ElikaFM

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The dilemma

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Di.lem.ma

[di-lem-uh]

–noun

1.    a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.
2.    any difficult or perplexing situation or problem.
3.    Logic. a form of syllogism in which the major premise is formed of two or more hypothetical propositions and the minor premise is a disjunctive proposition, as “If A, then B; if C then D. Either A or C. Therefore, either B or D.”

Origin:
1515–25; < LL < Gk dílēmma, equiv. to di- DI- 1 + lêmma an assumption, premise, deriv. of lambánein to take

Related forms:
dil.em.mat.ic  [dil-uh-mat-ik],
dil.em.mat.i.cal, di.lem.mic, adjective
dil.em.mat.i.cal.ly, adverb

Synonyms:
1. predicament. 2. question, difficulty.

This morning I was in a dilemma; a universal dilemma that touches most people a few times throughout their lives.

It was not a huge dilemma, not of epic proportions, relating to the social, historical or even literary landscapes of our lives. Though there are those sorts of dilemmas: Dickens loved a good dilemma. So did Shakespeare.

There are really important day to day dilemmas, too; in fact mentioning them only in passing seems somehow to undermine how very weighty they are. So, it is quietly and respectfully that I consider the challenges that people might be facing in Haiti right now. Or in some of the more dangerous and unstable parts of Africa, for example. I know nothing of anything nearly so hard. We’re pretty lucky. My dilemma, as I said, is not a big one.

Every night I plan to go to bed at a reasonable hour, to read a few chapters of a wholesome novel and then to drift gracefully into a quiet slumber. Every night, rather than do this, I fuck about on the internet, drink five million cups of tea, smoke too much and write streams of very nearly conscious narrative which I later delete. Time well spent I think you’ll agree.

Every morning as a result of being a pottering, prevaricating nut job I am exhausted and unkeen in the extreme to leave my bed.

And then comes the dilemma.

Imagine this: it’s not time to get up, not yet. But you have woken up to discover two things: you are in the most comfortable position you have every achieved in your entire sleeping career. You are a position finder of champions. People DREAM of finding this sort of position. You have it, there, in between the crumpled exactly-right-temperature sheets. The second thing you discover is that you need to pee. You really, really, REALLY need to pee. So what do you do? Friends, do not be rash; do nothing at pace: how long do you think you have in this position before it will become untenable? Could you, in fact, go back to sleep and deal with it when the alarm goes off; will the alarm shock you into actually wetting yourself; or could you rush to the loo, get back, feeling good and then achieve an even better position? You’re a champion after all.

No. You will never get this position back; it’s folly even to imagine you might and now is the time for neither folly nor fantasy.

To add to the burden of indecision you notice that it’s actually not that long until your alarm will sound so maybe you should, you know, get up – get into work a little early, get that document polished before everyone else descends. Or you could just lie there in the best position in the world, just for a few more minutes, carefully balancing whole universes now of pleasure and pain through your body.

You get up. You get up because it’s the right thing to do, and because you have pushed it too far already: your journey to the loo is not made in an upright position because standing up is no longer an achievable option. And then you hop in the shower because god dammit the day’s here. And the shower is so hot and so good you wonder why you didn’t hop up earlier.

So. Such is my life. It is in the details that you find true excitement.

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Written by elikafm

January 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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