what do you know?

by Andrea Elizabeth

Scientists say you can’t trust memory. Or luck. I say it’s better to believe in a faulty memory than nothing. And it’s better to believe that black eyed peas eaten on New Years will bring you luck than not to. I’ve never eaten black eyed peas on New Years because it’s one of the few foods that make me gag. But I’m so happy some people do. Maybe their good luck will rub off on me if I support them. I can’t find the quote, but C.S. Lewis said it’s better to believe in faeries than not to. At least your world is populated and alive instead of empty and depressing. But what do I know?

Skulls. Are skulls empty and depressing? No. They’re a remarkably permanent part of a human. Under the right conditions they can last forever. Thus they, and their associated life form, are immortal. My dentist office got a fancy new machine that I’m sure cost way too much money and drives up insurance premiums so that it’s impossible to have affordable healthcare. It takes a 3d view of your skull, teeth and sinus cavities. It was weird seeing my skull so realistically denuded, except for the balls of whatever taking up almost half of my sinus cavities. I wonder if they are why my throat is so hard to clear. My first impression was that it looked German. Like the Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark whose jaw is wider than the rest of his face. His is the most dramatically melting one at the end. I just googled skulls and all of them look that way. Sort of like Darth Vader’s mask.

Skulls and relics connect us to the afterlife where everyone is waiting for us. Does being connected to them make one wrongly morbid and a death wisher? One probably needs the right balance of connection to them and the living. It’s wrong to ignore either one. But I do have a special sympathy for the dead. Not that I feel sorry for them, but it seems to me they are silently calling out and are usually ignored. Not that they are upset about that.

What are the skulls saying? We still love you. We are warm, not cold. We are good, not hostile. Death makes us better than we were. We ignored you then, we misunderstood you then, but we see clearly now. A lot of stuff doesn’t matter, but you have to try to make things right anyway just because it’s a good habit. Habits are what matter.