Do you ever make contingency plans? I mean, completely unnecessary panic-button plans for the very off chance that, say, the earth is hit by a meteor, or the robot apocalypse suddenly boots up, or the revolution has come and you think that you’re going to end up against the wall? I have many well-detailed plans for many very specific scenarios, and I can tell you with a certain amount of confidence that I’m the lady you want to follow in the event of the blackening of the sun and the rise of the zombies.
It’s been a semi-conscious hobby of mine for a long time, to consider escape routes from buildings in case of a raid by rabid wolves or how I would carry us all to freedom should the earth suddenly drop out of the bottom of the Wells Fargo building and we plummet into ahellmouth of some kind. But I realized, recently, that I have kind of morbid contingency plans in place, too. That what I’m always doing at every moment, is bracing myself in case of utter disaster, from the absurd to the ordinary, zombies to the phone call no one wants to get in the middle of the night.
E called to let me know he was leaving work, that the roads were really bad (because we’ve been stuck right in the middle of a never-ending blizzard of snow, falling right from the sky) and that he was going to be awhile, driving slow and hoping for the best. And as I hung up the phone, I realized that I was already half-way through plans, ideas, considerations, possible outcomes and the smartest courses of action. If he were in an accident and he got stuck, if he were in an accident and he were hurt, if he were in an accident and hurt badly, if he were killed. I realized I was sitting there considering whether I would stay here, in Utah, close to his family, or if I was smarter to move, get away quick and not drive myself crazy with the too-familiar surroundings. Whether I’d pack myself up, or sell everything. Whether I’d just tell my landlord to keep everything, and bolt. And where I would go. Home to my mother? Back to California? Somewhere warm, maybe. Maybe I could move to Florida or Mexico. Maybe I could move to Italy. Maybe I would survive it, if he had an accident. Maybe my life would go on.
I am the kind of person who says things like “don’t borrow trouble!” and “we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it!” and “problems,schmoblems. Let’s have a daiquiri!” I am not the kind of person–I didn’t think I was the kind of person–who worries at things and dreams up problems she doesn’t even have. I am good enough at being anxious about the problems that actually exist and hang out on my lap drinking grape soda (I hate grape soda) and poking me in the eye. I have enough to worry about, trying to distract myself from the things that are real and sad, without piling more things on and watching them teeter.
My first thought, when I realized how, well, weird this was, and possibly dopey, was that I really ought to quit it. But you know, it’s actually kind of nice to think that while my real and concrete problems are not so easily solved, that I’ve got some things taken care of and totally under control, no matter how imaginary they are. You want the apocalypse taken care of? You come see me. I want my personal apocalypses taken care of? I ought to write these ideas down.