Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the assassin's bullet

If I understand it correctly, an assassin will stalk his target a bit before executing his task. And one of the aspects of that stalking is to note the target's bits of habitual behavior: when does s/he go jogging; when does s/he leave for work; what time does s/he get up or go to bed; where and when does s/he shop for food; what are the favored places for a dinner out, etc.? And by learning the habits, the assassin can pick a time and place that will make the execution most likely to succeed without incurring subsequent punishment.

All of this passed idly through my mind this morning as I assessed my discontent in household events that disrupted my habits and patterns. It was nothing serious, but I disliked being thrown off my habitual course ... coffee, writing, emailing, walking -- I wanted my habitual ducks lined up, however mundane and old-age-y they might be. Habits were easier and more companionable than spurs and side tracks. No curve balls need apply and, where they did, a certain crankiness/quasi-panic rose up: I resented having to recalibrate and bring things back to 'normal.'

And it was then that I thought of the assassin and how easy my state of mind would make his task. A creature of habit fits neatly into the sights of some mildly-imaginative assassin.

The only trouble with this comic-book scenario was that at this point in my life, I don't really do anything that would be worth the assassin's bullet.

And that was mildly depressing.

The rule of thumb is to "dodge the bullet" or elude the danger, wherever it comes from. No one wants to get hurt, much less assassinated. So, in other times, there were all sorts of maneuvers to duck or parry or preserve and protect. Social graces, able philosophies, defensive ramparts, the buck and shuffle that keeps things coherent.

There is something gloomy about recognizing that I am not even worth the assassin's bullet. It makes me want to rush right out and do something naughty or offensive. But that would take more energy than I want to or can expend.

It would be nice, in some sense, to think I was worth an assassin's bullet.

Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you're worth more than that bullet. Maybe we'd all rather keep you alive.