Then What?

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thinking about Herself makes me miserable, but I’m choosing to be miserable because I’m choosing to think about her. How can I help it when I just saw her after nearly ten months and she was gorgeous? and I hadn’t yet convinced myself that I wasn’t looking for her everywhere I went? when the welts on my back are so dense they can no longer feel the self-administered cat-o-nine-tails raining down upon them? I’m still asking her forgiveness. I want to believe that I deserve it and that it’s necesary, but I can only believe that she couldn’t feel the same way. To which of us am I giving the lesser credit? She was as impossible to look at as to tear my gaze away from. We had opportunity to talk. Who was the bigger failure to not approach the other? The person who most wanted to. It had been more than a year since she’d seen me. I’ve just been trying to be a good boy: No contact, no correspondence, no gifts or apologies–leaving her alone, letting her know I’m not a stalker, much less the “psycho” someone said she’d called me. To what end? To whose satisfaction? If she already has satisfaction, then what need could she have to help me get mine? She has nothing to apologize for, yet I want her to regret not loving me. Then what?

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Better the Comforts I Know

July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Comfort is escape, but from what? At what point is it a denial of responsibility? What is the responsibility? It weighs heavily but has a big thumb on the scale. Comfort does not signify contentment of a real kind, but a buffer from the pain of coping with without. I look for comfort in myriad things, but in none do I truly find it, for futility ever leads the pursuit. The horse is dead in the gate. Contentment is not an accumulation of comforts. No number of good books I read, good movies I see, or amount of music I enjoy totals what I am after. In fact, I sometimes think that their absence will reveal the peace I seek, but I fear the void. It’s a theory I can’t bring myself to test. Better the comforts I know….

No Fight at All

July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The molding begins before self-consciousness. It’s too late after that–parents,family,teachers, media tell us who we are. How wrong they all were, but how were we to know? How are we to know? and, knowing, how do we reclaim our identities? Who, knowing, doesn’t even bother trying? and who cares if they do? Indoctrination by inundation is hard to overcome. Is it meant to be overcome? Is it worth overcoming? Really: I want to know, because I’ve tried and not-tried: The one is impossible and the other is insufferable. The way in and the way out are the same to me, but I don’t know where it is. It’s a heart thing I’m trying to figure out. Figure out! Isn’t that what got me into that mess? I don’t want what I was raised to want. I tried to, too many times. I know it’s not the real me, which I’ve denied to myself for much of my life. I’m confident–and saddened–that you know what I’m saying. You also know how hard it is to love yourself: Take a leap at it, grind out an excruciating progress, fall back breathless and let the old you, the American Dream you, enfold you again. This time around I have staying power. That amounts to patience in the face of urgency. I’d rather no fight at all.

Vaporize an Edifice

July 20, 2012 § 4 Comments

What constituent of anxiety is a bad conscience? How much of a bad conscience is vanity? I keep the chip teetering on the shoulder, when I could as easily let fall. Why do I wake at three a.m.? and why do I think of Herself when I do? I don’t actually think anything of her–it’s just a reflexive nuisance of a catalyst for other worrries, mostly all the necessary mundanities that make up the foundation of what we call a life in this society. Those things are never all out of the way, and every last one of them is an intrusion. My refusal to see them as anything else or to accept them wholly as benign necessities is the crux of my anxiety. My conscience is a factor insomuch as I haven’t forgiven myself all my transgressions, but as I’m finding forgiveness to be a letting-go of guilt, I’m finding less to ask forgiveness of or apologize for. How can what is so easily built be so difficult to dismantle? How could anything be so stable resting on a cloud? How could these questions not vaporize such an edifice?

Who Would Understand?

July 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whatever the clinical definition of neurosis and however well I might fit into that category, I will not own the designation. Not anymore, anyway. I’ve tried it on. It might hang passably well on my frame, but it’s still off-the-rack. It hides more of me than it shows off. It misses the curves and bulges, smoothes everything out. Anyone vaguely my shape could wear it. We wouldn’t be the same person, but we’d look enough alike to be labeled and slipped into the same manilla folder marked “Neurotic.” I don’t care what neurosis or depression means; knowing is no more relevant to figuring myself out than any other label. To some, labels are a comfort, a connection. But why celebrate it? Your connection is to everyone, not to a remote province of the Island of Misfit Toys. For a “comfort zone,” you couldn’t do worse. Labels are only partially true, and that part is insignificant. Stack label upon label and you will still only be a shill for the woes of our society. You still won’t know who you are. It’s easier to play along: You don’t want to be too real. Who would understand?

Half the Passion

July 16, 2012 § 3 Comments

For a mid-life crisis, mine could have been flashier and more worthy of the embarassment, but I hadn’t the money to spend on a sports car, and a girlfriend would not have been a mistress. It wasn’t, at least, the usual way of doing a mid-life crisis, so not many people could easily dismiss it as such. I’m grateful for that, anyway. That I even had one is disappointing, but any life with regret and less time to spend than spent finds an urgency in making amends and completing itself. How many of us know what what we’ve missed our whole lives? We might try to take up knitting or candlemaking, guitar or painting, but what lifelong hole do those fill? Are they not just distractions with which we hope to obscure our real needs? I went straight for what I really wanted and needed. Failing at that, I am resigned to the casting about for consuming hobbies. I’m not convinced any better that I’ll find those than that I’ll find what I really want, but, then, I won’t look for them with even half the passion.

I Am the Snake’s

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I hypnotized a snake and shaved my beard and head. A frog disappeared in mid-leap as I pursued it. What do I do about that? The snake should have bitten me when I touched it. I knew it was poisonous, but I wasn’t concerned. The frog eluded me, leaping instead of swimming in four-inch water over three-inch grass. It was a slow chase. I never expected to catch it. The snake turned to look at me but didn’t sniff. I passed a palm across its face, which followed the movement. The frog skipped ahead of me across the water, teasing me through a meander. It was the color of the water, a sandy brown. I could only see it when it leapt and rose above its camouflage. The snake flipped onto its back and to its belly again, then scooted into the brush. The frog jumped high and far and dissolved from my sight, never splashing down. The frog must still be my master, but I am the snake’s.

Where Am I?

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