Lurking with Intent to Mope

dark_and_brooding_by_markeverard-d5juhy9

“Lurking with intent to mope.”

I burst out laughing when I heard this, even though I was listening to a Fresh Air tribute to David Carr, the New York Times reporter who died from cancer this week. Carr himself provided the laugh, quoting a police officer’s description of him during his years of crack addiction and petty crime. The cop was so tired of Carr being hauled in all the time that he looked up from his desk at the pathetic loser before him and said, “Oh, you again. What are you in for now? Oh, yeah–lurking with intent to mope.”

I can so relate. Not to the crack addict and petty criminal part, but to the wallow of self-pity. So all-encompassing. So hideous. So delicious. And as hard as any addiction to break.

It took cancer to break mine. Cancer is like a white-hot brush fire that burns away neurosis, leaving in its wake a deep appreciation and sharpened clarity about what matters. For a while, at least, it becomes very clear that life is just too short for lurking with intent to mope.

Cancer’s other lesson is that neuroses grow back faster than hair, so although I never brood like I used to,  I’m still an occasional contender.

I happened to hear David Carr’s interview on the first day of Lent, which gave me the inspiration I’d been seeking. As a lapsed Unitarian, I don’t really grok with the notion of self-sacrifice. But since I enjoy the camaraderie of commiseration, I like to cast about for something to give up. Not something impossible, like chocolate, mind you.

But lurking with intent to mope? I’ll try to forego it for forty-eight days.

*

Can you relate to “lurking with intent to mope?”  What will you give up for Lent? 

6 thoughts on “Lurking with Intent to Mope

  1. I loved this: “Cancer is like a white-hot brush fire that burns away neurosis, leaving in its wake a deep appreciation and sharpened clarity about what matters. For a while, at least, it becomes very clear that life is just too short for lurking with intent to mope.” For me though it isn’t moping as much as it is the perfectionist inside me. Right after my cancer (or my husband’s) I was able to tame my inner (obnoxious) perfectionist. But those events were in 1984 and 1997, respectively.

    Last year I started really dealing with her, especially after my accident on November. I thought I had her pretty much under control until we put our home on the market this past week and out she came with gusto.

    If I were to give something up for Lent it would be my need to “be” or present myself as perfect. What a crock of baloney that i feed myself that she can be controlled. Instead I need to figure out a way of accepting, forgiving and then excising. Back to the yoga mat and meditation practice I go!

    • Thanks for writing, Heidi. Really great observations. It seems whatever our issues, they always find a way to sneak back in just when we think we’ve tamed them. Yoga and meditation sound like useful antidotes–good luck! As for me, I’ll probably just go back to lurking/moping.

  2. What a great quote! I think young people mope more than the middle-aged, don’t you? I remember how sloooowww time was back when I was in my teens and younger. Much more time to mope back then, when time didn’t seem as meaningful as it does now, when it marches way too fast.

    • Yes, it is a great quote, isn’t it? I tend to think of moping as more related to character style than age, but you’ve got a point about how one’s time perspective shifts. Thanks for writing!

  3. This is great Lorrie and so true. Having first hand experience, “Cancer is like a white-hot brush fire that burns away neurosis.” Well said.

    I’ve decided to give up my harried words to my husband when the kids are taking all of my attention and the poor man asks something when they are in the midst of wanting, needing, asking, crying, etc. That and my deep, heavy sighs, which I never used to do before the three kids.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.