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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bondage

I return to the power of my grip, and how hard it is for me to let go of what I’ve taken hold of ... taken captive.

I have nothing but respect for my black belt. He is a remarkably modest man, and displays a consistently humble character. If I were a younger man, he would be an example and a mentor. Any young man would be a fool, who doesn’t take him as a powerful example of how a man should conduct himself. I don’t think much of his business sense, but that’s not a character issue.

Business, as I see it, is about a quality product at a reasonable price. Profit comes from marketing. People gotta hear about it. So another fella and myself are doing a little something to get the word out. It is a sort of altruism, but it’s a kind of friendship too. We would be a blessing.

Three fellas got new belts tonight. One blue and two purples. One of them had a purple belt from another school, but out of respect he didn't wear it with us. Good man. Must have been hard -- he's never struck me as wanting to hide his light under a basket. Another still has a serious injury, but it's getting better apace and he's doing light training. That's good too. I'm surprised at how pleased I am when there's an advancement. But symbols matter.

I was thinking maybe I could train with my son at my school in the mornings -- in pure BJJ -- and afternoons wherever he needs for a fuller spectrum of skills. That gets around the lack of black belt supervision, since our black belt does the morning class, MWF. I don’t mind shifting around my schedule. We’ll see. The concern would be the lack of serious competition, since there are only a handful of fellas who do the mornings, and there's only one regular who dominates. That's what I've meant by bad business. It isn't his morning classes that support the school. Ah well, it's not my problem. And maybe working on pure technique for a while would be a good thing for my son. Maybe our competitiveness would be addressed elsewhere, in the afternoons.

As for the rest of what my son is interested in, that means that I too am likely to be picking up some MMA skills. I really have no desire to hit anyone, or to be hit. Or kicked, for crying in the soup. You know, hard, by big strong aggressive men -- the sort of guy who’s interested enough in MMA to learn it. That’s not really me. I don’t feel the need to be dangerous. That’s what guns are for.

There’s a fella, early 30s, who’s planning on competing MMA. So I heard tonight. Interesting. Seems he’s setting about getting some striking skills, muay thai, whatever else he thinks he’ll need. Giving it a few years. Just recently took gold at a bjj competition. I suppose he’s pretty much like me. When I set some training goal, I turn into a machine. It’s all charted out, and I actually follow it. And this fella plays his hand close to his vest. Me too. You wouldn’t know that about me from this blabby blog of mine -- but this is the only place I’m blabby. You’d never know I cared about any of these guys, from the way I act. Affection is something to be ashamed of. Shame is something to keep secret. Grip.

Tonight I did something I very rarely do. I offered unsolicited personal advice. A young father is getting divorced. I haven’t pried into the details. But he has two beautiful little children, and so it’s a shame. I blurted out that he should buy his spouse some flowers. Change the dynamic. Maybe. At the very least, maybe some flowers might keep his clothes from being cut up with scissors. Isn’t it funny -- if we always treated them the way we did when we were courting them, there’d never be divorces. That's why we're the man. We have to do what's right.

I noticed I was actually stuttering tonight. Words come so haltingly. A glass of wine would help. I don't drink, and never will. It's not a virtue anymore. Now it's a bondage of its own.

I've been profoundly depressed all night. All week. Haven't been able to sleep, at all. A few hours, total, for several nights. I fall asleep, deeply tired, then pop awake and stay awake most of the night. The sun is up now. It comes and it goes, by the month, this depression. I'm so tired. No pattern that I can find, and no precipitating cause. In bed I find, as I try to sleep, that all my muscles are tense. I hold my breath. Something's wrong, again. I knew a woman once who was afraid of going mad. I smiled at the thought. I'm not afraid. I just didn't think it was possible.

As for us, you and me, when your love for me flickers and dies, and you have turned your eyes toward some other light, know that I will always love you.

It's hard to be this way. I am not an example for young men to follow. But it's the only way I know to be, and I wouldn't change it. I've had the chance to do the easy, wrong, weak and cowardly thing, and I did not take it. My anger has never changed into regret.


J

2 comments:

Will C. said...

"As for us, you and me, when your love for me flickers and dies, and you have turned your eyes toward some other light..."

Not likely my friend, there are few "pearls" of the internet and yours is one.

Jack H said...

You have put your stubby finger on the pulse of the matter ... my sucking need for reassurance. I understand why I'm not rich -- all that blackmail money I have to keep shoveling out to Richard Simmons. But why am I not famous? It's inexplicable. When I think that Kos just got a gig with Newsweek, I am consumed with bitter envy. Urghh. *creak* [the sound of my teeth, gnashing]

J