thing about missing A. otherwise I would have thought I was mildly psychotic. I couldn’t just think how I loved my dad and hoped that he was going to be ok. It had to be refracted through the prism of a eulogy.
I began constructing this eulogy by thinking about what I had said at the occassion of his 60 birthday. It had been brief. I talked about me and my brother and sister and thanked him for allowing us to make our own mistakes. This is not a back-handed compliment. Rather it is the realisation that if we are to be given the greatest gift of all, that of life, then we should be able to forge a life that is our own. This requires two things: First, the capacity to cope with mistakes and failure, to learn from them, and to re-affirm anew the conditions of one’s life. Second, to literally make one’s own mistakes, in the sense of learning lessons that are only relevant to the movement or trajectory of ‘this’ life. Then we (my siblings and I) could be worthy of the events that happen to us beyond the purview of being an echo of our parents or the structural conditons of our environment.
I was wired yesterday. I knew I would be, without really wanting to do any work on the diss, so I bought two Max Barry books while I was at work. I have been wanting to read them properly since working at the launch of his latest book, Company. I haven’t wanted to let myself do any reading or writing work beyond my dissertation, but they are good heart attack books. Funny, witty, and generally entertaining. I think a heart attack book is above airplane book, but I am not sure. Maybe it needs some research.
Hopefully everything will be alright, with my dad and the rest of my family. I have stayed in Sydney for now.
On a brighter note I will probably need to get another computer soon. Yes, a broken computer at which I live and breathe is not a catastrophe. It is fun!