Nothing’s Final

ncaa-mmc-finalfour72So tomorrow we venture off bright and early to Detroit, for the men’s Final Four. I have mixed emotions, not all of them relating to what might happen on the court.

Don't get all squishy on us now, Hasheem

Don't get all squishy on us now, Hasheem

I think UConn can beat Michigan State. I’ve thought all year that the Big Ten was a fairly weak conference, as the majors go, though certainly the cream rose to the top. We’ve played the Big Ten three times: blowing out Wisconsin early, getting a tough victory against Michigan, then beating the Boilermakers in the tournament. I do not feel qualified to assess the Spartans, but I think one key for the Huskies will be Thabeet finally stepping up and playing a dominating game against another quality big man. He puts up great numbers against the Stony Brooks of the world, but has a tendency to drift away when the competition stiffens.

Another thing in UConn’s favor, if you’re the superstitious type: in ’99 we beat a Big Ten team in the semis (not Michigan State, though they were there too), then faced an ACC team considered the favorite.We proceeded to “shock the world.”  Similar scenario could play out this time, if UNC does what most people expect and beats Villanova.

This isn’t bad, huh? I actually sound like I know, a bit, what I’m talking about. But I’m going to let you in on a little heresy: me, a devout Husky fan – I don’t really care if they win. Part of it is the mixed feelings I have about the program, discussed here recently. Part of it is my mental state. The Crisis is overwhelming even something as exciting as going to see my team in the Final Four and play for a championship. If we get to the finals and lose, it will feel like a lot of time and money wasted during a spell when I feel short on both (the tax damage just came from the accountant – not pretty when you underpay your estimated…). If we lose the semis, will hang around one day and try to watch the women’s Final Four game  with other dejected UConn fans, and then if the women blow it too (a distinct possibility I fear, despite the juggernaut they have been this year)… Gloom. Doom.

But no, it’s not really the athletics that are coloring my thoughts. It’s the Crisis. I’ve done almost no work this week, as I stumble through a lorazepam haze – six days in a row and counting, a record since the time of the first panic attacks more than two decades ago. The pains have been bad too, sometimes excruciating; I know now why people get addicted to opiates. I actually have a prescription version sitting in the bathroom, but the last time I took them – legitimately – I felt so crummy and constipated it almost wasn’t worth it. Clearly I need a better class of opiates. Factor in that Samantha leaves next week and I will be alone for two months, and – wait…did you hear that? Listen! Why, it’s, it’s the call of the rare middled-aged whiner (Kvetchus patheticis), emerging from his winter hibernation to inflict mind-numbing, self-absorbed rantings on his prey, boring them into a stupor that leaves them easy pickings for the lumbering beast.

I know I have good things ahead, starting with Detroit, if I can let myself experience them. The trip east to see my play’s world premier. My sister’s last visit out to Chicago. The Red Sox in Minneapolis. Italy, for god’s sake! It’s an impressive list. But they feel like mere diversions, and too fleeting, as I think about work and the move and finances and this increasingly creaky body, with each creak raising fears of cancer or other ailments of equal magnitude. And I worry about all this angst ratcheting up a notch when I’m here alone, and struggling every morning to get up to do the work I have to speed through so I can get to all the diversions. Which momentarily take my mind off the work and the move and the finances and… Momentarily.

I actually had some good days last week. Some meditation/energy techniques made me feel equipped to work and generally face the day. And The Real Thing rehearsals continue to satisfy. (Though at times things are still a little stiff. They will come together, as they always do, and if they don’t – not to be flip, but it’s true –  oh,  well.  I don’t have an emotional investment in it. I want things to go well, for the sake of the actors and director, all of whom I really like, but it’s not my play. Nothing of me is on that stage, except perhaps for one or two “dramaturgical” points that any sharp theatrical undergrad could have made.) But that was last week, and the play is not me. This week, my circumstance, my reality, felt like a weight that just got heavier with each passing day.

I hope, when Samantha is gone, to get back into that meditation routine. I hope to stop the daily drugs and get motivated to work, if only so I don’t worry about missing deadlines around Italy time. I hope I eat well and drink moderately, rather than the other possibilities that might present themselves when I am alone and depressed. I want everything to work out. I want to shut down the worry. Back to Buddha, I guess. So if he is to be my inspiration, I shouldn’t get too wrapped up in the games this weekend. Or the being alone. Or any of the other travails.

Back in the day...click to see a more recent version of the band and that classic song

Back in the day...click to see a more recent version of the band and that classic song

I don’t know if Tom Verlaine is a Buddhist, but this line from “Marquee Moon” always struck me as reflecting the Enlightened One’s approach: “Look here, junior, don’t you be so happy,  and for Heaven’s sake, don’t you be so sad.” The Middle Path. The first part hasn’t been a problem of late. It’s the second one I gotta work on.

Anyway…Go Huskies! And whatever happens, the emotions afterward – Just let ’em go. All is transitory…

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~ by mburgan on April 4, 2009.

One Response to “Nothing’s Final”

  1. i’m gonna have to knock some sense into you while I am out there…besides not letting you have much rest…so much to do and so little time

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