Significance

[Written in 2012]

Recently, there was a decrease in the significance of my significant other. She who previously had been significant became insignificant. The demotion was initiated, as they say at companies, internally. She requested to terminate the status of her significance. Significantly for me, there’s no protocol in place for halting these things. I was significantly affected.

But life moves on. What I’m left to wonder is, what I can learn from this. I’m sure there’s something of… sorry, significance. Perhaps it’s that I shouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched. After all, the timeless tangled question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, would be even more of a quandary were we counting unhatched eggs among the chickens. Clearly no chicken ever hatched without being an egg first, so unless of course he (or, significantly, she) had been among those wrongly counted before hatching, it’s easy to see that this is the same as putting the cart before the horse.

You know what you have if you arrange those correctly, the horse before the cart? You then have at the very front of the duo, the horse’s mouth. I don’t have to tell you about that. That is where truth comes from. After all, if it’s unfiltered, disambiguated meaning you want, look no further than the horse’s mouth. Anything spewing there is irrecusable.

And yet, confusingly, we’re always being entreated not to look at horse’s mouths! Goodness, the mixed messages! Reminds me of my significant other, back in those happy times before her self-imposed lowering of rank—more of an exiting of the ranks, really. Hold on, though—that’s only the gift horse who’s unflattering maw grandfathers and avuncular professors and Andy Rooney say never to gaze upon. All these stipulations!

It’s getting to the point where I’m inclined to think these bits of wisdom are antiquated. Who in this day and age is wrapping up horses and propping them under the Christmas tree? And, I hate to break it to these adage authors, but I was in a car the other day with a color video camera embedded in the back bumper, like a not-so-fiery Sauron’s eye, and the dashboard spoke a beeping language that, to those who’d studied the Rosetta stone of the owner’s manual, meant You’re fine, You’re getting close, and You’re too fucking close! Watch it! So, news flash, lexicograhers: the only thing you’ll find at the end of a horse these days is a built-in flyswatter called a tail. Not exactly cutting edge technology, though it is, commendably, a standard feature on that model.

It’s all very confusing, to be sure. I’m up in arms. Whose arms? Ha. No one of significance that’s for sure. Life is like that, I guess. One day a phrase has meaning, the next day your nephew hates you if you get him anything other than a cell phone for his birthday. One day you’re blissfully spooning, the next day the silverware is tipped out on the floor because you’re moving, starting over, and the empty holder is full of dried milk spills and crumbs, and I should just throw this away, it’s so disgusting.

Maybe the takeaway is that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Frankly, I’m not convinced of that in the least. In fact, it’s total hogwash. Far worse to have lost. Far, far worse.

Sorry, now I’m depressing you. You’ve lost love too, no doubt. If you haven’t, it won’t be long. But don’t count that chicken just yet. That would be putting a brokenhearted cart before an as-yet able-bodied horse.

Hardly eloquent, is it? You know why it is that not a single helpful saying exists about lost love? I’m the man to tell you right now. It’s because the heartbroken are despondent, and despondency is a dirty window looking onto the smooth bright lawn of good sense. Wiping at streams of snot on his upper lip, no one ever graced his way into an iota of wisdom.

Say, maybe this is the bright side of this insignificant/significant coin for me: I now have the chance to shake off this morbid shawl and pen a bit of homespun nonsense that people ages and ages from now will rely upon to heal their lovelorn wounds. Yes, I’d like that. I’m always looking for that Grecian urn of literary legacy.

Hold on, though! My I.S.O. (insignificant significant other) just texted. She wants to get together. Let’s see, do I have any eggs? Do I ever!

A whole carton!