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It’s Sure Gonna Suck for You

21 Oct

Do you know what I have discovered?   I wish I had had an “onboarding” course or interview before I made my debut on Earth.   It may not have made my journey any easier knowing what to expect, but at least I wouldn’t have gone through most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop.

How do we get here anyway?  When I say here, I mean to Earth.   I don’t mean, what is the biology of it all (at 63 if I don’t know how babies are born, I better give up the ghost).   But it is obvious that we are so much more than instinctive animals.  We have the ability to choose between good and evil.  We also have the ability to choose whom we will love and whom we will hate.  In other words, we have souls.  As a soul, before being stuffed into the sausage casing of my little brown body, I would like to have been shown a DVD of my proposed life and given an edit pencil so that I could take out what I didn’t like and add in what I thought was missing.  That’s all I’m sayin’!

Google Image

IMAGINED ONBOARDING INTERVIEW

 WITH NANNY OF BABY SOULS

Cosmos Nanny:  So, C-‘48, how can I help you today?

C-‘48:   Well, I know it’s getting near my time to take a slip-and-slide through the vagina shoot that will transition me from this world to my birth family on Earth.  But you see, I was talking to the other candidates last night and they said you used to have an onboarding course we could take to help prepare us for life on Earth.  They also said that some of us fair better than others once we get our body casings.  I’d like to take that course so that I side step as many of the pitfalls as possible in my life.

Cosmos Nanny:  Those damn rebellious baby souls are always causing problems by passing along misinformation.  Most of you are pretty well-behaved, but there are a couple of you who are destined for New York City and who have a street cred that makes you too clever for words.  A few of you are always stirring up mischief.  You’re all beginning to get on my every last nerve, that’s for sure.

C-’48:  I’m sorry; I’m just scared of the unknown.  The Earth sounds like a pretty scary place!

Cosmos Nanny:  (Sigh!)  Okay.  We used to have an onboarding course but we don’t any more.  It caused way too much hysteria, and people were always trying to change their destinies or trick other baby souls into taking their place.  So, no, there is no onboarding course.  You’ll just have to wing it once you get there.

C-’48:  Really?  Oh, come on:  throw me a freakin’ bone here.  Like for instance, what race will I be?  What gender?

Cosmos Nanny:  What do you want to be?

C-’48:   That’s easy to answer:  I want to be white; I want to be rich; and I want to be a man.

Cosmos Nanny:  Ha!  Don’t they all.  Well, kiddo, you’re going to be anything but. You are going to be born poor, black, and female, and you’ll grow up in the Cleveland ghetto.

C-’48:  The Cleve!  Shit, not The Cleve!  Anywhere, but The Cleve.

Cosmos Nanny:  Why, what do you have against Cleveland?

C-’48:  A couple of the other baby souls said it is the point of no return.  It’s like the roach motel commercial:  “Once you check in you never check out.”  Where in the Cleve will I be born?  Can it be with the rich white people in Shaker Heights?  Can my mother look like Doris Day?  I really love yellow hair!

Google Image/Doris Day

Cosmos Nanny:  No, you can’t.  Why do you insist on being born “white”?  Black is beautiful; you’ll discover that sometime around the mid-sixties.

C’48:  Crap!  Because according to the other baby souls, things go a lot better for the souls in the white-body casings.  They said if I choose any other casing color (yellow, light brown, or reddish hue), I’ll have a bad time of it on Earth because the white-body casings will treat me like shit.

Cosmos Nanny:  I’ll be sure and tell the Irish how much better life went for them due to their white-body casings the next time I’m sitting in on a lecture about the Irish Potato Famine in the 1800’s.  Did those rascally baby souls tell you that the potato famine killed more than a million Irish souls, and it displaced another million or more Irishmen and women to the New World?  And the pisser of it all is that the people of England let them starve to death while stealing their land, robbing them of their culture, and exporting tons of their food to the world market.  Or maybe instead of an onboarding course for you troublesome baby-souls, I think I’ll reintroduce my course about the Bubonic Plague that wiped out 75 million Europeans or approximately 50% of its population by the time it was over.  The culprits in this suffering were close living conditions, filth, and rats.

“Die Pest in Epiros” (“The Plague in Epirus”) by
Pierre Mignard (1610-1665)

C-’48:  Yikes! That’s supposed to make me feel better about living on Earth?  What other planets do you have up your sleeve that I can matriculate to?

