Friday, June 26, 2015

Before The Fireworks



This is a distant memory. Circa 1998
Things happen. 
So much happens it's hard to remember what order they happened in.
For me, the last 9 years have made everything before it hazy. Stupid Hallmark Holidays like Father's Day have been imbued with such bad memories for me, I don't want anything to do with it. Sure, I was a father. I largely failed at it. 
Fireworks.
I remember the boys in this photo, taken on the 4th of July at a cousin's house. The one on the left has not gone off the rails at this point. Although he was always a willful, difficult and intelligent child. Puberty has not happened. The lying, long silences, drug abuse, jail time and violence are coming, but for this moment, with innocent anticipation of cheap fireworks imminent, no one knows it.
The one on the right, he's going to have his problems too, but they are the normal problems, benign problems. He will make mistakes. But none of his mistakes will involve parole and probation, or cardiac arrest and an ambulance ride. So, for that I'm grateful.
Past.
My own father is gone now, he's been gone for over 10 years. I've forgiven him for his failures, even though I haven't forgiven myself for mine. It's a long process. 
I still miss him, and think of him often. And I see flashes of him in the mirror every morning. The fear. The fatigue. The lifetime of work. All done voluntarily, I might add. 
It's how I was brought up. I fall far short. I don't work nearly as hard, can't do nearly as many things. And my sons were brought up differently. This is where the mistakes were made. I should have made them do things. Made them learn how to do things. Made them fail. Taught them not to fear failure. That is my biggest failing. 
You can talk about what a "man" should do. How a "man" should handle things. You can talk about things all you want. 
It's what you have done that is the measure of you. And will people see your works as a good thing or bad thing? What you say is a pale echo of what you have done. 
Or, didn't do.
Of all the things taken away, or given away, or lost, lighthearted laughter is something I miss the most. 
Next.
What am I supposed to do? I probably have 30 years left. Probably.
I don't want to live. I don't want to die.
My stubborn sense of history has gotten me this far.
But now I lack the confidence, the underlying conviction, that I'm right and alright. 
That things will be fine. 
Am I supposed to pretend that things are great, that reality will conform to my wishful thinking?
That's what all the self -helpers and 12-steppers tell me to do.
I have felt the unease my entire life. Even before I was aware.
I can't help but feel that we are going down the wrong road.
So, that leaves me with the conundrum. I still have to live.
I have no choice in the matter.I have to fight the quandary.
I don't want to put the book down.
I want to see what happens next.
So that's it, then. I'm disengaging from the pettiness. 
I'm looking for things that matter, when I believe that nothing matters.
It's going to be. It has to.
See you around.

How Did We Get From There To Here


When did it happen? Where did it go wrong? We have tortured ourselves with these questions. We made a lot of mistakes. We did a lot of things wrong. He was difficult. Difficult people made him. But, we were all in. Everyone was. Perhaps, over invested, which makes the present even more hard to bear.
It's hard to believe you are bad.You grew up under our sight, if not our supervision.But it's hard to believe you took what you were given, and made what you did from it.
And now we live suffused with sadness. That we created this. And we are not hard enough to turn our back and walk away.But, we can't give anymore. We have nothing left, and it doesn't help anyway.You have to do it yourself.
It's just a bill. It doesn't have any meaning. Someone calling on the phone with a complaint and an offer. Someone far away, who is capitalizing on a decision that was made in faith, bad or not.Someone who has no idea what you went through to give it up.
I suppose it's all meaningless.People who make their own reality don't give in to reality,may never give in to circumstances beyond their control. The lottery may bless you with a sympathetic judge who will make your dreams come true at best, and at the very worst, you will star in a psycho drama that will add meaning to your life.
Some people have angels on their shoulders. You search for a meaning. But it often eludes you.So we cope, we medicate, we try to maintain. But the undercurrent is always there. 
If I never see another courtroom in my life, that will be fine with me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Remember When There Was Hope


Maybe I don't. Maybe it was all a mirage. All self delusions. That is the secret. Perhaps. There isn't a secret after all.  
You just live. You get up in the morning. Do something. Maybe you get asked to do something. Maybe you volunteer. It all seems like a remote possibility. I've lost the plot. I think my time has past. Nothing seems to be worth doing. 
So, you fake it. You do something. Even if it seems to be a betrayal. Of something. Truth is, it doesn't matter. You, don't matter. No one does. The mass moves forward. That is what matters. Everyone will just wash away. 
So take that for what it's worth. Me? I'm a grinder. I will see this thing through to the end.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Released


People are cheap. Do I provide value? Am I worth something?
What does worth mean? Money? An arbitrary measurement at best, because someone other than me controls it.
The best intentions? Work all the time and wonder why?
Sometimes.
Timing is everything. Luck is undersold. Nobody wants to be reminded of how slim the tolerances are.The people who make it want to think that is the way it's meant to be. Their unshakeable faith in their success is probably why they are where they are. So, they are probably right. I wonder how many sign fliers just know they are one break away from paydirt.
And it doesn't matter.
Who really cares? Ask yourself that question? Who is there when there is no benefit, no money, no nothing. No question mark. No question? Life is hard, since when is that a question, my existential angst is really getting tiresome. That is why I put it here. It's safe, and it don't matter. I could go on all day, but what's the point?
Time to go to work.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Declining


I get tired. It's a theme of mine. Of mind. I'm tired.
Do I mean it? I don't know. I'm expressing the inner futility. The fear.
Who knows if the stuff inside is real.
Real. What a laugh. You only exist in relation to other people. You can't see yourself. You look strange in person. I know I do.
I am old, fat, and tiresome. I hate what I see when I look in the mirror. So, like Lefty advised, I never go around mirrors.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Surplus Of Noise

From Above
In two months, I will be 54. I am sanguine about the inevitability of this event, this date, this benchmark. Honestly, I think about myself too much. Do not mistake this for thinking that I am important in some way.
I don't. I think about the world, and my place, and what we are doing here, and where we are going. And I have answers, but they are just guesses. Some people are good guessers, better guessers than others, but I feel that they are just unafraid to be wrong. That it really doesn't matter.
So, where is this going? You move on, you change. Big deal. People do it all the time. People find joy, and despair. So what? Does anyone care about you, will anyone miss you, or think about you when you are gone? Yes? You win! I love the fact there are people out there who are unafraid, that just do things, and it doesn't matter. Maybe people are getting over the need to be "famous" somehow. Maybe not. I've always observed the main body of people with a certain amount of disdain and envy. They enjoy themselves with pursuits that I find inexplicable. The world is full of noise, and it takes a lot of focus to tune it out, ignore it.
You don't have to do it. You don't have to contribute. One thing I've noticed is having too much stuff shuts me down, and makes it hard for me to do anything. Information is stuff. And it is hard to parse it out. So, ignore the people that you don't know trying to tell you something. Most often, they are trying to SELL you something. You don't need it. Unless you do. Figure out how to define the difference. Seek people out, don't invite people in. There is a difference, and you can do it. Ask your questions, but listen to the answers, don't be thinking of the next question to ask. Flow. Turn down the noise.