Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I always feel a little dishonest. I feel like I'm lying. When someone changes their behavior because of something I've said, it surprises me. It's like they believed me.

I take care to get my facts right. I check things out. I do research. But it feels like this isn't enough. Maybe it's that I wasn't trusted as a kid. Maybe it's that I couldn't trust. It's hard to trust now. And it's hard to believe I am trusted.

I presented my observations re my father the other night in a context of objectivity and rational amusement. Driving over there, examining myself, I felt nothing at all. Getting the call was just irritating, with a large component of simmering anger. But once I'd determined to go: the Ice Age. The same with watching their shadow play. I knew exactly how it was going to unroll. I could finish their sentences for them, except for the details. Same music, different keys, is all. Like little children. Their motives are so very obvious. As I've said, when my son was little, I could read his mind. Nowadays, I know him because I know myself.

I can't say I'm astounded at his dishonesty, my father. His blindness is old news. To hear him rant about his success and his giant brain, with details that need not be recorded here -- the palpable insecurity could fill me with profound sadness and compassion, except that I'd have to deal with how pathetic it is as well. It's not delusion. It's cowardice and dishonesty.

I'm writing this because the word plausibility demanded it. My father is highly plausible. He presents an impressive facade. Like the house he lives in.

I have a friend who has two very young sons. I interacted with them for a few minutes tonight, and it was good to do that. Kids aren't poisonous. They don't get that way, hardly ever, unless they are poisoned first. I think most people have been poisoned, but I could be wrong. Point is, my friend and I were talking about rewards, and I said that toys turn into garbage pretty quick, but hugs are always valuable. It was one of those things we say, and then it hits us how really smart it is. I had to chuckle about it. It's so true, you see. Am I that smart? I wish. At least I seem smart. It's a plausible facade. Heh heh.

One of the things I really like about myself, and that I deeply respect, and that I'm truly thankful for, is the way I treat kids. I treat them with respect. I don't talk down to them. I listen to them. I respond to what they say, or the meaningful things. Because they matter, and they have pride and vulnerability, and they will know, at a level much deeper than intellect, when they're being dealt with from a core of dishonesty and manipulation.

Am I right about this? Probably not. They're probably as blind as everyone else. They are after all so easy to fool, seduce, kidnap and destroy. But I don't care. I will treat them as if God is watching, watching how I treat his little children. I will treat them as if they matter as much, no, more, than my ego matters to me.

Not that I'm around kids much anymore. Hardly ever. It's just as well. I'm not very good at playing. It's boring. Not very good at pretending. It feels dishonest.


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