Bob Seized up.
He was just a normal old guy before that. Just ten years my senior, he lived in one of his many properties in the Davis-Sacramento area prior to the near death experience that was his undoing. One day they found him on the floor of the hallway between his bedroom and the kitchen. Maybe he had been getting something down for dinner. That was were he kept foodstuffs and he lived alone in that large three bedroom house with the pool in back.
I helped him poor concrete for the extension he built when he moved the garage toward the street and converted the old garage to a bedroom and master bath. The program he and I put together in the mid-sixties for the math department used to meet there ever week. He had two daughters living with him back then. But he lived alone when he seized up.
No one knows how long he lay there. When they found him, he was almost dead. But extraordinary measures saved his life. To little avail, though, as he had seized up by the time they found him.
He was never the same again.
Bob was one of the smartest men I’ve ever known. But he was little more than a sentient being after that, which was probably almost ten years. That’s when he died.
I guess that means he was even younger than I am now when he seized. He’s been dead now for at least two years.
Seizing up. That’s when you suddenly abandon everything that used to seem important to you because what is suddenly most important to you is staying alive. It is how most of us die. Pretty much all of us, if you rule out those of us who are never aware that our lives are in danger until the moment of our death.
But I recently have become aware of another way one can seize up, I used to think one had to have some sort of calamity to seize up. You know, like an automobile accident or, as in bob’s case, an attack of some sort. But now I’m convinced it can sneak up on you.
I’m afraid it has snuck up on me.
For months now I’ve been reticent to send out a letter trying to get scientific types to endorse my book. I think I am afraid whether they do or don’t.
I need the endorsements to build a platform so my chances of getting a traditional publisher can be enhanced. Not having the endorsements may be the only barrier remaining between myself and actually being a published author. Of course, I could just be fooling myself.
But the fear of either option–they jump on board or not–probably deserves my attention. If I am right, and the endorsements result in my being published, then the next task will be getting well-received by the public. That means being noticed. Rational or not, the only way I see that happening is if I do something truly out of the ordinary to get the attention–something to prove that I’m really serious. I’m afraid either I won’t be ballsy enough, or I will hurt too many of my loved ones by doing it. My only image right now is the self-immolate thing.
The other option seems to be almost as bad, although harder to face, in many ways. What if they don’t jump on board? If I fail to get the endorsements, will I just crawl quietly into my grave? Will I accept the Vision as an illusion? Will I admit I must be wrong? Will I opt for the opinion of experts rather than my own?
Of course not. I will assume they are just blinded by wanting it to be so. I have too much regard for my own intellect than that. I have seen the writing on the wall, whether I wrote it myself or not–whether the Vision was my creation or not. That’s just the way I am.
So what do I do then?
I could just give up. It seems most likely, in fact. Who am I to say the experts are wrong, just because it looks that way? Just because I had a Vision. Who am I?
And what does mother have to do with it?
I don’t recall whether I’ve told you much about her. She was a dominant force in my family. She was the most powerful person I think I ever met. She was not the smartest, although she was quite smart. I was smarter, That was an interesting place to be–smarter than her, but not really as powerful. She knew about my being smarter than her, too. After I began to beat her at the many games she always loved to play, she suddenly lost interest in playing. At first I didn’t realize what a blow it must have been to her, but later I fell into a habit of just keeping my distance. I stopped asking her to play.
Her greatest strength was probably in her certainty. She always knew what was right. And she always did it. It’s the one area where I never exceeded her, although I’ve definitely been farther from right than she sometimes was, despite the certainty. So I guess she has a lot to do with it. At any rate, this has gotten too long and it is already late, so I will quit now.