Tuesday, June 13, 2006

150 proof pity*

I turned 40 not so very long ago. I don't look it, well, most of the time anyway. If you catch me in the wrong mood and in a certain light I'm sure that my years show. Something around the eyes, a weariness, a brittleness that tells. Or maybe I'm reading too much into photos in which I know for damn sure I felt my age and more when they were taken.

I'll never be a front man, I don't have the knack. The "Lookit me, lookit me!" gene never expressed. But there is a desire. A desire to scream at the world in a voice that can't be ignored. To make others feel how I do, even if it's only a pale copy. I wish this were an act of joy on my part. But it's not. Joy is fleeting round these parts and it startles easily. Look at it too long and it's gone with nary a hoof print left behind. Pain, doubt, anger those are the things I know best.

Why do I want to share that? I have no desire to make anyone feel bad. So why? Is it because shared joy is increased and shared pain is lessened? That's part of it, I think. But even more it's because I don't know what it's like to feel normal. Or at least I don't think I do.

Deep down I hope that someone would hear something that I've written and say "You poor dear." I hope that they will be appalled and sympathetic in equal measure, not because I crave pity. No, I crave the certainly that how I feel is not normal. Because if this is as good as it gets, I'm not sure I could bear it.

Hope. Such a small word. So over-used and under-defined as to be a mere wisp of fogged breath on a cold and blustery winters day. But there it is, hope. Lying in wait in the overgrown corn maze of my mind. The sudden surprise of a horizon glimpsed after hours lost in green and narrow passages. Hope. At once both as unfamiliar as a rusting tool from the age of horses and as deeply rooted as the seventh generation working the land.

Playing in the band sucks, it takes a lot of time and is a constant reminder of my lack of drive. What have I done to be successful? Little and less. But it's also a real world manifestation of the hope that I refuse to consciously acknowledge: that how I am now is not permanent and that someday I'll be....I'll be.....Better? Happy? Peaceful? Normal? Damned if I know what exactly, but something other than how I am now.

*Cause this is a distillation of how I feel. Take my normal angst, boil it for a few days, feed it through the condenser of a very late night and voila! Angst deluxe, suitable only for aesthetic or perhaps stripping paint.

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