End of the Tunnel

October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is more past behind me than future ahead of me. The end is nearer than the beginning. I see it more clearly. The past is full of innumerable presents I never had time to understand. The future promises that understanding, but the wisdom awarded smacks of consolation: What do I do with it? The future will be spent stoically mopping milk, dusting the thick-grown regret from the surfaces of a half-lived life at least three-quarters done. Wondering if living alone is worse than dying alone. Peeling away identities curling at the edges. Appreciation of, after resignation to, what’s left after the cleanup, gradually acclimating to the stark gleam of the end of tunnel.

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In Alone’s Image

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Wet is just wet, and cold is just cold. I learned that on a bicycle. I feel them, but the discomfort reaches a threshold beyond which they are just films on the skin. Alone is alone, too, on a bike, but not just. Alone comes from the inside, oozing out a shield against all that it wants. What it thinks it’s protecting me from, I don’t know. Eventually, I get out of the cold and wet and get dry and warm, and the alone expands. I hate the alone, but I own it, like some people own depression: It’s one of the definitions of the self. Alone chose me and formed me, made me in its image. It is not me; but I am it.

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.

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?

What It Is I Should Be Seeking

June 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

What am I anymore? What’s left of me once I roll my sleeve up over my heart? I don’t want to be this guy, some kind of crusader for love. I can’t buy what I’m selling. Am I a fake? Everyone, to some extent, “makes do,” settles. Gives up–or is it “comes to his senses”? Is love a childish thing to hope for? to be given up as unbefitting an adult? or do we simply redefine it to fit our lowered standards? My standards have risen, but I’ve been wrong to pursue it. The real pursuit is of something bigger and broader into which my standard of love fits. Love is a reward of the true pursuit, not the quarry itself. I am a seeker, but I’m not sure what it is I should be seeking.

Where Am I?

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