Friday, December 9, 2011


When was the last time you were disappointed?

Not intended as such, the question was a gotcha.  You’d had to stop for a moment to review the time line because you’d experienced disappointment so many times today, in so many ways, the most recent being at the hands of a barista in Pet’s, who’d handed you a drink you’d assumed to be a latte in a paper cup.  Disappointment numero uno, you’d assumed the latte to arrive in a porcelain mug.

The putative latte was transferred with apology—and more foam—into a mug, but the first sip of it betrayed its DNA not at all of coffee but of cocoa, soy milk, and a splash of vanilla, thus a disappointment twofer.

Although disappointments may seem to come in multiples, reminiscent of kudos (who ever heard of one kudo?), they are in fact more simple in nature, persistent in their way as a line of army ants approaching a target of opportunity.

Taking a few moments to objectify disappointment is a profitable way to see the individual self in a more dramatic and functional perspective, which begins with the observation that most individuals are hard wired to cope with disappointment, accommodate it when it comes, then proceed to some vector or other without too much distraction.  This is an evolved process, the result of much in a personal, Cosmic, or Universal way being a disappointment, a failure to live up to expectations (but on the other hand, many things are the polar opposite, being much grander in scale than what was anticipated).

Those individuals who are not so fortunate to cope with disappointment in some degree of dispatch run the risk of being mugged by random disappointments, relieved of their working enthusiasms, left to cope with subsequent events as best they can in a world hungry for enthusiasm, rather impatient with depression.

Among the things you are disappointed with, at, and indeed, from, are sentences of yours that do not seem to represent your intent to the degree you’d supposed when you first composed them.

These miscreant sentences often contain a starch that must be laundered out, a formality as foreboding as the resident foreboding in the fathers of girls you’d dated when these gentlemen discerned beyond your more immediate intentions with their daughters your additional agenda of following a career where, as a mature adult, a primary concern of yours would be the accessibility of your sentences.

Considering such things in retrospect, turning them over in the light of having lived with them for a time, you can now see a connection neither you nor the fathers of these estimable young ladies would see then of the callow youth you were.

True enough about your glands and hormones having placed such enormous demands upon you.  Mate, they cried.  Sample, they whispered.  Broadcast, they exhorted every time you caught the pleasing swell of female anatomy, much as the circuit-riding humming bird is drawn to particular parts of particular flowers.

You were also hearing the much less biological but nonetheless outspoken voices of your own sentences, calling to you to be disappointed when their sounds would impact readers by the equivalent of robbing them of their wallet or, in this case, to cost them the disastrous disappointment of losing interest.  



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