Waiting for the American Dream

All good things arrive for them that wait – and don’t die in the meantime.”

— Mark Twain

It is damp, drizzly November once again, the grim grey in-between month, a time for dying and a time, above all, for waiting.  Waiting for the fallen dead foliage to be buried in snow, waiting for the shortest day to come and go, waiting for the New Year to usher in great changes.

Waiting – so what’s new?

Some sullen sage once said that life is what we do while we wait for death.  It’s not the kind of wise-guy wisdom I would try to refute, since I was one of the precocious kids who saw the skull at his first pabulum banquet.  He seemed to be waiting for me even then, and I can only assume he is waiting still, though, like the dead writer William Saroyan, I can enjoy thinking an exception will be made in my case.  But wishful thinking aside, there’s no question that Mr. Death knocks at everyone’s door sooner or later, preferably later, better never than late, to coin a phrase in reverse and revert to wishful thinking.  Nevertheless, it’s hard to deny he’s coming and everybody is waiting for his knock.

Of course, rather than knock, he just might blow the house down.  Though it’s a little impersonal, a lot of people are waiting for that.  Like the early Christians who were eagerly awaiting the imminent end of the world, most people today are waiting for a nuclear holocaust – on the evening news, of course.  The general consensus seems to be…

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