b Papa Dog's Blog: Non, je ne regrette rien

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Non, je ne regrette rien

Robert said something interesting about something he thought was interesting in my post from a couple days ago about the lady whose grandchild was not grounded but drownded. I’d disagree that my wish for a redo on that moment was in any way altruistic. Certainly, I’d find it to my benefit to have the lingering residue of guilt and embarrassment erased from my memory. Be that as it may, this gives me an excuse to expound a little further on a related subject that I didn’t manage to crowbar into the earlier post. There’s a…maybe not a philosophy, let’s call it a guiding principle…that I’ve long tried, sometimes successfully, to live by. It’s articulated pretty thoroughly (though in a different language) in an Edith Piaf song. No regrets. I’m sure the underpinnings of my adherence to this principle are different from Edith’s, and they’re essentially cowardly. My assumption has always been that my life, even at its lowest ebb, could have always been worse. Even at my unhappiest, I’ve never been in real physical discomfort, poor health, imminent peril, dire straits. I’ve always, one way or another, managed a roof over my head, three meals a day, and loose enough change for the occasional movie. When I think of it that way, I think of that Ray Bradbury story where the death of a prehistoric butterfly at the hands (foot, actually) of a time traveler changes the history of the world. Who knows what single altered moment in my past could have skewed all that followed enough to leave me now scratching these words into a prison wall instead of typing them into a Faversham? Not me. So I’ll take the good, I’ll take the bad (I'll take them both and there you have The Facts of Life). All of them, every incident and accident, is a factor in an equation that adds up to here and now and who I’ve turned out to be. I’m not so bad, I think, and I’ve got it pretty good. Better not to mess with the equation.

Tonight, on the way back from dinner (our second time eating out by ourselves since Baby Dog’s birth, both times courtesy of Gran’s Sitting Service), Mama Dog was musing about the year 1991, when she was unattached but I was in Vancouver. What if, huh? We knew each other slightly back then. What if I hadn’t gone on my extended wanderjahr? We could have met back then and saved a lot of time and messiness. Yeah, or we could have been each other’s sorry rebound tale from the early 90s. I’m not a big believer in fate or predestination or any other such hocus jumbo, but I believe that we got together when we had to get together…if we were to arrive at the here and now. I regret nothing, and I’d change nothing, when every little bit of happenstance or mortification or pain or ugliness might be the glue holding together the Rube Goldberg device that brought me here tonight, typing away at y’all with only one little kitchen wall separating me from she who now lies in hard-won slumber, the most beautiful little girl in the world.


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