I’m feeling cranky today. Cannot hide it, trying to work through it, but there it lies, murky and crusty and not going away. I know it’s not the end of the world; I have no real “excuse” to be feeling this way. I’m not being hunted by Jihadi John or under another form of extreme duress. In these moments of funk, I often find myself leaning an ear towards the words of one of TV’s most beloved (at least to me) characters, Al Swearengen (aka, Ian McShane) from Deadwood. Besides being incredibly sexy, some of his words bring solace to my soul, make me feel like it’s going to be alright, and even if it’s not, so be it, I’ll live.
Here is a favorite Al exchange with newspaper editor A.W. Merrick (Jeffrey Jones). Be forewarned, foul language to follow:
Al: Why ain’t you up and running again?
Merrick: I’m in despair. The physical damage is repairable, but the psychic wound may be permanent.
Al: (after a pause) You ever been beaten, Merrick?
Merrick: (rolls his eyes) Once, when I thought I had the smallpox, Doc Cochran slapped me in the face —
(Al slaps him.)
Merrick: Ah! (He stares at Al, touching his cheek — he leans forward) Stop it, Al.
Al: Are you dead?
Merrick: Well, (touches cheek) I’m in pain, but no, I’m obviously not dead.
Al: And obviously you didn’t fucking die when the Doc slapped you.
Al: So including last night, that’s three fucking damage incidents that didn’t kill you. Pain or damage don’t end the world, or despair, or fuckin’ beatings. The world ends when you’re dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man — and give some back.