Something @elgan said as she turned 50+ clicked some cogs in my brain, and the once-rusting wheels are now spinning merrily.
In fact, the Smartness Gear is now lined up with the Happy Wheel for the first time in years. And of course I want to share it with my friends here:
1) You were dead for 13 1/2 Billion Years. From the Big Bang which started this Cosmic Nonsense until mid- or late 21st Century of the Current Era.
The home-stretch of our Great Waiting was the 65-or-so Million years since something awfully big plunged into the Yucatan and ‘f*cked up the dinosaurs’ junk big-time‘. I remember watching the thing on Galactic big-screen, just hoping the little furry guys still left alive would evolve into beings I’d enjoy inhabiting when my little chance finally came. And sure enough, I bet on the right horse, so to speak; I’m kinda tickled to be a mammal.
2) Yeah, it was touch and go in the Dark Ages. The earliest ancestor on my father’s side whom I’ve documented, Abraham Solberg, built the first house in Solberg, Switzerland. Google Earth lets me virtually-visit there these days, but in his time, with a future wise-guy on Xanga 17 generations later to worry about, it must have been tough. For five hundred years, each Solberg in turn shopped for the cutest, smartest girl in town to ‘mate with’, each time adding a few extra bonus-points to the genes. Thanks, guys. Hope I done the same; a family tradition, I guess.
3) You are probably objecting to calling this ‘dead’. A better word? ‘Un-born’? Um, that’s for fetuses. ‘Unaware’? Nah, assumes one had an awareness, but it’s just ‘off-line’. No, I was dead. Really stone-cold dead until Life arose on the slowly-cooling third planet from the Sun we all love a billion or so years into the Solar System history. After that lucky break I existed as a bio-chemical potential, a propensity…. Up until 17 April 1949. (Or nine months earlier, but I refused to count my chicken till she hatched.)
I was born feet-first, all the better to get a running start. So damned excited! You would be too, if you knew you’d only get one short dance on stage, after waiting like an idiot 13 Billion years. Makes waiting at the DMV feel like an eye-blink.
So you get 80, 100 years, or more, to have fun. You quickly try to play catch-up; read all the history you can get your hands on, what happened while you were out of the loop, so to speak.
And then one day it’s over. I know this. Used to piss me off. Couldn’t even stand to read articles about space missions scheduled for a 2050 launch. Life in the 22nd Century? I closed my eyes and ears, and held my nose.
But all that’s changed. I now feel sublimely honored to have my head above water at least for a little while. To do what any sentient creature would do in the situation; learn about the current world, have fun, maybe make babies, chat with the other beings who happen to be alive during the same global heartbeat. And when it’s over, back to being ‘dead’. Hey, I got that routine down already. Must’ve been passably good at it, to wait all that time and not get depressed. And for all I know, even though I sure don’t remember any previous lives, we may be back after the commercials. One way or another, I feel lucky. And Elgan should too.