Saturday, October 13, 2007

Head Butt

I am too harsh, of course. People are what they are. They know to do only what they know how to do. Habit is god. So if the chatter tends toward the vapid, there can be no real complaint about this fact. Reality exists, and change is nearly impossible. I should know, stuck as I am. I do feel tenderness for them. It’s just that I’m looking in the wrong places for what I think I want. Like loving the wrong woman.

How fragile we are. I told you about the infamous lotion incident. They keep bringing it up, and the poor fella keeps trying to defend himself. The solution is three-fold. First, swat back. Flies always circle fresh blood, but enough wind might blow them away. Maybe it will work. Sometimes, though, maggots still eat at the wound. Next, then, ignore it. Maggots only eat dead flesh. Don’t feed them. When the rot is gone, they might be satisfied. Finally, if they aren’t maggots but some other noxious vermin that continue to infect and infest the flesh, they must be dealt with directly. Ask them to stop. It becomes a point of honor, dignity and courtesy.

When someone tells me I’ve hurt them, I apologize, and try not to do it again. The cost of that human decency, to the other party, is that they have to watch out to not hurt me. It’s a reasonable tradeoff, but it requires a degree of maturity, and in some cases a new set of terms, a new way of interacting. New things mean change. Change is hard.

When people are being obnoxious to me, I eventually ask them to stop. You might think you see an inconsistency: I find some behavior I’m around obnoxious, and all I do is write about it in my fabulous blog. Now you see the difference. I am not the conversation police. I cannot and don’t expect other people to conform to my expectations regarding their character. Their conversation is between themselves, and virtually never involves me. They are not being obnoxious to me. They are obnoxious, to me. They do, alas, have that right.

It has to do with the way we treat each other. It has to do with respecting each other’s humanity, even if we don’t respect someone’s character, or rather habits of thought. The other day there were some words about whether or not a certain fella used steroids. He’s a muscular young man. I was asked what my opinion was, “objectively”. My unspoken thought was, Why would I have an opinion about this? I said that the fella had already flatly stated that he doesn’t use them, and says that he has “never used an illegal substance” in his life. So my opinion is that he doesn’t use steroids. I said that I was reluctant to assume he is a liar, simply on the evidence that he is muscular. I hate, you see, injustice. It would be a low thing, arrogant and profoundly disrespectful. It would be unworthy of honorable men. You see? We must be careful, because we care about what other people think and say about us. If we didn’t, there could be no such thing as an insult. There are many, many insults.

Months ago now, there was a rather unlikable fella who came to roll. Without being too specific, he was involved in law enforcement. Something a little off, about him, and really immature. Well, I keep such opinions to myself, mostly. But one day he did something that opened my heart up toward him. We were waiting in line to do such and such, him next to me, and he put his head down and softly butted my arm like a goat. That’s it. My whole attitude changed toward him. It made him human and vulnerable to me -- it made him real. An unguarded moment of silliness that looked to me like a window into his soul.

I’m always amazed -- as it were -- when people touch one another. I watch it, them putting their hands on each other, and it seems so odd. A pat on the back, a shoulder bump -- these primal physical communications that they allow themselves. I saw a fella jokingly adjust another fella’s collar -- it was too “metro” otherwise. Such a small thing. I’ll probably remember it for the rest of my life. I’m sure I will. That’s how I am.

I can’t be the only one who’s like this. An extreme example, I expect, among people who are not actually psychotic, but it cannot be rare, in lesser degrees. So alienated.

Let’s ball up the string, then. There is no sport that involves more touching than the one that I do. I cannot get enough of it. If I could make the time, I’d roll mornings and evenings. I did today. Five hours. It’s not enough. I don’t know what to make of it. I have a lot of physical vitality that I try to expend, and if I don’t it’s quite frustrating for me. Do you suppose that if I knew how to pat someone on the back, I’d still need to roll so much? Some need is answered, by this sport. It’s more primitive even than anything sexual. I have a pretty large appetite for that, too -- thankfully not even tangential to this sport. Thankfully. More than you wanted to know? Hope I don’t make you uncomfortable. Point is, something is clearly way out of balance. Given my lifestyle, an exuberance of energy is to be expected. But this is ridiculous.

How does anyone heal? I was an unwanted child who was never picked up. Poor little me. I’m a strange man who controls his aggression and rage, but at a high cost. I am alienated from myself and from mankind, and from God. I can’t let go of the evil of the world. I weep when I find beauty. What a way to be.

If I didn’t talk to you, I wouldn’t talk to anyone.



Andrea said...

Alright. Enough.
I am distracted (not always but often enough) by your favored sport - rolling.
Are "we" just having the best ol time laughing at our own joke, or are "we" waiting to see who bites first (in Texas it would be called snipe hunting), or has the internet failed me (granted I don't claim to be the smartest or most skilled cookie in the jar) that I find nothing on the "sport" of rolling other than the farcical?

This leads me to the thought that the time and energy you spend rolling is actually that time spent at your keyboard and thus falls into the first category ("Oh, I'm clever alright") above.
Did I not live in another world from yours I would busy myself backtracking to unread posts you have done and try to decipher an acronym from your - sport.
Kindly put this poor woman out of her misery and explain - rolling.

Now, must I be off to slay my own dragons, but not before observing -

"I can’t let go of the evil of the world. I weep when I find beauty. What a way to be."
I am reminded of Gibran's Prophet who spoke of Reason and Passion.
I shall not type it in here, you probably know it by heart, last three sentences of that piece.

Jack H said...

Oh you poor child. While it is true that sometimes I just can't get over myself -- so coy, so wry -- alas, sometimes it goes the other way, and I am filled with sententious self-importance.

Rolling is BJJ, which is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A sort of submission wrestling. You must be new to these pages. I rarely indulge in idiom, but I allow myself that luxury in this sport. I call it "rolling," I call it "playing," and I even slap hands before and afterwards, like the cool kids.

But snipe hunting is precisely what it is. One part of my soul is sending another off, pursuing that illusive creature. And oh yes, I remain convinced as to the reality of the snipe. Being a SoCal city boy, I will never have seen one, but no cynical laughter will dissuade me from the fact of its existence.


Oh, Thou! Glorious Snipe!
How I would break my long fast
To sup upon thy tender tripe,
To savour that sublime repast!


For so my imagination persuades me.

As for keyboard time, I do wrestle with angels here ... or perhaps it's just holding on, to my lameness.

I don't even remember my own poetry. But as for Kahlil, funny you should say...


Andrea said...

"and I am filled with sententious self-importance. "
Your forgiven. It's done by many a folk though most with much less eloquence and often so contentious that one (me) doesn't bother to examine for truth or relevance.

"Rolling is BJJ, which is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu."
Oh my God. The mental gymnastics I went thru. Next confusion I will ask early rather than late. Thank you.

"I remain convinced as to the reality of the snipe.......but no cynical laughter will dissuade me from the fact of its existence." Understand. I sill love Tinkerbell.

*ahem* Oh, Thou! Glorious Snipe!.."
A romantic you are. And I would have believed you had you not written previously of being vegetarian.

Jack H said...

*Forgiveness?!?* Who are *you* to forgive *me?* I curl my lip.

And I'm so over that "vegetarian" thing. A passing fancy. If I'm this strong and beautiful on plants, imagine how fantastic I'll be when I eat snipe! Can't wait!