24 August, 2008

Humpty Dumpty

Andrea used to get so mad at me because she couldn’t understand my mood swings. She never understood how I could talk so animatedly about something, act like I was so excited about it, and then turn around and be completely down-trodden, ill content, and dispirited.
She didn’t see how hard I was trying to control my attitude, the only thing I felt like I had in my control.
One of my favorite quotes by my buddy Abe is that he noticed that "people were about as happy as they made up their minds to be." I tried to take that to heart. I figured that if I set my mind to it, I could walk through Sheol with a smile on my face.
But try as I might, sooner or later the Universe always slammed home to me just how badly my life sucked. I drew no solace from the Book of Job. That just pissed me off more.
Sometimes I think I must be at least slightly schizophrenic (and at other times I am certain we are not) because it seems I have a constant argument running in my head. A constant affirmation, "You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you." A constant admonition: "Don’t be such a pussy. Quit being such a fuck-up."
Is it because I never had a mom and I felt I was never good enough for my dad? I don’t know. I always figured I would be past all that by now. I don’t know why sometimes late at night I find myself wallowing in self recrimination instead of resting peacefully knowing that tomorrow I will live another day of my life.
Is Paris Hilton a bigger waste of space specifically because she had the resources to do so much more and yet she squanders them? I think so. And, thinking so, I allow myself to twist the knife a little harder in my own gut.
I know now the army was never a good choice for me. Even though I was good at it, it was the damaged part of me that responded to it. I could take all the abuse they could dish out, and still I could show compassion to my men. I think I was simultaneously trying to prove to my dad I was tough enough and show him the type of father he should have been. I was a better father to my troops than I ever have been to my own kids. Daniel Day Lewis is good, but he still couldn’t capture all the anguish.
I abandoned my kids.
I abandoned my troops.
I walked away from everything that mattered.
I felt like nothing mattered.
Everything mattered too much, and I couldn’t handle it all. 
I cracked under all the external pressure when I no longer had the strength to match it from within. I collapsed under the differential.
The rest of this life I’ll be picking up the pieces.
I fear they will never fit.

When illusion spin her net
I’m never where I want to beAnd liberty she pirouetteWhen I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettesWho close their eyes, but still can seeNo one taught them etiquetteI will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement,
I'll tell them what the smile on my face ment

Solsbury Hill, Peter Gabriel

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