Cosmos Nanny:   Just Earth as far as you’re concerned.  Now hush — enough of this misinformed nonsense.  Let’s get on with the work at hand.  You’re slated to be born in a place called Central-Woodland in a house that won’t be condemned for another ten years after you’re born, but it should have been torn down ten years before you ever entered it.  The house will have rats the size of cats and roaches the size of hummingbirds.  The people in your neighborhood will be trapped by poverty and locked out of education and jobs due to the tenacious long-reaching effect of Jim Crow laws — not “officially” written down in the North, but just as tenacious as the ones in the South.  Your caretakers will be numbers runners, schizophrenics, alcoholics, prostitutes, and pedophiles.  I found a picture of a house cited for Urban Renewal that looks very similar to the one you will spend your formative years in (give or take a few less holes), just to give you an idea of what you’re in for.

Google Image/Cleveland House

C-’48:  Aie-yi-yi!  You’re so goddamn nonchalant about the shit I’m going to have to deal with in my life.
Look at that house:  I can see the abuse and mayhem written all over its framework.  Don’t you get it?  I’m
not cut out for suffering
.  I don’t think I can handle pain – physical or emotional.  Can’t I just stay here?  Or how about this:  Since the sperm hasn’t connected to the egg yet that will form my body, can’t I simply choose to be someone else born in 1948, and you look the other way?

Cosmos Nanny:  Like who?

C-’48:  I don’t know. . .tell me who’s in the catalogue that will be born in 1948.

Cosmos Nanny:  Of the baby souls you would hear about in your lifetime, there will be born a Mikhail Baryshnikov (a womanizing Russian dancer who defects to the US and builds a brilliant career as a dancer but a mediocre one as an actor).  Then there will also be an Al Gore (worth more than $100 million, a US Vice President, and supposedly “founder of the Internet,” and a global warming darling who will cheat on his
wife after 40 years of marriage).  And, of course, we can’t forget Ozzy Osbourne (a drug-addicted, rock musician who bites off the head of a bat on stage and is arguably the father of reality TV that will destroy Western civilization as we know it).  They all will become rich and famous, but they all will have had and have caused their fair share of suffering – none of which you could have survived.

C-’48:  Well, that’s a shitty sampling of rich, white men.  Aren’t there others?

Cosmos Nanny:  Sure there are but they are all Jewish, and you couldn’t handle being Jewish.

C-’48:  Say what?  How do you know what I can handle?

Cosmos Nanny:  I know what you can handle because you don’t want to suffer.  You’ll do anything in
your power not to suffer.  You couldn’t bear the history of the Jewish race bleeding down through your ancestors.  It is going to be hard enough to bear up under the slave history of the African races and all the Jim Crow aftermath that you will inherit.  But you’re missing the point all together:  no race escapes suffering.  No race or gender is better than the other.  No human is immune from life’s sorrow, and no one has a corner on suffering.  Do you remember the quote I taught you and the other baby souls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?

C-’48:  “If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

Cosmos Nanny:  There are lives you will come to know who will be born in comfort of class and skin but once you know their history, you would not want to change places with them for all the money and white-body casings in the world.  The Kennedy clan will have more money than God, but they will bear so much premature death, assassinations, mental retardation, alcoholism, accidents, scandals, and death threats that you would never willingly trade places with their mother in a million years.  Helen Keller was born before you in a wealthy family, but her years of painful isolation due to being deaf and dumb would have crushed you in a nano-second if you had traded places with her.  And the doctor in Connecticut, whose entire family will be beaten, raped, and burned alive by heartless criminals when you are in your sixties, would change his color-casing for your life in a heartbeat, if he could bring his wife and daughters back and save them from that horrible day.

C- ’48:  Okay, okay, I get it.  I have only one more question before I go:  Will I have children?

Cosmos Nanny:  After a bit, but not without a struggle, and that in itself will be cause for suffering.

C-’48:  Oh. . . . Will they suffer?

Cosmos Nanny:  Yes.  They will suffer, all the more, because in your attempt to save them from suffering, they will create their own suffering, especially one of them.  It will take you a long time to learn that making sure children are happy and content is not a raison d’etre for them — serving the poor and fighting for the disenfranchised is.  It causes children to think beyond themselves and their wants and needs.  But the irony
of your children’s self-imposed suffering is that it will be the catalyst of your greatest character development.

