The Final Stage II

Okay, it's about 12 hours since I posted "The Final Stage"...minutes until the "anniversary" is over...Cairo time.

If you've been checking're more masochistic than I!

Anyway, if you've been checking in, you've noticed that Julie broke my mood...lucky for all of us. I mean, THAT post wasn't "happy go lucky", but it was sure different from where I was headed around noon!

I don't know if Julie had anything to do with the football game...but it WAS in the realm of "Do you believe in miracles?" YES...even the Rams refused to cooperate in darkening my mood (or should I say deepening my mood since it was already dark?!) The Rams scored three offensive touchdowns during a 6-minute period of the first quarter...when they had only scored four such touchdowns in their first FIVE GAMES! They wound up beating the Dallas Cowboys 34-14. Wonder of wonders...

Okay, that concludes this evening's sports report...

Now that we are past the family hour, I can proceed with "Pity Party III".

The good news is that with the aforementioned "mood breaking", I will ONLY regale you with the advertised additional depths to be plunged!

I mentioned "Dead Man Walking"...

Ooh, guess we know where I'm going with this one! Actually, this is mostly a "Drama King" reference. I don't REALLY sit around dwelling on such topics. However, I have to admit that it crossed my mind a couple of times...that Julie's passing literally took the life out of ever-present "numbness" that I referenced in "Part I" of this post.

The reason I felt compelled to mention "Dead Man Walking" is that, as I said, it HAD crossed my mind. Then, about a month ago, I ran across a book entitled "The Twelfth Card" by one of my favorite authors, Jeffery Deaver (who also wrote "The Bone Collector", which was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.)

In my current state of mind, I pay special attention to things "normal" folks wouldn't...such as songs coming out of radios or MP3 players.

"The Twelfth Card" is a reference to one of the cards (yeah, the 12th one) in a Tarot deck. "The Twelfth Card" is also known as "The Hanged Man", but don't fear my morbidity...he's hanging by his ankle and has a smile on his face.

Here is the description from Deaver's book:

So,'s a good "sign". For me, it actually prompted my thoughts on "The Final Stage"...the resignation. Of course, the way I described "resignation" above probably does NOT comfort you as to my state of mind. However, I assure you that it is a VAST improvement!

Anyway, the book is about a hit man who used to work as a prison guard and then became the "executioner" at the prison. He was a sympathetic soul who had empathy for the prisoners he was called upon to execute...later killing another guard who had "disrespected" a prisoner, causing the prisoner to burst into flames during an electrocution. (WOW...uplifting what I read, no?)

Anyway, as a result of the death he visits upon the condemned (upward of 80 such souls), he develops a "numbness" inability to experience the emotions of "normal" people. (Okay, this is where I began identifying with the killer. Again, PITY FULL!)

That was all fine and dandy...I was keeping it all into perspective until I turned the page and saw the following "section divider"...

My point is simple...that after thinking about "Dead Man Walking" a couple of times in the week or so BEFORE even acquiring the book, to read the account of the meaning of the "Twelfth Card" and then to turn the page and see the actual words...well, doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee., Maestro!

I mentioned John Mellencamp (aka John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp)...

By whatever name, you would recognize some of his music...the aforementioned Pink Houses along with Hurts So Good, Jack and Diane, and Our Country (which upset a lot of folks when he allowed it to be used for the Chevy Silverado TV commercials.) He's also one of the "names" on the annual Farm Aid shows.

So...what's John Mellencamp got to do with me?

Well, over the years, I've been a lukewarm fan. As in, I liked a lot of his music (even the not so popular stuff), but he "ain't" the Beatles, the Eagles, or Elton John.

However, I happened to read a review of his newest album in People magazine while sitting on my throne one day. (Okay, THAT was waaaay more than you wanted to know. However, I'm trying to "lighten up" a little!)


Mellencamp's latest album is entitled "Life, Death, Love and Freedom". Okay...I admit it...I was cheating! I was trying desperately to MAKE "signs happen". As I indicated in "Circle of Life II", I have since learned better. In fact, this was "the final straw". I was sure that I would find several songs (like I did on the latest Eagles' album) that would resonate with me...and, yes, provide captivating reading for you.

I failed miserably. Worse than that...the music sucked too! (Sorry, John!)

However, as I approached today, I took one more a song that I faintly remembered for one phrase...a phrase that echoed the "numbness" of Dead Man Walking. The song is actually the first one on the album. The phrase that I took to heart was "You know you got no flame".

When I reviewed the lyrics, I remembered another line that struck to the very core of my soul when I heard it the first time, but I guess I put it out of my mind. (See...I don't dwell on this stuff on purpose! Usually.) That other line was "Sometimes you get sick and you don't get better." Need I say more...

I had rejected the song because the other lyrics just don't ring true...a little too egotistical to suit me (I hope). However, every party needs a song and this one seems an appropriate ending to the anniversary of one of the longest (and definitely WORST) day of my life.

Below are the complete lyrics...

Longest Days
Lyrics - John Mellencamp

Seems like once upon a time ago
I was where I was supposed to be
My vision was true and my heart was too
There was no end to what I could dream
I walked like a hero into the setting sun
Everyone called out my name
Death to me was just a mystery
I was too busy raising Cain

But nothing lasts forever
Your best efforts don't always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And don't get better
That's when life is short
Even in its longest days

So you pretend not to notice
That everything has changed
The way that you look
And the friends you once had
So you keep on acting the same
But deep down in your soul
You know you got no flame
And who knows then which way to go
Life is short even in its longest days

All I got here
Is a rear view mirror
Reflections of where I've been
So you tell yourself I'll be back up on top some day
But you know there's nothing waiting up there for you anyway

Nothing lasts forever
And your best efforts don't always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And you don't get better
That's when life is short
Even in its longest days

Life is short
Even in its longest days

"In conclusion..."

In one (or more) previous posts, I have indicated my intention to refrain from delving further into the bottomless pit of my inconsolable sorrow. (Damn...that was DEEP, self-serving drivel. Ron the martyr lives!)

Let's try that again...

I believe that in the past I have stated that I would do no more depressing posts...only to do so. After several such failures, I think I finally used the cliché..."Never Say Never". I probably should have cried out like Jim Carrey..."Somebody Stop Me!" Then, Dear Readers, you might have come to my assistance...for ALL our sakes.

Well, tonight IS it...I'm done.

NOPE...I'm not closing down, I'm just NOT going to do any more laments.

IF, and that's getting to be a BIG "if" anymore...IF I can think of anymore "Julie adventures", I will happily post them. IF I receive any more "signs", I'll post them in a positive, upbeat manner.

Even I recognize...FINALLY...that this just takes too much out of me. For a while, I think it was constructive...therapeutic. Recently, it's more like "rubbing salt in the wound".

So, I officially announce my "resignation/surrender" and my intent...make that climb out of the depths of my grief and "move on".

In pledging to abandon my recurrent rounds of self-pity, I shall borrow the words used by Edgar Allen Poe in his comedic masterpiece...

"Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'."