Thursday, April 26, 2012

What You Are

So I just wrote the last post "Preservation" and then this happened:

Keep your thoughts silent
Repeat what I say
You’re nothing, you’re nobody
This is your mantra, everyday.

Yes, ma’am, I shan’t think
I’ll mirror your thoughts
I’m nothing, I’m no-one
I’ll be you at all costs

Good boy and well done
Remember, spread yourself thin
Give to all, take nothing back
And do it with a grin!

Yes ma’am I’ll listen, I’ll spread myself thin
Give to all without thought, I have not a choice
Expect nothing from anyone
And yes of course, I’ll speak with your voice

Disappoint me you won’t, I’m sure of that
You do and you must know
Love you I won’t
So listen good and put on your show

Yes ma’am, your message is clear
I’ll do what you require
No more and no less
I’ll be exactly what you are:
A cheat, a steal, and a liar.

Preservation

I had a dream last night that I traveled back in time to somewhere in my life, but at current, I can’t pick out where exactly.  I saw faces from my old life, familiar ones, but that’s all they were, blurry, yet familiar faces.  I was talking with someone, explaining, listening, debating – about what, I can’t remember, and with whom I also can’t remember.  I don’t remember my purpose for time traveling either but I remember speaking with a woman and she was saying to me that I already have her heart, just remember, that I already have her heart.   I don’t know what that means right now, and without more of the dream, I’m not sure I can even analyze very well.  I also don’t know if this was a woman from my past or a guide (think Scrooge and A Christmas Carol) but I didn’t get a sense of familiarity – not as I’m trying to remember and writing this anyway.

--------------------------

In the later part of high school and especially in college, I used to slam out what I considered good poetry.  Most was dark and depressing - you know, silent screaming, drowning, and not being able to breathe, being crushed (spirit and soul only), all that good stuff.  Then, it just stopped, as abruptly as it began.

It used to flow freely from my hand: I would get a set of lines and write them down, and that was like the water cresting the levee - it would just flow.  I haven't written a solid piece of poetry, nay, even had a slight idea for one in years.

I suspect that the stories and poems were an outlet for some of repressed ... everything.  My despair came through in my poems, and some hope came through as well, but it was mostly of me stewing in my melancholy, sometimes pleading, but mostly stewing.

I remember the instances where an idea for a poem would punch right in the brain and I would rush to write it down.  Gosh, I didn’t even edit them, they just were, perfect as I could get them, there down on paper.  I didn’t want to edit them either – I hypothesize now it was because I wanted to preserve whatever emotion was present that lead me to write the poem.  I have since not really edited very many of my poems, just changed some words around and not very many at that, and still feel that I must leave as much of it intact as I can, for fear of changing whatever emotion tied to the string of words.

Now though, every once in a while, a scene will emerge in my head, a scene from what could be a story of some kind, and I feel I have to write it down, it may lead to something better!  But it doesn’t, it’s just a single scene, often something like a guy standing somewhere, in a rubble-filled street, or an open field.  And that’s it – he’s got no history, no future, he’s just … there.  On occasion, I’ll get some perhaps more emotionally driven scene: for instance, a sentence popped into my head the other day wherein someone was experiencing his/her spirit be lifted and pulled up and out of the body.  It wasn’t painful, it just happened.  I didn’t know where else to go with that because I knew that couldn’t be all of the story.  Then I got down on myself for not being able to think of some kind message or convey or story to tell and the sentence and image faded.  Which is why I don’t have it now with me to recall clearly.

Well that was useless, I’d said.
Yeah…, I replied, half agreeing, half still wanting to explore these one scene eruptions of thought.

It’s said that we dream many times during the night, but when I wake up, I very rarely remember any of the dreams, and hardly even parts.  I feel that was the case during my entire life.  Whether it was because I just didn’t really care about dreams, or because, well maybe I didn’t have any (can a person just NOT dream?), my dreams are very few.  Perhaps sleep was a time where I could get away from everything and in my head, I could go wherever, and where I wanted to go was…to Nowhere – a place with nothing.  I suppose that’s pretty sad. 

I keep saying it, but I really have to do it: write down my dreams when I get up!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Anthem

May we always dance to our own music and of course, beautiful old songs.



I love you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Perfect Summary

My father's child-rearing philosophy summed up nicely:

Thanks Dad!

Striving for Disappointment

I'm pretty sure I subscribed to the following motto for a great many years of my life:
To strive for perfection is to be constantly disappointed
[Spoken like the true pessimist eh?  Or realist?  Is there a difference?]

And so I didn't strive.

It must have been my motto though: I didn't try at anything, I did them to my most moderate ability.  I think that's why I took so keenly to characters of the superhero nature but mostly the mainstream Marvel and DC characters, Transformers, and of course Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I must have longed for the ability to be great, to have extraordinary gifts of ... whatever.  I longed for the fantastic, an escape from my entirely moderate existence.  I think what I most wanted was flight (isn't that the number one most sought after ability??).  It was there, I felt I could be entirely myself, curling up next to some clouds banking hard right and left with a flock of birds.  That's what I wanted.  The spectacular.  Indeed, I would imagine myself with some version of super ability doing things of the superior nature: feats of strength, agility, the propensity for making things explode, flight, invisibility (this last one wasn’t really a favorite of mine though).

The last 10 years or so was teeming with superhero/power movies, many of them from the Marvel Universe. 

I heard a story on the radio recently of hoards of people camping out to get a chance to view a pre-screening of the newest superhero movie coming out, The Avengers, wherein, nearly all of the characters who've had their origin stories told in the last 10 years come together to battle some kind of massive cosmos-shattering threat.  Part of the reporter's story was asking people why they were there, and what made them come out before dawn to see this pre-screening.  A gentleman answered that he was drawn to these characters because it represented something that he could be.  That's what got me thinking as to why I liked experiencing these characters, they were something I was not, but something I wanted to be.  And then there was the subjugated part of me that was all, "hey, you're moderate."

Things blowing up is pretty neat too, and yes I know it's all CGI.  I like the character driven story as well (Pretty Woman anyone?!?).  Superheroes and their fantastic feats and incredible stories have piqued my interest not only because of the stuff they blow up, but I found they had traits that I wanted: wit, bravery, courage, strength, intelligence, physical prowess, intellectual prowess, and even emotion.

I think that's part of why some of the heroes exist (even the anti-hero), to explore human traits (Wolverine’s sordid past), to exemplify some human traits (Superman/Captain America), and identify the connections and confrontations among them.  And on the not-so-philosophical side, things explode....lots of things explode.  So both of these aspects drew me to super-abilitied characters.  And, as I've mentioned before, that's also why I got into video games - because there was a virtual, separate world where I could do things I couldn’t normally and be someone or something that I wasn't.  Plus, it entertained me, obviously.

Could that be a universal thought?  The want to be something other than what is?

I'm pretty sure that the super(anti)hero movies made did not attempt to explore these types of things in depth - they just wanted to tell an origin story which may include some passing personal exploration, but mainly, it was just a "here's how this thing came to be" with some action sequences thrown in. 

Most have loved and lost: Superman had his family, Spiderman had Mary Jane, Bruce Banner had Betty, Batman also had his family.  The list goes on, but I'm not any sort of knowledgeable on the vastness that is DC and Marvel.

Some part of me feels sort of silly for talking about superheroes like this, but on the other hand, this is part of the way I survived my childhood - I numbed my reality and dove headfirst into Marvel/DC world, gaming, and .  I still enjoy the movies - I mean it is fun to see these characters come to life and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.  I do have to be careful though, not to slip entirely into this fake world – therein will be my demise.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Candid

I had a dream the other night that my mother and her posse came rolling up to a campsite (I think it was a campsite?) I was staying at.  I remember being vehemently angry at their invasion and went so far as start yelling at my mother that she shouldn't be there and how could she do that.  I remember not much else, but the feeling of being invaded - perhaps some sort of subconscious mirror of how I'm really or perhaps ought to be feeling - was pervasive.

I had a thought that I wanted to write something candid to my FOO, not send it of course, but just for myself.  Damn near impossible to be candid with that lot, isn't it.  But it might go something like:

Dear FOO,
Were you surprised?  Surprised that I would end up thinking for myself some day instead of how you wanted me to?  Or how how you taught me to never think?  It's no wonder why I never really felt like I would amount to anything or why I felt that I didn't have a place in this world. 

Not that I would end my life, indeed, you taught me how to not have enough motivation for that, and that you needed me too much.  You needed me to fulfill your obligatory duties of emotional support giver, trample rug, emotional spouse, and all around do-what-you-wanter.  How then is a boy supposed to find his way, find himself, when he's not given the tools to do so? 

No no, don't give me any of that "we did the best we could" nonsense.  You were too busy lying, cheating, and stealing to have a look inward.  I wonder if there is an "inward" to see though.  I wonder, what would you see?  An all-consuming blackness perhaps?  A false sense of self and "I'm a good person".  You give only to expect double in return.  You give with stipulations.  You give with conditions.  Yeah, you do.

Sometimes it's tough trying to figure out what to say since I'm really just figuring myself out now.  I always knew something wasn't right.  I've never really felt close to any of you, and in fact, I barely knew most of you.  Names, phone numbers, emails, faces, addresses.  That's about it.  Backstories, childhood memories, fears, likes, dislikes - where was all that?  Did you even care to find that out about yourselves?  My guess is probably not, so it makes sense why you did not instill that sort of sentiment in me.  Surround yourself with enough people, and that should suffice, is that it?

You faked being a family pretty well to the untrained eye. 
Look, they're all smiling, they must be happy. 
Look they all live under the same roof, they must be happy. 
Look, they have loads of people, probably friends, surrounding them, they must be happy.

I presented to you my needs - why do you just dismiss them?  Perhaps asking a question like this to you is like drawing blood from a stone, but I still needed to ask.  Did you care at all?  I believe these questions originate from the Little Boy Me that you have so quickly and silently crushed since pre-birth I would guess.  Yes, pre-birth.  I'm sure you didn't want me, especially given the circumstances of my conception.  So why then, would you put any effort in raising me?  You wouldn't, that's the answer.

Years of lies, deception, subjugation, role-reversals, I give-you take.  I suppose it all would come back around eventually...or didn't you expect that.  It gives me great pleasure and great pain to say goodbye. 

No, I'm not doing this to hurt you, nor because I'm spiteful, and don't you dare blame this on my wife.  Well you already have, I suppose.  You know, in the beginning of all this, I actually had some hope for you, Mother and Father.  A child-like naivete, that my parents can't possibly treat their son this way.  How could they?  Why would they?  I pulled away for my own safety and your fangs really came out then, attempting to sink your teeth into everything that I created or wanted to create.

I will not forgive and forget.  I will not rely on faith forced on me.  I will not live like nothing happened.  I will not live in your shadow, in your shoes, nor in your likeness, though unfortunately I have inherited some of the latter already.  I will not be part of a family system that strives for that perfect appearance without considering what's underneath.

You have lost a son, a nephew, a cousin, a friend, an ally, a sibling, a decent man, but my guess is, you're too consumed with slander and yourselves to consider that.

I deserve better.  I've always deserved better.  It just took me two decades to figure that out.
What now?  Don't know but I've got a life to live, separate from yours.  Better than yours.

With sincerity,
A Man You Thought You Knew