C- ’48:  Really?  How so?

Cosmos Nanny:  I can’t tell you that.  That’s like putting the cart before the horse.  You’re going to have to find out for yourself.

C-’48:  What?  No, no, no, no. . . .  I hate this system.  I don’t care what you say.  I’m going to adjust things when I get down to Earth.  I’ll make life easier for myself and my family so we don’t have to suffer — so help me God!  You’ll see.  Now that I know how things are going to roll once I’m born, I’ll make some changes before they happen.

Cosmos Nanny:  You haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you?  Say good-bye Cleve ’48 because it is time for you to go.  And by the way, once you enter your mother’s womb, you won’t remember a word of our conversation.  This is a good thing because I think you’re going to be a trouble-maker.  But I will throw you one “freakin’ bone” as you put it:  you’ll end up living in a house like this one — a complete juxtaposition
to the home of your childhood — and have the life that picture represents. You’ll encounter a lot of suffering getting there, but it will be the great love of a “white casing” that will keep you there and make it a home.

Author’s House/1980’s – 1990’s

C- ’48:  No, wait. . . I have so much more to ask.  I want to know if there is a God, why is there suffering?  Why doesn’t he stop all this turmoil if he is as good as we’ve been taught?  Are some people born good and others born bad?  If so, why can’t God just keep the bad souls from transitioning to Earth?

Cosmos Nanny:  ENOUGH!  Some things are a mystery, and no matter how much you clamor to know the
answer, to remove the mystery would remove the motivating factors that build character.  Suffering is a plumb line that determines your true depth in the midst of the bullshit that you will try and construct as your earthly façade.  Now go and get into your little brown human casing and prepare to make your entrance.  Trust me — it won’t be as bad as you think.

C-’48:  Seriously?   I don’t believe you – not for a New York minute. I can tell this trip is going to be a very bad one.  I can just feel it!   Send a note to God for me, and tell him that he’s sure got some explainin’ to do — that’s for sure!

***

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

Negro baby girl born today in Cleveland ghetto

Rescued from toilet

Mother mentally unstable

Father AWOL

Life of child/TBD

C-’48

“Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.” – George Orwell

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

All text and photos by Eleanor and John Tomczyk copyrighted
© 2011 except where otherwise noted

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit
is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
40 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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40 responses to “It’s Sure Gonna Suck for You

  1. Sylvester James LeBlanc

    October 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Your post are always enlightening, and just pure awesomeness!

    We have so much growing to do as humans, we are all the same; we all have emotions and we ALL bleed. We are human. There are no words to express how much I apprecaite reading something like this, you really have a calling for really painting a picture of your life.

    Don’t stop writing please!!!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 3:38 am

      I am so touched by your response. I have such a desire to push back the “darkness” in our world (all the hatred, the meaness, the snarkyness, the disdain, and contempt that we spew at each other.) If I can shed any light before I die on the fact that there are no “they” and “us,” only “we,” I will die a happy person. That is what I’ve discovered my calling is. Thank you for encouraging me that I’m getting there. All the best!

       
  2. 2rufflife

    October 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    This has so much wisdom in it:
    “Some things are a mystery, and no matter how much you clamor to know the answer, to remove the mystery would remove the motivating factors that build character. Suffering is a plumb line that determines your true depth in the midst of the bullshit that you will try and construct as your earthly façade.”

    And that was just one of the parts that made me stop and think. I sure hope you are writing a book about your life. What I’ve read so far in your posts exhibits so much strength and humor.

    Keep it up!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks Julie. I have already written a book (When Monsters Come Out to Play) It is currently being shopped around to agents and publishers and it is a memoir. Hopefully, in the near future, one of my posts will be an announcement that I’ve signed with a publisher. Take care.

       
  3. nonnie9999

    October 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

    if you happen to hear from that cosmos nanny, would you mind asking her if i can have a new casing? this one is all stretched out.

    i think the cosmos nanny was smarter than you suspected, because whatever pain you went through, it made you the sassy, smart, and wickedly funny women that you are today.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      Ha! I could sure use another “casing” myself. I’m in a state of shock as to what has happened to my body — talk about suffering! Thanks so much for your gracious response. I’m just trying to “go out” wiser and better than how I came in and make the world a better place. Cheers!

      P.S. Someday I would love to hear how you do the clever artwork on your blog site. That must take hours, upon hours to find the proper set ups. Is it all computer animation? I think your site has, by far, the most engaging graphics.

