Thursday, September 14, 2006

The waiting is the hardest part

All sorts of twentieth century writers have grabbed onto the concept of waiting as an important motif of the human condition. Samuel Beckett wrote "Waiting for Godot," which likely had an influence on Tom Stoppard (in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead") and Harold Pinter (in "The Dumb Waiter): all are plays about two boobs sitting around waiting. You can find the concept of waiting important in novels by Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. John Fowles writes in The Magus,

"The smallest hope, a bare continuing to exist, is enough for the antihero’s future; leave him, says our age, leave him where mankind is in its history, at a crossroads, in dilemma, with all to lose and only more of the same to win; let him survive, but give him no direction, no reward; because we too are waiting, in our solitary rooms where the telephone never rings. Waiting for this girl, this truth, this crystal of humanity, this reality lost through imagination, to return; and to say she returns is a lie."

You don't have to tell football fans that waiting is a distinct feature of human existence. We wait all spring and summer for the opening games of football, counting them down, considering kickoff a sort of holy grail. We revel in that first week. And then, around Tuesday or Wednesday, we suddenly realize, "Oh. I didn't just reach Nirvana. I've got to wait again for some more." There are things to help. Plenty of articles around the internet to allow us to consume ourselves with yet more football. Oh, and there's work and family. But still the days grow long. And so each week we wait...and wait..and wait...

And ultimately, we may just be waiting for a chance to get our emotions stomped around, for the possibility that we'll spend the next week waiting in the foulest of moods.


  1. ever read the short story "waiting" by will self?

    very, very funny examination of waiting and also funny roasting of acadamia.

    not patient enough to wade through becket. perhaps after law school it will seem like light reading, though

  2. You are certainly right, we will wait. And at the conclusion of the season we wait all offseason for next season.

  3. The concept of waiting is a nonexistent thing. In an ever expanding universe nothing and no one waits for anything or anyone. That is a fact!