Don't try to cheer me up, OK?, she said?
Don't give me lots of positive affirmations about how I can do this because I can't. I feel I can't and I know I can't, and nothing you say can change my mind.
I know my strengths and weaknesses, she said. I know my limitations. Why should I bash my head against a wall? There are lots of easier ways to get a headache.
i said to her:
You can't imagine the thousand little victories that come from trying. You can't foresee what might come of the effort. Something inside you is burning to do this; otherwise, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
i disagree, i said, with whoever said failure is not an option. Failure is always an option; it's part of life's curriculum. We imagine it to be far worse than it is. Take it from me; i know.
I know what'll happen, she said. I'll try and fail, and it'll suck. And then you'll try to make some great lesson or some meaningful experience out of it, and it'll just suck.
Will it suck forever?, i said.
No, she said. It'll just suck.
And when it's done sucking . . . ?
She sighed and looked out the window. Then she looked back at me.
Then I'll just get on with it, she said.
Welcome to the human race, i said. Where we all hurt, and just get on with it.
OK, I'll try, she said. But I'll be really pissed at you if I screw up.
Screwing up is different than failing, i said. You won't screw up. As for failure: who can say? i never mind failing, as long as there's still at least one meal to look forward to that day.
We put on our coats and went to our prospective wars.