       
      • nonnie9999

        October 22, 2011 at 4:58 am

        thank you, eleanor! what a nice thing to say. there really is no secret to my nonsense. i just find a story i like, hope that i can find an image i can screw around with to convey the story, and then photoshop my little heart out.

         
  4. Mal

    October 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Ha, very good! If only we could choose….but it would take me forever, just to buy a pair of shoes takes me a month of Sundays! I just love your spirit and humour, and the fact you always see the positive side of things…. well done! And I wish you oodles of good health and happy times.. 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Right back at you Mal. Loved your post this week, by the way. on “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about…” at http://www.maloquacious.wordpress.com
      I think we’re talking about the same thing (the journey) with different means of communication. All the best!

       
      • Mal

        October 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm

        Yeah, need I say ‘great minds think alike’?? 😉 …and thanks sooo much for giving my blog a shout out here.. 🙂

         
  5. deborahjhughes

    October 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I enjoyed this post despite the reminders of how tough it is to live here! I sometimes think this is our hell so why worry about going there when you pass on? Been there, done that, thank you very much. But, our challenge is to bring Heaven onto Earth. A tough job and we seem to be failing the task. But, there are moments that make it all worthwhile. I totally believe that we CHOOSE to come here prior to birth and that we know darned well what we are getting ourselves into. I had a dream once where I was actually discussing this with a few “enlightened ones” … a group of angels I think. I told them I was determined to remember who I really am and that I would not allow myself to forget during the birthing process. They wished me luck and I went up a spiral staircase (up,not down, interesting) and as I stepped into my life and moved further into it and away from the staircase, I began to forget. I kept looking back to remind myself where I truly came from but the darkness swallowed me up and at one point I turned back to look and the staircase was no longer in sight. I forgot why I was even looking and pressed on. I woke up from that dream feeling like I was just reminded about the very thing I was determined not to forget! I still think about it from time to time. This post really brought it back! We all suffer trials and tribulations, no one is exempt and we all should try and remember that! Blessings to you and thanks for a thoughtful post.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Deborah: That’s a fascinating dream and a very thoughtful comment. Thanks for dropping by and adding more “food for thought” to those who follow. All the best.

       
  6. afrankangle

    October 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Brilliant! Bravo! Thought provoking! Enlightening! Reflective! Touching!

    There is a lot going on here. I think using the one-word descriptions as if I was a theater critic is applicable. Meanwhile, I appreciate how you have tied your life into what if you would have known and how we would react. Many thanks for sharing!!!!!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Wow! Wow! That is high praise, indeed, coming from you. Thank you. I am deeply touched. (So glad you didn’t get raptured!) 🙂

       
      • afrankangle

        October 24, 2011 at 1:07 am

        The important thing is that you touched us with this!

         
      • etomczyk

        October 24, 2011 at 2:31 am

        Thank you, Frank.

         
  7. Joanne

    October 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Wow! Maybe my favorite one yet….

     
    • etomczyk

      October 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Gosh, Joanne. . .thank you — thank you so much!

      Take care.

       
  8. DesiValentine

    October 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    We’re only given what we can handle, and what we need to grow. Thanks for the reminder, ET. It is well-timed, as always 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      October 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Although, Desi, what we can handle seems almost impossible to bear sometimes. I just read your blog post on the latest suffering that your family is enduring, and I can’t stop crying, all the more because it seemed as if a victory was at hand. I hope my post on suffering does bring some clarity and peace, but it feels woefully inadequate given the reality of what your family is dealing with now. God bless.

       
  9. hudson howl

    October 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Okay, I just fell down threw the blog chute -sometimes its kinda like the ‘baby shoot’ you just don’t know where you might land, This is my first time here. Thought perhaps it was the landing which knocked the wind out of me and rendered me speechless. Turn’s out it was your writing. I’ve read through a couple times. Each time leads me somewhere else in my thoughts. Am certain I have a few more re-reads. I’ve subscribed -there is no way I’m going to miss this bus.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Hudson–thank you! Your gracious comments read like your poetry, lovely in every way. Please drop by and read some of the other stories. They are all different and meant to give you everything from a chuckle to a giant, uncontrollable belly laugh about the absurdities of life. Thanks again.

