Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Catch-22

After 3 weeks of bumming around in my sleepy town, I made an inventory of the things I had accomplished during my bumhood. And I was horrified to find out, though not exactly surprised, that I accomplished the biggest achievement a bum can ever aspire for: nothing.

Before I set off for home, I had made a list of things-to-do: learn tennis, drive around town (I got a professional driver's license already renewed twice, for crying out loud!), lose weight, watch several TV series one after another, catch up on my medical reading (review cardiac anatomy, physiology and physical examination), catch up on my non-medical reading, etc. So it was totally appalling when I realized that after 3 weeks, I accomplished none of the above. All I really ever did was catch up on sleep (that I never really lacked in the first place) and stock up on calories (which I probably will never ever lose).

So I hurried over to my stack of unread books (which I am proud of because they are all award-winning, critically acclaimed titles I got very cheaply from Booksale), and forced my sleepy head to start reading. I chose something that intrigued me for a long time, but never really moved me enough to read it, a book by Joseph Heller called Catch-22.

I was already a few chapters into it when I was suddenly aware of the Catch-22 of my own preferences and decisions. In the book, Catch-22 is defined as "Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty (on account of insanity) is not really crazy" because "a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind". Beyond the book, Catch-22 is already used to refer to unsolvable logical dilemmas, lose-lose situations, or a circular logic (or non-logic).

For instance, Catch-22 seems to be the logical basis for my theory for my long-standing, perhaps even eternal state of singlehood. Based on my patterns, I have an uncanny fascination for men who are idealistic. Because they are idealistic, and I am far away from being ideal, anybody who will be stupid enough to fall for me will stop being idealistic and would therefore be removed from my list of prospects. Get my point? Here's another example.

Another evidence of my quirky taste is my peculiar and intense fondness for weirdos. And by weirdos, I refer to men who are comfortable with their loneliness, so isolated and remote, to the point of being unreachable beyond words. Therefore, the very reason why I'm attracted to them is the same reason why I can never have them. Another Catch-22, huh?

I was blogging about the TV series, Dexter, last week. After a marathon, I suddenly stopped watching it. I hate him now! And my reason? He stopped being a weirdo, or at least he stopped being weird enough for my taste. He stopped having his grave and pathologic intimacy issues, and finally had sex with his girlfriend! Whaatthe#$%@! After that episode (ugh, I didn't even finish the episode), I discarded the DVD and moved on to my newest favorite weirdo: Gary Sinise, aka Mack Taylor, of CSI New York. I'm crossing my fingers, there won't be a sudden character metamorphosis this time.

I'm not even halfway through Joseph Heller's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. But I do agree with these lines:

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

Yup, Catch-22, I guess it's the best and the worst catch there is.

5 comments:

Reena said...

you stopped watching dexter? which season are you watching now? i'm currently watching season 3.

Walking on Water said...

@reena, season 1, i think. last episode i watched was that when he decided to finally have sex with rita. i don't think he'd be as interesting anymore.=)

rayms said...

that book was turned into a movie, an old film with William Holden :-) kung mapagod ka sa kababasa...

Reena said...

don't stop. it gets exciting.

Sids said...

Here's another Catch 22 for you:

We all hate being burdened with work. So whenever we're given work, we do our best to get it done with ASAP. However, instead of others seeing our aversion for work, they think we're doing such a good job. Such that next time there's work, you're the first one who comes to mind.

Now I realize why I was given the tasks I avoided the most as a resident, i.e. being a monitor, despite my apparent lack of qualification to handle such tasks.

So Jean, FAVOR. Next time you find an interesting thought in your readings, kindly text me ASAP so I can figure my way out whatever's troubling me?