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?
June 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
Not easily led and much too proud to follow leaves me firmly planted on the outside. So much is artificial that I can hardly find what isn’t and risk becoming artificial by sheer immersion. Can I even give in to that again? Is there a new version of it–like a germ–that can catch me unawares? that offers me the near-enough-perfect simulacrum of what I think I want in a form I have yet to learn to defend myself against? There’s an American Dream for every demographic. The next one is as false as the others in which I’ve been ensnared. In my caution I might miss what’s real, cow myself out of accepting what I need when it’s offered. How do I open the door just far enough to let only the right one in? If I could trust patience and hope I would just leave it unlocked.
March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
There is a lot to life. I still have dreams, but they aren’t those of my youth, when I wanted to be a cowboy and a fireman and a baseball player. Reality, responsibility, practicality, low self-esteem turned those dreams to smoke. I even thought I would be a writer. But everything’s so hard. My needs seem simpler, but I can’t imagine attaining them. A lifetime of everyday responsibility has not prepared me for attending to my needs, which are not a bill to pay or a job to get to on time. The life prescribed by society is not mine at all. How do I get from it what it seems to have made no provision for? Playing by the sanctioned rules wins only trifles of that game and only amounts to a tease to keep playing. I’ve always hated playing, always knew there was nothing in it for me, no reward worth having, much less keeping; but tired of fighting or trying to play by my own rules, I would fall miserably back in line to give the pretense another go. That’s life–mine anyway: A run at freedom on a tether too short, a glimpse of my true self from too far away, then a return to the herd and my tattered blinders. Who do I think I am?