At the window an old man sits alone
Lately I’ve been looking at truths. Turning them over in my hands, breaking them apart by throwing them against the wall and listening when they speak. I’ve fed them into the broken machine and heard whirring whine of the gears as they’re either taken in or spewed out in red-hot sparks and shards of another stripped gear.
And I have come to some sort of conclusion and compromise with myself, the world and that Old Man in the sky. It’s a sort of comfort I suppose. A way to ease my hurt and cool my hate. I can breathe a little better and I have stopped feeling the heavy iron press on my chest. The death dance I was doing so desperately is slowing and the taste of gun oil in my mouth as I chewed the barrel of suicide is softened.
The world for you, for your lives is just that. Yours. And that’s okay man. It’s alright, copacetic and cool. You all can breathe in this atmosphere, you can work in the existence of living organic things. But I have begun to accept that I am the animal/machine. No not begun, because mister it’s been a long walk to get here. I have come to accept is more like it. I am not like most of you. In fact there a re few like me. Nah man this ain’t a case of fatal uniqueness. It’s truth. I’ve been born too aware, lived too hard and seen too much to call myself among the living. I am not special or some mysterious stranger. The enigma that is only solved in the final scene. In fact if you were to call what I am seeing myself as, as special I’d call you a bonehead. Then inform you that this is not a badge or some banner. It’s a bitch, a real ugly thing and I’d not wish it on anyone.
Me I’m just me. I am that which I am. And what that means is that I have no more desire to search out closeness. I meet people and sure do like some of ’em. I am fond of others and fascinated by even more. But I have resolved I just don’t need or fit into a close relationship with anyone. I am no good at driving the train of friendship and connection. And maybe the world is better off for me knowing this. I fuck up an awful lot. I try real hard to be like you, like them. But I say the wrong thing or look the wrong way or my scars and bones just are too ugly. Then it’s all just bad feelings and disappointment all around. I find myself full of self-loathing and a feeling of rejection and failure. See because I do want to know you, I want to connect. But I just can’t. Not anymore. There was a time I could. But that was another lifetime. That was when the animal/machine was a posture and not a real thing.
Now there leaves me another truth. I am not going to ever love another human being again. Platonic, intimately or even in some strange charitable faith like way. Except of course my daughter and I’ll explain that later. Aside from the occasional pang of lust and attraction to a physical thing. I have come to understand that I cannot ever attempt a relationship of any romantic kind again. I cannot foist unto some poor unsuspecting woman the years of hurt, mistrust and wounds. And I can’t see myself separating myself from all that I have been and all I have seen and moving into to some happy picture of a silhouette on a beach at dusk. So it’s just fair that I call it done. I don’t think I want to share me anymore either, not like that. I cannot escape this underlying sense that it will all just explode again and I’ll be lost all over once more. Even a slow-witted fighter learns after enough beatings that the ring ain’t no place to be if you don’t know how to fight.
Now don’t read this as feeling sorry for myself. I am not, I am relieved actually. And to be honest if you think I am feeling sorry for myself you are probably not understanding or I ain’t telling it right. Like I said, these are my truths. I am just writing them down.
Faith is another thing that has shaken down for me. God is there, I believe this. Jesus was all the things they say. But I sort of veer off from that point. My beliefs here are my business really, I owe no explanation or apology. And I really don’t need a lecture in scripture, dogma and rhetoric. But here’s my deal with God. I made it on Christmas night as I watched my little girl sleeping. I knelt on the floor beside the bed and cried and then prayed “God you got your ways, I got mine and somehow I don’t see them meeting at any time soon. So let’s make a deal okay. I’ll walk your line, I won’t hurt no one, won’t take no one and I won’t do anything that might turn someone’s toe. I’ll work a shitty job, live in a little apartment and ask nothing more from this life than what I can get myself. You just do me one little bit, you promise me, you make it so that my baby is never too far away. Don’t you take her from me. Don’t let her hurt or be hurt. Don’t make her lose her place in my life and I’ll carry off her part on my shoulders. I won’t do anything to make my life go away if you just make it so I can always be there for her. Amen.” And with that I think maybe I’m done with prayer for the most part. See that big Old Man up there, I think he shook on it with me. So we are square.
And so I guess what this all means is I will end up being that grumpy old man sitting on his porch with a grumpy old dog. Watching you go by and not taking too much count for you. It’s your world now, I had my cut and I liked it. But I’ve grown old and need nothing more. Just to have my daughter grow up well and strong and wise. Maybe she’ll come by once in a while with some pinhead boyfriend who couldn’t find his ass with a map and a compass. And she’ll fuss over me and be the only open window I keep. I’ll be proud and love her completely. She’ll still call me Daddy and tell me I should get out more and meet more people. I’ll agree because it makes her happy. And then she’ll go and I’ll hang between then and the next time she comes around, pinhead in tow and maybe a book she read she wants to share. To me that’ll be just fine. It’s enough now.
Your world is just that. And I’ll leave you to it. I just don’t fit and I can’t. No more than a 5’2″ 87 year old Asian woman can play in the NBA or a 320 lbs middle-aged man can be a prima ballerina. This isn’t being cruel or subjective man. It’s just truth. I can’t be one of you because I am not built that way. Occasional loneliness aside…It’s just truth.