Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I think I hurt someone's feelings tonight. A little gentle teasing on my part. Yes, gentle. You must have noticed by now that I'm capable of being quite harsh. It was gentle. He's a big guy. No -- bigger than that. No, bigger. Bigger. Yeah, that big. And he likes to go up to a little guy and ask him to roll. Just about three times the size. Literally. "Oh? Why not?" -- all innocence. It's sorta funny, and it's not done with malice. But very persistent. Too much.

Well I did the same thing to him tonight. His energy is limited, but I do have the sense that he doesn't push himself as hard as he might. At all. He'll get winded, but that's not an excuse to be done. Is it rude of me to notice that there's more sitting than rolling? A lot more. A lot. "Okay, big man, your turn," I said. "No? Why not?" -- all innocence. "Ah. I guess that sort of makes you a hypocrite. And a coward." And as he walked by I made chicken noises.

Yes, that's gentle teasing. Coming from me, so unlike my interpersonal style, it's obviously teasing. And you do have some sense by now of how nasty I could be. But I think it hurt his feelings. Earlier he'd said in a mock-vulnerable way that he was feeling sensitive. Do you think it might have been my comment in Privacy? "You?" I volunteered. "Sensitive? Yeah, but it's under all that flab." Then I shouted in an angry tone, "HAW HAW HAW!! HAAAAAAW HAAAAAW!!!!"

A topic I generally avoid. Such observations are almost always counterproductive. Maybe I'm getting a little impatient with him. He should have lost a hundred pounds by now. But that's my timeline, and it's not my business. See what I mean? Judgments aren't helpful.

And as I was leaving he said, "I like you anyway, Jack -- even though you think I'm a phony." "No, a hypocrite and a coward." "Oh. Okay." "You gotta live true." I barely knew what it meant. Just something to say that popped into my head. And I turned and stepped into the night.

You see? It's hard to be straight about vulnerability. That's what this blog is for me. It's my vulnerability. Behind the sarcasm and rhetorical flourishes, you can get a peek. And sometimes I come right out with it. J, I expect, uses humor for the same purpose. Don't we all. It's what humor is for. To lie with the truth. Almost all of my humor is true. But tone and absurdity cloud the issue. It's safe to say, because no one will believe it. As for J, he deserves what he gets. He's very quick-witted, and doesn't take prisoners. My little prick -- uh, jab only hurt, if it did, because he respects me. [Insert arrogant self-approbation here.] That's why I try to be careful, with everyone. The world is too full of pain.

So we lie with the truth. It's a kind of felon's integrity -- deceiving without lying. We retain our self-respect, our sense of worth, and stay protected too. But you gotta live true. That's one of the reasons I have such contempt for the homo jokes. It's all so false. The reflexive meaningless insult. You're fat. You're short. You're old. You're bald. I didn't like it when I was a child. I should want to be around it now? I've tried a few times to match the tone. Just made me feel cheap. But you can't tell anyone anything. No one changes, and no one respects anyone else enough to modify a habit. Hardly anyone.

Am I wrong? Probably. I'm certainly a fool. You'll think I'm joking.

So afterward I went to the Y and ran. Not as much time as I wanted, but I ran a good distance. I would have worked out too but no time. My arm and shoulder seem to be completely recovered. No tingling or pressure at all. No radiating back-shoulder pain. Still a bit of atrophy in the posterior deltoid, but functional strength is back. And my rolling is getting more fluid. I'm pleased about that. Can't do it with the higher belts, but it's a start. I am filled with energy. Pain and energy. I'll roll to exhaustion, wait five or ten minutes, then do it again. I could do it all day. I want to.

Yesterday I realized that I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I just now went online and looked at the symptoms and then I couldn't breathe and now I find tears streaming down my face. Isn't that funny?


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