nothing ever begins, as a seed or anything else, blossoms, goes through changes, and declines and disintegrates before disappearing.
everything and anything just is, and then it is not.
heroes, princesses, dragons, witches, wizards, castles, trees, rocks, flowers, swords, tankards of ale, holy books, legs of mutton, oceans, rivers, stars, horses. campfires, cats, dogs, butterflies, worms, monkeys, vultures, hangmen…. all are just there and then they are gone.
he was born in a hospital, which is where children were born in the time and place where george was born.
george’s father was waiting in a waiting room for george to be born, and smoking chesterfield cigarettes while he waited.
george’s father had been george washington in a previous life, and genghis khan in a life before that, and he was kind of a jerk.
a nurse entered the waiting room and told george’s father that george had been born.
she did not say “george has been born” but “it’s a boy, mr johnson”, because in those days it was rare that it was known before a child was born whether it would be a boy or a girl.
but george’s father had assumed that the child would be a boy, and he took another puff of his cigarette, and asked the nurse, “is it white?”
“excuse me?” the nurse asked.
“just my little joke,” george’s father replied.
“oh.” the nurse had been the empress maria theresa in a previous life, and did not have much of a sense of humor and did not like men.
the nurse thought that one man in a hundred was kind of sad and pathetic and felt some pity for them, but that the other ninety nine were jerks.
now you may think that george’s father’s little attempt at a joke was disgusting, and that it was disgusting that he was allowed to chain smoke cigarettes - in a hospital! - but that is the universe’s way, what seems perfectly normal in one time and place is disgusting or ridiculous or both in most others.
after being born, george grew up. he worked for thirty-eight years as a sales representative, at first for a company selling typewriters and cash registers, and then for a company selling
blenders and vegetable slicers.
george had a heart attack a month before his fifty-eighth birthday, and died four days later. he died, as he had been born, in a hospital.
he was survived by two ex-wives, and three children, all daughters, who despised him.