Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I think of the only wife I've ever had, or will, and shake my head at my poor judgment. But poor judgment must be better than the alternative -- some choice was better than no choice. Because without that choice, I would have nothing at all. What I do have is a son, grown, gone, independent, unneedy. See? I did a good job. I raised a boy into a man. This is my vindication.

It doesn't matter how much I cared about my students, or friends, or the world. My influence was fleeting. My diligence was unnoticed. My better qualities are buried under an extraordinary personality, both fascinating and repulsive. Sorry about that. More battledress than camouflage. It disguised me enough to procreate, though, so its double purpose was served.

The burden of friendship, or acquaintanceship, or family, is that one must be honorable. I'd have to wait for them all to die, before I could be how I really am. Can't out wait God, though.

I can't say what it is. Can't communicate the futility, of the process itself, and of the goal. What, you will understand me? She will? Of all the people in the world, my former wife was least equipped to understand me. It's not that I will remain forever incomplete. Some men are so broken that it would take a whole other person to fill in the empty spaces. And impossible things don't happen.

I am not violent. I see the possibility of course, that madness like the edge of a blade. But one of the times I was fired, as a teacher, when I was told, on the phone, by the principle, the only thing I had to say was, "I have a son." He understood my meaning, but my kind of directness with incorrigible students could not be countenanced in the LA Unified School District of that or this era. As with the physical universe, the social world has its inevitabilities. So, no, we do not allow ourselves violence. We suck it up, the futility, the incomprehension, the incompetence, the acquiescence. After all, what is to be done?

Do you find my meaning, here? Am I too oblique? The depression is back, tardy this year, and hardly worthy of the name, but even the shadow is oppressive. And if I couldn't speak with you, then who? I find that the only audience that understands my voice, conveys its comprehension through silence. A line from an old poem, only partially recalled, is running through my memory. I keep feeling hands on my shoulders. I keep seeing myself, lifted up... And then I can't remember. But it has the line, I think of myself as glass.

Ah well. Never mind. I'm in a morbid mood.


No comments: