Life has dramatic timing. Don't you think? It's tragic and vile and wonderful and funny and bland and confusing and then every now and then it raises its eyebrow at you and reminds you who's in charge.


I've had a few writing deadlines lately. One of them is this week. Usually, at about this point, my entire hard drive packs it in. That's happened two or three times now. Life, leaning back in its chair, shrugs sagely at me, as if to say, "Come on. I had to. You didn't back up your work! I mean, sure, you did, but that was before you wrote those extra specially good bits, in which you were so engrossed that you forgot to back them up, right? I mean, that's gorgeously dramatic. That's the perfect moment. It's almost ironic. I'd be letting down the team if I didn't swoop in and take advantage of your vulnerability there. You understand, right? You'd do the same."


And so I would. If I were Life, I'd do the same. Nobody likes a boring film where nothing happens to the main characters and nobody learns any lessons. If someone in a fim wrote something and got it in by the deadline without incident, or at the very least a montage of their lonely industry, staying up late and throwing scrunched-up paper towards (but never into) a waste paper basket, then who would care?

This week was a tiny blip on the grid, drama-wise. This isn't a main character dying, or a marriage being rent in twain due to the interference of a foxy Special Guest with ties to somebody's dark past. This is more like the level of drama that happens in a Seinfeld episode. But it has raised, for me, once again, the superiority of Life as an auteur with a fine command over genre.


On Monday, I became afflicted with the sore-throaty-sleepy-cough-coughy type of illness that doctors cheerily diagnose as "a virus" before telling you to get some lozenges and be on your way. I have subsequently spent the previous three days wondering things like "What's a sneeze FOR anyway?" and "Tonsils, eh? What are they playing at?" just as Life, I suspect, intended. And well within the Seinfeld trope.


The times when Life has been more dramatic, or less dramatic and more humorous, I have been less introspective about this "Life as artist" idea and more, you know, furious. This time, though, I have merely sat back and contemplated the beauty of a genius in action. And I've also googled "What are tonsils for?" Deliciously, they are described (here) as "infection fighting balls", or, to be more structured about it, the police force employed by the throat.


So Life has taught me something this week, for which I applaud it, although I do not appreciate the fact that the next few days are going to involve a lot of paper-scrunching.