Sunday, December 21, 2008


I haven't been feeling like I want to do a lot of writing here. Can't say why. An emotional contraction, perhaps. At the same time though I'm feeling restless. I've got some things that are ready to post, but I'm not feeling it. There's a big thing about Jesus that I'm rolling around in the back of my mind, one of those big mystical insights that I get sometimes, that organizes and explains the world. About the cross and its effect on the universe. I thought of it the other night, then the next day had to reconstruct it -- that happens a lot, where really cool ideas just fade away and nothing comes of them. Maybe I should keep a notebook.

Anyways, this restlessness -- it made me do a little flipping through these pages, to see if there was anything worth bumping up. Politics? It's a different time, now. Islamism? My son is returned from the wars, safely for a year almost now. And it's out of the news, and I've said enough on it anyway. What other themes have I had. Well, me, of course, and my tireless self-obsession. That brought me to this thing then. Is it about me? Not really. I'm just a character in the melodrama. The tragic tool, the fool, author and object of these events, unfocused yet intense. What seems to be honesty in me is really self-righteousness. I'm almost as tired of myself as I am of politics, and islamism.

Anyway, this, from a year and a half ago.


I came across, recently, some pornography. I've seen it before, of course. With J, my boy from Juvenile Hall, I had to confiscate some pretty hardcore stuff. He was showing it to a twelve year old at the time. It's not about emotion. It's about doing what is right. I said, later, A man and a woman is one thing. A woman and a zucchini is something else. I said it to B, my then downstairs neighbor. She was good friends with J, twice his age and twice his size, literally -- mother of a nine year old boy who tagged along with my boys. I seem to recall that little K got an eyeful of the porn too. Before I walked in on them. But I walked in pretty quick -- they had supervision they didn't know about -- and it's the sort of thing that can be handled without trauma or drama. Later, privately, there might have been a quiet conversation. But maybe words can't put out fires.

There was some drama attached to that whole situation after all, though, as I recall. Oh yeah, I remember. This was shortly before J made his girlfriend pregnant -- I'm told they had sex within fifteen minutes of first meeting. "How did that happen?" I wondered. "I'm still trying to figure it out," he replied. Isn't that a hoot? Ah, youth. Oh, and he made B pregnant that same month. B -- you remember ... my 300 pound downstairs neighbor? I used her for inspiration in my hilarious The Funniest Story. Waste not, want not, eh? Here, let me just wipe away the laughter. Anyway. So there's a way that I'm a sort of a grandfather, twice over, maybe ... I say maybe because a woman does after all have a right to choose. I'm not quite sure what J needed the porn for, what with all the heavy action he was getting.

The girlfriend was outside of my control -- J's crack whore mother had visit time, and, well, she was a crack whore, so of course she provided J with what he wanted. But B -- that came as a little bit of a surprise. Ah, innocence. I thought she was on the same page with me, re supervision. Nope. Her page was pornographic too.

It's a funny story, isn't it. The kicker is that I tried to keep the police out of it, but the crack whore saw perceived-advantage to herself in going a different route. That's not the kicker, though. Before B moved out, she told the landlord she was leaving because of me. I fought it of course, but I was evicted. When I speak of injustice, this is not what I have in mind. This is nothing. Just a kicker. A surreal glimpse into how twisted the world is. But we know it's twisted. We just don't expect it to be twisted with us. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure it out.

Ah well, that exhausts that brief episode in my life. Lesson learned.

As I say, though, I recently came across some other pornography, in a different context. Gets you to thinking. A father once told me that his pre-teen son would masturbate until he was "red in the face." How did he know? I know a fifty year old man who earlier this month went to the Philippines and married an 18 year old girl he'd met online. Theoretically it's not a bad idea. He wants to be happy. But my lord, what is he thinking? And here I am, a man with quite a powerful sex drive, and no mate, and no expectation of ever having one again. What do you do with that?

For all our fine intentions and fine words, we find ourselves outside looking in. Evicted. Exiled. Alienated. Alien.

Well, I came across this pornography, and it just made me sad. It's a glimpse into the lonely and pathetic soul of just about every one of us. These wretched slutty people putting on their show, and all but those who are eunuchs by choice or nature lining up to watch. We wouldn't even look twice, except they're naked. You know what naked is, right? Vulnerable. Intimate. What does that have to do with pornography. They're opposites. Degraded. Self-absorbed.

Alas, paganism got it right. The most powerful gods preside over sex and violence.

As for J's magazine -- with its animals and its airbrushed anuses (I can only assume airbrushing) ... and didn't women used to have body hair? -- I was careful to dispose of it so that it wouldn't be found by some child. People do enough damage to each other deliberately, without obvious carelessness adding to the problem.


Why dredge this up? Well, FP has been my wailing wall for three years now, three years and five days, it seems. What's changed. Me? Circumstances? I hardly know. I was thinking tonight, as I often do, about the need that humans have for one another. And I thought of two horses, each in a different field, who stand next to each other anyway, with a fence between them, necks intertwined. Even the hermit needs someone else, needs God. There is no violence committed, no degradation, against self or others, that isn't about the perpetrator's place and relationship to the rest of humanity. Pornography isn't about bodies, it's about people treating themselves as bodies. We know this because the accompanying fantasies always involve the idea of someone else's emotions.

My boys, my lost boys? One would be 25 now. One would be 20. I think about them less frequently now. I know it will come back, the grief, the rage, but some of the space is filled up now with time and further experience. Is this a kind of peace? I'd think that peace requires something more active than just the dulling of pain. And I know that further experience will bring to me more pain, perhaps finally unbearable. And on that happy note, I bid you adieu.


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