Monday, April 26, 2010


Do I go too far? There's definitely something wrong with my judgment. No argument there. But that's not a fault, is it? There was something wrong with Jesus' judgment too, according to those who judged him. Yes, I'm comparing myself, favorably, to Jesus. So?

My wife ... my former wife finally figured out, and she was not wrong, that I was obnoxious to people as a sort of test. Unconscious on my part, but I think she was right. And I'm pleased to affirm her, these several decades later. If people could bear my honesty, my raw and almost fierce pronouncements, true though they may have been, then said people passed the test, whatever it was. As I say, unconscious, and a protective device. I come from a place of madness, and survived as best I could.

So when I use such blunt and gauche words as appeared in that last opus, well, yes, there's definitely something wrong with my judgment. Those who know me, by now, at long last, after these fifteen hundred posts, have a chance of getting it. Those who drop by casually will form such opinions as they may. My concern, though, is with those who do know me, and still have to wonder. What the hell is the matter with Jack.

That's why I need friends. To point out when I go too far. I've spent almost all of my life without friends, so there's a deficit. Like a survivalist who recycles the same increasingly aberrant theories through his tractate, until he finally mails it, after the bombs, to the media. Publish or perish. We need sounding boards. Friends, to pull us up short, correct us, gentle or blunt, when we err. Like my son. He felt free to tell me when he thought I was wrong. "Dad, that was kind of rude." "Was it? Oh."

So I was thinking about friendship. It's a hard idea. It's a kind of love. What kind. I love you like a brother? I don't love my brothers. So that would be theoretical. I love you like a son? That love contains within it a sort of ownership. Yes, we let go of them -- but we don't. So what's left? The Greeks had four words for love. Eros, storge, agape and philos. Sexual, family, selfless and, uh, whatever philos loves. Philosophy, philanthropy, philadelphia, paraphilia ... is this it? A phorest of words, phor which we cannot see the trees.

It was a young boy's birthday today, and when I was told, it never occurred to me to do the usual verbal ritual. It only occurs to me later that people care about these things. But maybe no one noticed. Or maybe they understand how I am. It's not on purpose. It's unconscious. Because I come from a place of madness. You yourself have seen it, after all. To understand is to forgive. Right? It all just goes to make up the device, that I am.


1 comment:

bob k. mando said...

i'm afraid i'd not be much help in pointing out when you've "gone to far".

except to the extent that if I'VE noticed it you're probably already well out of bounds.

i don't have much patience for the pretty lies people tell each other to get through the day....