old. (From June 2008).

I perfected the art of feeling absolutely alone in the midst of plenty of supporters and believers-in-me long before I was able to understand just how fucked-up it made me.  Perhaps it was growing up with a father who didn’t respect anyone who didn’t wear their pain as a triumphant uniform, who constantly made me feel like I was a useless, coddled brat for never having to face the adversity he did; I devoted so much of my time trying to impress him more than the boys on the parks & rec teams he coached, I didn’t really learn how to do anything for myself, save for pretend–and hate myself for pretending.

I’m an intelligent guy, but I won’t claim I truly “get it.”  I occasionally see glimmers of what everyone else seems to be catching onto, that thing that makes them so much fucking happier than I, but no matter how many times I logic and reason my way around it, I invariably end up in that state of triage in which the inevitable gets pushed down in favor of the transient.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just the level of my consciousness that doesn’t compute, that I’m too hopelessly frozen on one level to deserve to exist–to be less-vague: I won’t ever be able to understand, and shouldn’t be alive, because I’ll just make things worse.

A thought occurred to me today as, fighting back the same tears I grapple with daily, I drove past a man dressed in a mattress outfit, holding signs for the BedMart sale down the street.  He had the signpost cradled in his arms as he pantomimed power chords and banged his head like a fucking madman, and I realized how many times a week I drove past him.  Every day for the past two weeks, that man has been rocking out ,on the corner of Western and SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, serving no function save for that of’ needless-distraction- as-tool-of-business-model-machine,’ and he was having more fun doing that useless fucking task than I was in a job I actually felt passionate about and enjoyed.

I remember easing up on the accelerator to stop at the red light as I pondered it.  I love my job more than I’ve ever loved any, but it’s the kind of love that you have for a challenging relationship, the kind that hurts when you can’t do things quite the way they seem in your head, the kind when you realize you aren’t going to be able to give someone everything you want to give them and, eventually, realize everything you can give them isn’t enough.  I wanted a job with even the most marginal of meanings, and I got one, just as I wanted to see a future that wouldn’t make me want to slit my wrists, and the vision raced across my eyes.

As the song goes–i had a vision; where’s my vision gone?

Lost, of course, lost in the fucking abyss between my thought/want/wish/hope and my action, lost as I invariably realize I am, regardless of any effort I may put forth.

As the light turned green, I waved at the guy.  As I caught his eye, I flashed him the metal sign.  His grin got wider, and he threw his own hand up in an identical gesture, pumping his arm to the beat of whatever he was listening to.

“That guy gets it,” I said to the empty bus.

A collection agency called my cell phone at that instant.  I ignored the vibration and floored it.


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