Agonistes

There are days this isn’t fun, the whole writing business. Days I say to myself, “You know what would be fun? ACCOUNTING. Numbers don’t break your heart. Nobody imbues them with an emotional significance above and beyond their face value. They are predictable and constant and simple. Awwww, numbers, my dearest friends!”

Then I begin to notice that I’m already imbuing them with emotional significance, and I haven’t even added a single digit yet. Apparently putting an emotional charge upon the world is what I DO.

There is nothing so simple I can’t make it complicated.

My mother once gave her French friend a can of Easy Cheese as a joke. “This is what passes for cheese in America,” she said, spraying it onto a cracker. Her French friend politely tried it, struggling not to gag, and then said in a tiny voice, “I believe I prefer… Difficult Cheese.”

That story really resonates with me. I, too, prefer Difficult Cheese, where “cheese” stands for just about anything you care to name. I am drawn to complexity; I consider it worth the struggle. I like the agon; I go looking for walls to kick down and challenges I can punch in the face. I’m a pugilist, by nature and by choice.

The life of the mind results in a shocking number of bruises, but they heal.


2 Comments on “Agonistes”

  1. Difficult Cheese sounds like a great name for a rock band…

    • Ha! B used to have an imaginary heavy metal band called Banana Bread. He outgrew the name, though; he finally figured out it was lame (without taking one more cognitive step forward and realizing it was so lame it was AWESOME). Maybe Difficult Cheese can be his new group.


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