Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is it in there?

Ahab in this story, is, of course, my dad, who will be dismasted this afternoon after a long battle with bad-knee-o-fuckitallity.

Anyone who has the sack to call me a great white anything had better step the f*** off. I have been too emotionally challenged for the last two years to put down the whiskey and the cheese. Get your head in the right place pretty quickly or I'll bite your leg off, too.

And if you are noticing that the analogy - or wait? Is this an allusion? Anyway if you are noticing that it's not me and my dad engaged in a great moral battle with each other, neither of us sure who is the force for good or evil - if you are noticing that, I commend you for paying attention in whatever class made you pretend to read Melville. (I know you just read the Cliff Notes; that doesn't make you a bad person; I never finished Ulysses because so many allusions are... never mind).

The problem, of course, is the problem of evil. Evil, of course, is the special flavor in the air that occurs (naturally) because we live in an (un)natural world, a fallen world, a world where it is possible for things to go so very wrong but also a world where even smart people can get confused about the wrongness and come to believe for some illogical reason that being big and white and filled with rage has something to do with a brave man on a boat who has no leg because she (the big white one) just ate it. And that maybe she did that because there were some bad time with a harpoon that she thinks was somehow about her.

Do you see how gravely and deeply this doesn't work?

Where is the connection between my dad's problems and mine? Where does one person's leukemia lead to one person's whiskey saturation and the other person's knee-fuckitallity form a causal relationship with the great big terrible anger of the cheese-eating white one flipping around in the ocean yelling at the sharks because she is so angry?

This is the problem with me and my dad. I didn't give him cancer and he sure as shit didn't buy me the whiskey. I didn't bite off his leg and he definitely didn't follow me around the ocean in a great sulfurous bark trying to impale me with a harpoon barbed with misery. It only feels that way because my dad and I have a symbiotic thing - a thing of emotional interdependence that usually happens between mothers and their children and between spouses and their spouses. (Stop trying to remember the name of the German what's his name who said all daughters are creepy in love with their fathers. I have never tried to shield you from the fact that I suffer from exactly that psychological error).

But back to the problem of evil. The evil presents itself and does its finest work when a good thing - loving someone else a whole lot- causes suffering so great that one's logical faculties are impaired such that in the story, Ahab and the great white ungrateful spoiled fat daughter are actually out to destroy each other, when in fact the evil is doing the job of destroying both and meantime damaging the love of one for the other pretty successfully too. Ahab loses. The angry white one loses. Evil wins.

I know there is some stuff in the bible about how we should love God (lots of people have assured me that it says that in the bible and I totally believe them) but is there a bit in there where it says you are allowed to have hatred for the devil? Like really serious inky black violent blood thirsty hatred? Is it in there?

Thank you for all the comments and emails and prayers and drinking binges you have all offered up for my dad and for me. When this period of literary mis-allusion passes, I'll let you know what news I have and I'll try to do it without writing a scary post. (I just said I would try - not succeed. Stop looking at me like that).


Ki said...

My sympathies for both your father and your pain.

And I did read Moby Dick (not for a class even--how bad is that?), and if I recall correctly there should be a crazy prophet about now telling you that the big white thing comes out on top.

We'll stop the allusion there, because any further detail involves too much sea water and chasing, and you and Ahab could probably use some rest.

Sizzle said...

Rooting for you both.

Avitable said...

The only great white whale I know is the one in my pants.

ricki said...

I dunno. I'm no theologian but I think hating evil is pretty much OK with God. The problem comes if the hate blinds you enough that you do evil in the name of hating evil...and I don't quite see that happening here.

And I never got past "Call me Ishmael" in that other book.

The world sucks sometimes. Like sizzle said, I'm rooting for both of you.

Catherine said...

Here, present. Toasting, good vibing, more tons of love arriving at Right Coast all the time.

You are pissed and feeling like violent bloodthirsty hatin', bring it. There'll come a time where you will be relieved to see it abate, so get 'em while their hot. And while you're at it, go throw something really super crashy at a brick or cement wall. Cinematic, cliche, wanton? Yes, and EFFECTIVE. Just be a little prudent about things, you know; wait till any stray six-year-olds are out of range, etc.

Keep the updates coming, pls.

LOL, Avitable. :)

Claire said...

Nina, my thoughts, prayers and all my drinks are with and for you and your Dad. It is horrible at the moment but it will pass...and in the interim, mug smashing is the way to go!

Dagny said...

I'm sorry.

And I also suffered from that very affliction...(in case you missed my weepy daddy posts...ha)

I'm fucking sorry.

I want it all to be better.


Thinking of you a ton these days, hang in there.


Finn said...


LizB said...

You are not Moby; you're Queequeg. You see and fear the evil juju, to the point that you stop eating, and you sit on the deck meditating, not moving, willing the juju to go away. You refuse to budge from the deck, even when the storms are swirling around. It's OK to recognize the evil, but don't let it stagnate you long enough to lose yourself. Get off the deck and take care of you. You can't get Ahab's leg back, but you can be his strongest crew member while he fights his demons, for as long as the voyage lasts.

And yeah, I did read the book. ;) Much love.

Rick(y) said...

My thoughts are with you.

And lizb has a very good point.