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THE BLACK-LINE BLUES
Gilbert Rogin
February 14, 1994
With the first million laps behind him, the author has a good shot at circumnavigating the globe. Totally awesome!
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February 14, 1994

The Black-line Blues

With the first million laps behind him, the author has a good shot at circumnavigating the globe. Totally awesome!

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God: Totally awesome!

Expressed temporally, that's like 400 days, about 1.7% of my life—if I didn't sleep. Sleep included, it's 2.56%. What do you think, am I wasting my life? And so conscious am I of the nemesic clicker that only once, out of impatience, boredom, fatigue, whatever, have I fallen short. Key Biscayne, Fla., Nov. 3, 1987, 90 instead of 100. Filled not so much with shame as remorse, I wrote it down.

As a check against overreporting, if I forget what number lap I'm on, I go back to the last one I recall.

God: You're such a good boy.

What helps is it's always odd numbers up, even ones back. Applying this system to life at large...

God: Mr. Analogy.

...while acknowledging that my life may make more sense as a concept than as a shooting script....

Put it this way, while most lives might be said to describe a great, and we are led to believe, consolatory are, mine may best be characterized as consisting of unremitting, numbing back and forths, like a farmer following the plow, except the farmer moves heedlessly sideways while I, trapped in the tyranny of thought, cover no new ground. All this can be reduced to idle speculation as to whether, when I reach the final wall in the interminable workout that I guess has turned out to be my life, I'll be finishing an odd- or even-numbered lap. And what, if anything, that will signify other than a sense of incompleteness if it's odd—but I suppose one might experience that in any case.

Heraclitus said you can't step into the same river twice. I say you can lower yourself into the same pool a thousand times. Pers. obs., as biologists write.

Me: By the way, God, did I ever tell you about the time I shook up the shampoo because I thought it was Italian dressing?

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