Monday, June 25, 2018

Et Tu Augustus

“The fool doth think he is wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool,” are the words of William Shakespeare and as I read them I wonder which condition more accurately describes my own words in the post I called "Am I Crazy?"

In that post, I was worried about how after parking my school bus on the last day of the school year, I would fill all my "idle" time this summer. Now, however, I am wondering what it was I was so worried about for I have found plenty to do, like right now, which is sitting on the back deck reading and intermittently closing my eyes and feeling as though I am in heaven - in absolute heaven where even the names of the days of the week have become meaningless. I have fallen in love with this schedule, which is no schedule at all, and with not knowing the time, and even avoiding the news – avoiding the news most of all. 

A moment ago I returned to the book I am reading, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, and read the next paragraph, which has just become my favorite paragraph in the ten chapters I have read so far, a paragraph spoken by seventeen-year-old Augustus to sixteen-year-old Hazel, who has terminal cancer:

I am in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout in the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.

And although I don’t believe any modern-day teenager talks that way, nor do I believe that love is just a shout in the void, and that in his The Theory of Everything, Stephen Hawkins wrote that the sun will not swallow the earth for at least another 5000 million years (more or less), I do find Augustus' words to be touching and tender (and kind of Shakespearean) because I know that falling in love, even falling in love with “idle” time, is some kind of ecstasy from which not time, nor place, nor even the news of the day can deter us. 

My memoir, Dear Elvis, is available at amzn.to/2uPSFtE