A More Comforting Fire

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Permission to be happy struggles against a habit of bitterness and blame; acceptance against judgment. Who we ware against who we are. The struggle is in the choosing. Or in allowing there to be no choice. Giving in. Having faith, even that there is something to have faith in. Or losing the faith we have. Do we need a faith? or faith? What can we afford to take for granted? What will come to our rescue? Irony and cynicism slobber under the tightrope, but let ’em go hungry while other passions consume us in a more comforting fire.


He’s Looking Elsewhere

September 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whatever I am as a man, I am as me. I am not a member of that collective snottily labeled “Men!” No man is. There is no playing field leveled by applying that label, just sexist ignorance in a smaller jackboot. It’s easy to judge by the standards I had no choice but to learn growing up. Falling short of your standards does not make me the standard of your failed relationships with men. If you expect anything of me, expect the good. Cynicism, that snide insecurity, is a shield from fear and a shelter for loneliness. Can you really believe all men are alike? Then stop hoping to get the one you want. He’s looking elsewhere.

The Nakedest Burden

September 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

In order to absolve irony of the dictatorship of my fate and the responsibility of my actions, I have had to slough off cynicism as well. Cynicism is to self-pity as arrogance is to low self-esteem: a shield from and hyperbolic simulacrum of the reality created by a hatred and jealousy of all we want that we feel inadequate to attain. Is it better to pretend we don’t want it than to grovel after it? Does pride have to go, too? until all that’s left is self-responsibility, the nakedest burden? No one made me unable to tell her what I needed to tell her when it needed telling. No one made me write that email or send those flowers or scroll those words across my computer screen. Did she have anything to do with the way I felt about her?

Heaven’s Not In It

September 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Compulsion to challenge myself challenges my capacity to fulfill the challenge. And so it goes ’round: Life as irony’s toy. I’m sorry I even acknowledged that, though irony hasn’t the sway it once had; and absent it, the void fills with anger and shame over its manipulation, which I fully sanctioned then. I am not that cynic now. The wounds are laid bare. That they are self-inflicted makes them no less painful. I won’t presume to adjudge the pain I inflicted upon Herself, feeling she would proscribe it as overfamiliarity. Already, I have overpresumed. Incessantly, I ask her forgiveness; incessantly I disallow myself the presumption that she would give it. Absolution is not really what I want–or not all that I want. Once she has forgiven me, I want her to love me. This is my purgatory, if not my hell. Heaven’s not in it.

Music Is Not to Be Trusted

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

The music lied to me. Well, really, I misinterpreted it. I’d come to recognize mere infatuation by the insipid pop songs I’d allow to come to mind: True love could not be represented by such facile pap. I heard none of that while working with Herself. That might have been why it took me so long to recognize what I was feeling. What I hadn’t understood (or chosen not to) was that what I was hearing was not also an indication of how she felt toward me. It was enough that I was in love. Surely that was all she needed to know, all that was necessary for her to accept and return the feelings. I knew better even then, but the doubt that arose I tried to attribute to my natural pessimism and cynicism. More than ever, I wanted this feeling to be real and requited. Mostly, I heard XTC— “Beating of Hearts,” “Wonderland,” “Love on a Farmboy’s” Wages,” “Great Fire,” “Earn Enough for Us,” “Rocket from a Bottle,” “Love at First Sight”–never letting myself believe she didn’t hear seagulls screaming “Kiss him! Kiss him!” “Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)” was  the last song I played before leaving for what  ever afterward I’ve called The Trainwreck. He was no help at all. The only XTC I could hear after that was “Me and the Wind,” but that was wishful thinking on the other end of the emotional scale. Music is not to be trusted.

My Importance to Nil

January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

With all the respect I’ve lost, I still like my job.  I know where I stand there, but that’s in a humble place, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to live in that shame anymore–at least not all of it. I will be a while sloughing it off. I get cynical and aloof, but I’m just feeling lonely. Self-pity, envy, missed opportunities for compassion: I lie low then. That’s most of the time. The rest of the time, I’m nice, almost talkative. I can reach out a little ways. Whichever person I am on a given day, I like what I do, assisting the free dissemination of information to people who still read. My employer does not have that same commitment. I hope I am gone before the county has completed turning its library system into a chain of bookstores and proportionally reducing my salary to a wage and  my importance to nil.

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