       
  10. A. DesMarais

    October 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Great post again, Mrs. Tomczyk! I always enjoy reading. 🙂 That one child who has ‘created her own suffering’ is lucky to have such an intelligent, witty, and loving mom and family!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Hello A.”DesMarais”: I love the new married name. Very lovely. Thank you so much for the wonderful and gracious comment about my story. I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog posts. That means a lot to me. (Thank you for all your support through the years, by the way; it has always been appreciated.)

       
  11. notquiteold

    October 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Just BRILLIANT.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Nancy. I always appreciate that you take the time to leave such encouraging comments since you are such a seasoned storyteller. Take care.

       
  12. sondra smith

    October 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I have to agree with notquiteold…..there is no other word but Brilliant!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks so much Sondra. Your support and feedback is like gold to me. Cheers!

       
  13. RKU

    October 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Eleanor: Enjoyed this blog a lot… lots of depth and dimensions… much food for thought! You are right – it’s not the color of our casing, but our heart that is the issue… I’m not sure there is any character growth without suffering… like you state… suffering comes in all colors, shapes, and life circumstances!! Looking forward to reading your book!!

     
    • etomczyk

      October 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks RK: I came kicking and screaming to blogging because I never wanted to do it. But I am finding that when I utilize the medium as a storyteller, I have come alive to something yet untapped in my spirit. I’m loving it and hope it all culminates in some published works. Cheers!

       
  14. Doc

    October 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    “I want to be white; I want to be rich; and I want to be a man.” Well, I managed two out of three so I guess I have nothing to complain about. Loved this first post of yours that I read. I think I’ll enjoy going back in time to your ealier posts when ever I want something to read. Thanks for being born.

     
    • etomczyk

      October 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Doc. Is 1948 the year you were born — like me? Welcome to the club. So glad you liked my story. Please do return. I’ve written humorous stories on everything you can imagine, including getting a colonoscopy (“Alien Probe”) and I post a new story every Thursday night. I plan to do so until a publisher comes calling, so I might be around for a long, long time. I hope not, since it is later than I realize in life (also wrote a funny story about death: “The Last Day of My Life”).

      I checked out your blog too and liked it a lot. That’s so cool you knew John Ritter. I hope you get to catch up with the other Johns. All the best.

       
      • Doc

        October 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

        1948 was a very good year! There was me, and there was you! Maybe a couple of million other babies at the time but who’s counting? I’m new to this blogging thing but am enjoying it. It’s easy to see how it can become all consuming! I’m trying to get more humor into my writing but I was always fascinated with Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and seem to lean that way. I’m hoping some of your writing style will rub off on me!

         
  15. BrainRants

    October 27, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Eleanor, I applaud how magnificently you have defeated all the circumstances arrayed against you. I also appreciate your comments and support over at my irreverent site. I’m really glad to have you in my fan club, girl.

    PS- no damn way you were born in ’48. Just impossible…

     
    • etomczyk

      October 27, 2011 at 1:20 am

      LOL! You’re too cute!

       
  16. gr8stuf

    October 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I can SO relate to this!

    My “very first memory” has me in my bassinet with the heads of 4 of my 7 siblings staring down at me, cooing and talking baby talk.

    I remember thinking, “Who are these people and WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!?”

    It’s been like that ever since. 60 years on and I’m more convinced than ever that I came from another planet.

    What a long, strange trip its been…. 🙂

    Great writing. Thanks so much, Eleanor!

     
  17. Miriam Henning

    November 5, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Eleanor – Hi!! Todd and I were sure hoping to see you at Love Inn (I don’t care what they call it now). It was a really fine time and a real time warp experience. To be 60 something in the place your were 20 something. Glad to have found your site. I’ll be checking in regularly. Love to you and John

     
    • etomczyk

      November 6, 2011 at 3:18 am

      Miriam: Long time no see! I think of you often and would have loved to have seen you and Todd. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Do check back in regularly. I write about all sorts of topics and post on Thursday evenngs. All the best — love to you and yours, Eleanor

       
  18. lifeintheboomerlane

    November 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I just found you because you read my post. Wow. You can write. Oh my. I can follow. Yes.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Renee: I’m so touched that you stopped by to read and subscribe. I’m still chuckling about your post because I keep trying to imagine myself in that picture. Lord have mercy! 🙂 Thanks so much. I’ll definitely return the favor and stop by often. It won’t be hard because your writing is just delightful.

       

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