Regret

I’ve been thinking today mostly about the concept of regret, for some reason. I realized that for me, regret is not about past actions. I actually am somewhat at ease with my past, and am reasonably certain that it will lead to a decent future as well. For me, regret is a little like worry that’s too stupid to die. I regret things that happened three days ago, and feel perfectly fine about similar things that may have happened 18 months ago.

Like right now, for instance. I’m sitting here at the end of the weekend, and I have accomplished absolutely nothing. Not that I had anything to do anyway, of course. But I basically sat around and watched videos online and on DVD for two straight days, sniffling and coughing (I’m a bit sick. On a related note, NyQuil gives you terrific dreams). It’s not that I particularly think that’s bad, but I wish I had something better to do with my free time. I spend so much of it just doing nothing, I’m not even sure I’d know what to do if I actually accomplished something.

The only time I left campus this weekend was just now, when I went to McDonald’s for two McRibs. They were pretty good, but the whole experience was kind of depressing. For one thing, I had Fast Food Nation facts and stories going through my head the whole time, and I was also sort of “drafting” my FFN form of the visit in my head. In fact, here’s a vague recollection, for your enjoyment:

“On the way in, I followed a Hispanic woman and her obese child, both of whom had trouble understanding the cashier taking their order. After the son got his drink the first time, he spilled it all over the counter and floor, and tried to get me to tell the cashier, who had already noticed and took care of it shortly afterwards. I had to avoid the spill as I got my own drink and napkins. As I ate my McRibs alone in the corner, a feeling of bleakness sank over me, and I couldn’t help but be a bit depressed. Things of note: I asked for no pickles on my sandwiches, but got no onions instead; a sign on a temple across the street which reads ‘Jesus Only,’ a phrase that only confuses me more every time I see it; and a McDonald’s worker taking a nap while sitting in a booth in another corner. When he’s awake, he often looks either at me or something behind me. I can’t tell which.”

et cetera. I can’t help but wonder what else I could be doing with my time, and why on earth I haven’t tried to do it yet. And so, I regret my present, but in a few scant months, I won’t mind anymore.

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