Monday, September 24, 2007

V is for

In the early 70s I read a short story about a hitman who told a stranger on a plane about his life. The story ended with the hitman killing the stranger. No witnesses, you see. In those days, if I told you I'd have to kill you wasn't a cliche yet. It was a good story. Creepy and suspenseful. I remember it 35 years later. It illustrates the human need to confide, confess. To be known. To trust.

That's what this blog is, to me. Of course I know better. Scattered throughout these pages -- in fact, the subtext of almost everything I write, is the fact of what a profoundly insecure place this world is. If not indifference, betrayal. Obviously, for me to get so screwed up, this must have been a lesson from the cradle. One of my early memories is standing up in a crib, holding onto the bars, crying and feeling rage that no one would pick me up. I couldn't talk yet.

I can talk now. But to whom? Conversations are such false things. So much ego. So many defenses. Deceit and distraction and self-delusion. In my more vulnerable moments, such as this one, I can hardly stand it. I've learned the futility of rage, though. What's left? Surrender? Yes, that is a theory. To God, of course, or to authenticity. There was a time, really there was, when I could do that. I was much healthier. I'm still honest, but it's just a form of neurosis now. God doesn't seem to occupy the world in any meaningful way, and the people one might be authentic with have their own agendas. It's inevitable.

I remember the bars. Square and bevelled. My hands barely got around them. Now they'd be the size of my thumb.

The reason I'm not insane is that I can distinguish opinion from fact. Perception isn't truly reality. For this, the world is slightly less horrific than it seems to me. The same with people. Their harsh and foolish, their vulgar and blind behavior has a reason, which often makes me feel tenderness for them. But compassion for the mad dog must be constrained. There are enough victims in the world. And I'm mad too. So there you go then.

Tonight I rolled long and light. A light and steady workout. It should have been good. But it wasn't enough. And I had a little more to say than I usually allow myself. Unsatisfying. I can't show who I am, because it wouldn't be understood. I walk on the edge and I push buttons. I used to. I loved to argue. I was unrelenting and could be unspeakably cruel. Vicious. And I'd expect people to get it. Get over it. I miss being like that. I want to do it again.

But you don't understand, about enemies. You don't know, yet, about insanity and despair. You haven't faced evil. You haven't lost a long and fierce battle against futility. You haven't seen the world recede and grow dark. Your losses have been small, and for that, meaningless. Your heart has not been broken.

Yes, you're here in my blog again. It hasn't been that often. Four or five times? Out of how much I write? That's not much. Maybe you thought it was more? It's just that I talk so much about indifference and betrayal, vulgarity and ego.


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