Thursday, September 29, 2005
September flew in, heralded my twenty-ninth birthday, kicked my ass around a few times, spit on my face, force fed me black licorice, poked fun at my weight, and stole my girl. And then, in the final week of this wrenched month, it picked me up, apologized handed me fifty dollars, and offered to have my car washed. I speak in metaphors of course, but I found that an overriding sense of betrayal seemed to be in the air.
I felt betrayed, my health betrayed me, I betrayed my friend, my friend betrayed me, I betrayed myself. The government betrayed the people, the weather betrayed Mississippi, the Levies betrayed Nola. Tom betrayed Jerry, Fred betrayed Barney, Hurley Betrayed Locke, Napoleon betrayed Josephine. The whole betrayal thing felt like it was pummeling me like a leather clad dominatrix, and all I could do is sit there with a ball in my mouth and a thong made of rubber with a studded choker, and take it. Am I inherently deceitful? I seem to gloss over things when I’m around people, especially when all is wrong. Are people around me all as callous and self serving as I was? Will they ultimately abandon me for their own comfort? It gave me some serious pause. What kind of world do I inhabit that when faced with adversity I can become so self-centered. Wallowing in indulgent self-pity, and leading those around me into worry and hurt?
Despite my bouts with self-loathing this month, and through the high drama of betrayals, I have come to realize that now more than ever I believe in the inherent good and beauty of my friends and family. The people who surround me are a gift, each individual has seen the good in my heart and has chosen to stick it out. I can be a pain, yes. And so can they, but ultimately I do not keep bad company. At its worst, I keep good company with unfortunate issues. Even then, I find it difficult to stare someone and say goodbye, and punish them for things that I’m sure I would be guilty of too, if I was as totally fucked as they seem to be . My eyes forbid me to zone in on the weaknesses and baser instincts of friends, much like my friends choose to ignore mine when my shortcomings crawl out of my gut. Wallowing in anger and sadness is no way to live in this world. And if a friend fails me, I need only think of myself and how shallow I can be when I hurt inside. Ultimately a betrayal in the end is an admittance of weakness. I could not do what was right, because I am in pain. An excuse to be sure, but that sort of failure evokes pity in me, not anger. In the end, I appreciate and invoke the greatest gift of western civilization. The thing that brings the holiest and more beautiful aspects of us all to light, and allows us the next day to be a better person. Forgiveness. I thank you all for yours, and promise to act in kind.