I get a lot of messages. Only once have I gotten one in a bottle. It came to me in the traditional and fabled way -- I found it on Limantour Beach, Point Reyes, California. I was able to fish out the soggy paper. The ink had run, but was still readable. When I got home I hung it on a bush in my yard and let it dry. I was apparently not the intended recipient. The note was addressed to God. It was something of a rant. The anonymous author was giving God a proper dressing down for making his or her life so miserable and fucked-up. The message went on at some length excoriating our poor deity for doing such a shit job of designing a life for the hapless author who, it seems, had nothing but bad luck almost since inception.
It was quite a screed, if memory serves -- I managed to lose it over the years -- a full-fledged take down of the big guy. It even quoted Oscar Wilde: "I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability," making me think that our author was a reasonably literate sort, if not a very happy one. I like that the author went right to the creator when it came time to lay blame -- parents, family, lovers, drugs, alcohol, none of those were singled out, only the Supreme Being. As it should be, I believe. If you're going to Lord it over billions of people you better be able to take the blowback when your product is deemed subpar.
I wonder what happened to that sad, upset person. Was their note planned or did it just happen to come to them suddenly while they were at the beach? Had they grabbed towel and sunblock and gone down to catch some rays on a sunny day when the clouds moved in, or did they sit in a dark garret somewhere, write their indictment by candlelight while sipping cheap brandy, then, deciding against email or USPS, went to the beach to post their accusatory essay?
Thinking back on that serendipitous find, I got thinking about who and what I blame for the incidences of bad fortune that have befallen me (I take full credit for the good fortune). As a non-believer, I can't blame Jesus' pops. In matters of finance I accept a tiny bit of the blame, but mostly try to shift it to rich people, bad luck, happenstance and tough breaks. In matters of health, I blame genetics, stress, and, again, bad luck. In matters of love gone wrong, I blame the other person, though long after the bust-up when it can't possibly do any good, I do feel a smidgen of remorse and accept 4 percent of the blame.
The only time I have accepted full blame for a wee dram of nastiness with a loved one is when my Newfoundland Mauka and I were playing tug of war and he accidentally (I'm pretty sure) chomped down full force on my finger. He was a 210 pound canine so the pain was exquisite; I nearly passed out. I gave him a severe tongue-lashing but then immediately forgave him and treated him to a belly rub and four cookies. And all was rosy in our relationship once again.
I like to think that when our author friend meets the maker he can maybe give the Almighty a tummy rub and a few Oreos and let bygones be bygones.