Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eleventh Hour, Sixteen Minutes

Lately my friends have been telling me something that I used to take as an insult.  They're calling me "soft-hearted" and "big-hearted" and shit like that.

Them's used to be fightin' words.  I'd throw down over being called something like that.

I'm an evil, mean-spirited man, goddammit!  I want to do terrible things to you in your sleep and I drive a creepy van around quiet neighborhoods at night.  I'm not "soft-hearted" or whatever that means.

A bunch of years ago, I watched something play out at a card game that reminds me of this.  It was Chris and Ed.  Eddie was a backwoods redneck and Chris was a scruffy, dirty, smelly, lying thief. He had a thing for hookers and for him, the lower they were, the better. Seriously.  He was a piece of crap.

But anyways, these two were playing cards.  Eddie was drinking and Chris was on whatever drugs he had gotten ahold of that night.

Eddie sets the cards down, burps, looks at Chris and says, "Goathead."

Don't EVER call somebody Goathead.  Chris was highly offended.


Eddie, not to let it go, countered with, "Dick!"


And it escalated.  The two went back and forth, trading insults.  Eddie pulled out a Buck hunting knife and slapped it on the table, and took another slug of the cheap whiskey he'd been swilling all night.

"Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck!"  And Chris stood up.

Eddie burped again, blinking, while holding up a finger.

"Wait a minute," he said.  "Let me speak good English."

Eddie pushed the cards closer to Chris and said, slowly, "Go ahead."

You never know what somebody means when they say something because words can get jumbled on their path from our brains to our tongues.  It makes communication a real bitch.

But yeah, my friends have been calling me "soft-hearted" a lot lately.  I get attached to women quickly and deeply.  I'm stupid that way.

I try not to be an emotional moth on a suicidal run into a halogen lamp.  I really do.  In recent months, I've met a lot of women who were looking for something.  A couple really got some good shots in that I just had no defense against.

In those times, I learned a few things.  I can't tell the difference between a woman teasing me, flirting with me. toying with me, taunting me, or rubbing my face in who and what I am.  Over the years, I've had women do all of those things to me.  I had one woman, years ago, who felt the need to really show me cruelty.

This woman would rub my belly and tell me how badly she needed sex.  And on the next day, she would tell me about how her boyfriend tore her up.  Then, she would pout and say, "But you don't have anyone, do you, Ted?  You're alone.  All alone.  What did you do last night, hmm?"

And then she'd laugh and walk away.

I have more stories like that than I'd care to admit to or recount.  I'm an easy target for these women. I realize that.  I'm getting better at ignoring them, too.

I met someone very recently and she and I have been chatting every day.  In our first chat, on the day we met, we chatted for about six hours.  In that time, I had a lightbulb moment about my own life and the patterns in it.  Specifically, one pattern in particular that really bothered me.

This was an incredible feeling.  I told my friends as if I'd discovered gold in my flower pots.  It was a Eureka! moment for me and I was proud and happy.

This never would have happened had I not met this woman.  It never would have happened had she and I not had hours of frank and candid conversation without filters.  Those conversations were important and productive for both of us.

Seventeen Minutes....

I was told recently not to label myself.  It's hard because I'm used to it.  I'm used to derogatory labels telling me I'm a "trainwreck" or "damaged goods."   It's easy for me to go back to those labels time and again.  The real struggle has been going forward without them.

I'll admit that it was a bad idea to have given up on everything all those years ago but I honestly couldn't think of anything else to do.  Everything had failed up to that point.  Because every path had led me to nowhere, I just figured I'd run my course, and it was getting close to Checkout Time.

But that was a long time ago and I'm still here.

One of my biggest fears is the cosmic joke I seem to be confronted with time and time again.  In this case, the joke would take the form of my purpose on this planet being fulfilled just as I begin to discover happiness and POOF I'm gone.  Just like that.

Maybe that's why I'm alone.  This way, I can't drag anybody down with me.  Nobody gets hurt.  It's a clean finish with no survivors left behind to mourn.

Sam Kinison was killed by a drunk driver just a few weeks after getting married.  John Candy died just before he was to begin a radical exercise and diet program.  Life is full of those cosmic jokes and death seems to always be the punchline.

So, I decided to pull out of this tailspin.  I don't know why.  I don't.  I have no idea why I'm doing this.  

I'm sorry I'm bouncing around so much.  I know this is hard to follow.  I've written this a dozen times and in so many ways, but it's all jumbled.  My mind is jumbled.  I'm so sorry.  These past few weeks have been so very hard on me and people have been bugging me about finding hope or whatever.
And anymore that seems to be the only thing that makes me angry.  I don't give two shits about much of anything but if you talk to me about hope, I'm ready to take the gloves off and throw down.

My brain has been a very ugly place.  And instead of dealing with it I've been filling my head with as much distraction as possible.  Cartoons, food, idle chat, games, re-run movies, old crap on television, and numbing substances I really shouldn't be doing.  Anything but dealing with reality.


And I just can't withdrawal far enough away.  I can't.  Everything is too much and I can't get away from any of it.  I just want to unplug for a while and I haven't been able to do that.  I feel like I'm under siege by the world and it just won't leave me alone.  That's why I don't go outside much.  That's why I don't talk to anybody on the phone but for a phone call to my mother every ten days or so just to let her know I'm alive.  Those calls usually last no more than three minutes.

Is it possible to be hurling out of control towards two very different fates simultaneously?  Because that's what this feels like.  Something is going to happen and I'll be standing on the last brick before the abyss on two paths.  I don't have much time left, either.  I'm on the last last chapter of the story or the last chapter in the book.  Or the first chapter in a new series.    

No comments:

Post a Comment