Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just Rambling

You look back on what I've written here, in these pages, and you see what you see. A strange and passionate man, perhaps. An intellect or a fool. A bigot, a fanatic, a hypocrite. Well, not you -- you don't see that. Someone who drops in just once and gets a snootful of some ironic and bitter piece the purpose of which they do not comprehend, since that would be gained only through a greater perspective. There are a few who've been with me for nearly the full three years that I've been broadcasting these sad desperate things. Off and on, presumably, but with me.

It's not that I've worn masks. I've been trying to tear them off, in fact. And now I'm getting close to a naked face. Close, relatively speaking. You just have no idea how many masks there are. Maybe it's not about masks, though. Maybe it's fragments -- the shattered visage of a plaster bandage. Maybe it's the heaped-up winding cloths that make the invisible man visible. Whatever. Words, these words, have always been honest in their way, but they have almost always been a distraction. Misdirection is not the same as dishonesty. It is a tactic that serves its purpose, of wonderment. If it undoes my greater purpose in some way, you must forgive me such cowardice and failure. Trust, as I understand the term, kills.

Tonight let us examine the concept of faith. Yeah yeah, the evidence of things not seen. But it takes faith to understand that definition. Yes, it is a gift, the way being born without malformations is a gift. Noticeable only in its absence. The blessings we've always had are counted more as rights. I smile at the idea. Rights. We don't have a right to air. It's arbitrary. Faith? It's like wisdom. It's like hope. Intangibles that experience does not teach, so much as temperament allows. We get it if our hormones stay out of the way, or if life has not been too overwhelmingly savage, or if the malformations of the world have not warped our souls. Otherwise, we are faithless, and hopeless, and fools. Like me.

Faith. I have it, as a function of not being able to miss obvious truth. Doubt requires an eventual decision, one way or another. We do not stand at the crossroads forever. Tarshish or Nineveh, because the alternative is digestion at the bottom of the sea. But mine is the sort of faith that is mere knowledge. I know what is true. So what. It does not empower me. I am helpless, cannot rescue myself, from, say, the company of the pigs, and there's something so twisted in me that despite the misery it causes me, I won't leave it. A kind of self-selected damnation. I deserve it, I think, because I choose it.

Why? Is it self-loathing? Why? What crime did I commit, that merits such severity. Well, here's where my masks get activated. I have committed no crimes. But slander has ruined me, and I am complicit in the act. My crime, then, is that I ran, rather than stayed to fight even after the battle was lost. Sometimes we are meant to die, fighting, and when we don't we live like animated corpses -- moved only by the appetite of maggots.

But it's just words now. Words and masks and misdirections. Tonight is a Saturday night, and round about seven o'clock I thought to myself that I'd like to go out and hang with some friends. But I don't have that sort of life. I could go walk through a mall, browse in a bookstore, eat something in some food court and watch the passersby, holding hands or ushering their children or just moving to some singular goal. It would be a sort of connection. I could try to make something happen, open up, loosen up, let go, unbind myself, unwind, remove the passive and impassive expression and make eye contact with humanity. But why bother. We know what the world is because we know what has already happened.

A hopeless and fatalistic and futile attitude. And I'm a bright and actually optimistic guy, in a lot of ways. I'm an encourager. I want my friends, those with whom I am friendly and that I care about, to succeed in their aims and to be happy. Why have I defined myself out of such a scenario.

I have a really interesting life story. Some bizarre and tragic and literally unbelievable things have happened -- I don't want to say happened to me, because that makes me sound so passive, and I have participated in my life. The extreme reactions that I've received -- well, they are reactions. As I have said from the beginning, I'm easy to hate. Part of it is my stubbornness -- people hate that. Part of it is the failure of their imagination -- which I seem to require. Point is, the combination of the world's judgment and my brittleness seem to have finished me. Just seemed -- the story isn't over yet. It just feels that way.

Faith. The failure of my own imagination now, and I can't see a way out. Too many years, too much neglect, too much hiding, so I'm a pale blind subterranean creature now, unsuited for human companionship. It's only a feeling. But it's how I feel. Does God rescue anyone? Or does he require people to do his rescuing. I don't know. I've rescued people. It's a good thing to do. Not so much a suicide as a noble self-sacrifice. It must be pleasing to God, if he will overlook the cowardice and brittleness that ensues, when the rescue attempt fails and the world throws its temple at you. Then again, unfinished towers make us a laughing stock, and unfinished races bring no glory, and this body of death creeps with maggots and only God can rescue us.

I write this expecting that no one gets this far. Oh, just more of Jack H spinning his wheels. I like it when he writes about politics. Sorry, imaginary companion. This particular mask, ugly though it is, is very near the last one. I'm just trying to let my skin breathe. There's this one, the one that's covered with maggots, another one that's nothing but blood, and then my real face.

It's quite beautiful.

I wish I dared show it to the world. But we know what the world would do to it. What it's done before.


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