A Few Kinds Words on Christopher Hitchens’ Death

16 Dec

I hope you haven’t heard, but I will tell you – Christopher Hitchens dies. Yes, he “did” death. He does death continually now. He will not do life anymore.

I’m trying not to be angry. It’s very difficult for me. Anger is my governing passion. I can’t for the life of me understand why a person who does death loves life. I’ve tried to believe that nonsense, that life is wondrous and special. It isn’t. I have found no evidence that it is. I have repeatedly, like a battered wife, offered that unctuous little phrase, and repeatedly it just gets whipped back in my face. It’s like Oppenheimer struggling to uninvent the atomic bomb, only to have another island blown to smithereens out from under him.

I love to read and write. They soothe me, and infuriate me. The words are never beautiful enough, and no one ever says anything that’s not just as ugly. I am a horrible typist. My eyes burn and my fingers become knots. But if you connected a probe into my brain, I’m sure I’d produce only a hideous squawk. I can’t love this torture! Sometime in my childhood I fell in love with letters and voices, but instead of a lover I feel more like a rapist and a philanderer. It must be genetic.

I want to dedicate my life to a crusade against superstition. How pompous is that! Most of the day I can’t make it from room to front door without remembering a few formulas for moving from point A to point B for avoiding bodily harm or structural damage to the building. If I forget my handkerchief I spend the day dreading I will drown in my own mucus. I need to carry a bottle of water around, or I can’t look a person in the eyes. Every day is a struggle, and, no, I don’t feel boisterous about surviving to the end of another trial. I’m made to be optimistic, and hate every second of it.

If I have a problem with a universal Father, it is he doesn’t go far enough. Why couldn’t life have evolved on the dark side of a micro-asteroid? Why stop at expiration following the requisite 70 or so years of life? How about incinerating every good person at random intervals? Or, drowning – waterboarding. Religious institutions are just plain cowardly, and they really do miss the opportunity to instruct people in their full potential. Pastors need to tell children more, that mothers are whores, that thinking is evil, and that disobedience to the father is punishable by damnation. And, still charge a quarter in the collection plate for the lesson, because discounts are the optimal way to attract customers. If I have a problem with God, it is that the bastard still exists and always will.

I see evidence of God every day. In the mirror, in a photograph, on the streets. Not, in letters, voiced or from my shaking, ugly hands.

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