YESTERDAY, while I was doing military presses, a small bug flew up my nose on the inhale and did not come out again. My workout partner feigned to believe that it flew out my ear, but my internal mechanisms told me that, after a brief struggle, it became exhausted and died. I tried to dislodge its carcass, but to no avail. How undignified to have a dead bug up one's nose for the remainder of the afternoon. More undignifiedu, I'll grant, was to die such a death, trapped in a human booger. Much more noble to be entombed in fragrant amber, the ancient relict preserved against a long-off tomorrow, to be worn as jewelry by a dusky prince or nestled in the opulent bosom of a milk-skinned nymph; ground into a magical potion, a curative for lovesickness or nameless fears. Alas, my tiny unidentified bug was at last expelled into a red bandanna, and without ceremony tossed into the washing machine. Sic transit gloria mundi.
April 22, 1994
Amber is said by Ovid (Metamorphosis, viii, 170) to be the concretion of the tears of guinea hens, birds who were the sisters of the dauntless hero Meleager, and who never ceased weeping for the death of their brother.
"Sic transit gloria mundi," So passes away the glory of this world. Thomas à Kempis (1380 - 1471), De Imitatione Christi (1420).
BACK TO LISTINGSLAST ARTICLE | NEXT ARTICLE