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?


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….

In There Somewhere Is Self-Forgiveness

May 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

Herself wasn’t what I had hoped, whatever that was. Hope jumped into the confusion and marshalled the minions to subdue reality while my mind replaced it. I wanted someone to care about me. She was not that someone, though I would not let myself believe it, as if she were my last hope, the last woman in the kingdom on whose foot to try the glass slipper. But I was a beastly prince. I had never invested so much of myself in another and never been returned a bigger fool. I couldn’t imagine a greater unfairness. I determined to exact justice from her and made myself the bigger fool and the most beastly prince until she left me with no one to hang my delusions upon. Sifting through them as through Charles Foster Kane’s treasures is a penance but moreso a responsibility–to myself if not to her. In there somewhere is self-forgiveness.

Who Do I Think I Am?

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?

Neither Can I Help It

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Could Herself forgive me if I asked her to? Do I need it? I want it, but it would only serve myself. It would go a long way toward assuaging the guilt I still feel over some of my behavior, but so does thinking that I probably couldn’t have behaved any other way. I am not a determinist. I believe, essentially, that the unique combination of innumerable factors forced certain actions. Many times, I felt perfectly rational while deciding to do the most irrational things and wondered afterwards how I could have let myself do them. It was who I was and who she was and how things were. How it would add up was unforeseeable. Still, I am responsible. For the most part, I have forgiven myself. The best thing I can do for her is nothing, because it’s what she always wanted from me. Whatever I need is irrelevant to her, and I have to accept that. I can’t afford to care what she thinks of me, or that she doesn’t. Neither can I help it.

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