Losing…To lost.

“Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough”

– Jean-Paul Sartre –

Sad Sunday night. It’s become a regular thing. I go through it every time I send my little girl back to her mother. I cry  every time, after I give her back I retreat and sit alone and cry. I mutter an apology, to her and afterward to time and fate. I never meant for it to work like this. I never meant to set her up like this. My guilt and my responsibility are tangible there. There in the delivery room in some gushing and frightened exhaling statement of faith and truth I swore to her I’d never do this. I’d never fail her. I’d never let her hurt because of my actions. I would never fall short in the ways that I experienced.

Yet that’s what I did, somehow. I am not sure of who’s to blame. Exactly. But mostly I am sure it was me. I gave her a broken home. I never cheated or strayed. In fact I tried the hardest I ever have to get myself into a place of sincere and ferocious dedication. But things were so decayed and the erosion so complete that the relationship caved-in anyway. My crazy machine spinning it into the sun.

My father’s death, my emptiness of faith, my flawed being, my violent being, never quite at rest. Like  a simmering pot that rattles and steams. And the actions of the universe and the organisms that act in selfish attraction all combined to destroy the home I wanted to have my child grow to and know. If you do not fully understand yet, I can say it without prose and flowery sentiment. I fucked it…Badly.

And now my penance seems to be these tears, this loneliness and this feeling of failure. And in that I feel this great shame too. I know many people who live this way. Who are parents who only visit as parents. And yet I seem to be the only one who hurts like this. Who goes through this. And maybe it’s because I am just too fucking sensitive. Too introspective. Too fucking messy. I just don’t seem to be able to grow the callousness to let it pass. I fucked the one thing I swore I wouldn’t and I can’t forgive myself. And nothing anyone can say will make it better. The stupid feel better speeches and the idiotic one line fix-alls “Turn that frown upside down” , none of it will change my feelings. My failure.

This is just another on the list of things that have shoved my away from the river of life you all seem to move in. I feel drawn back to grow thirsty and dry. My experiences and my battle damage…All of it. It adds up. Like an old soldier sitting in the very back of the barroom staring off into some unseen tragedy, I have hundred year old eyes. And nothing in language or gesture can share with you the experience I have had that has left me this way. Sore and sensitive, cold and misfiring, angry and frightened. No matter how I try I cannot relate to you and yet I still hope and pray that you never feel these things. the flawed existence. The lonesome so deep and permanent you cannot blow it away with a hundred mega-tonne bomb.

I can tell you what it was like to stand over my father’s lifeless body, the livor mortis discoloring his shirtless torso. The smell of foulness and death in the room. The feeling of overwhelming disgust that filled me with shame. But you would never really understand.

I can tell about watching a car pull away from a curb, in the back seat she looked back at me crying. Because she swore she’d never leave, but always knew she’d have to. The heartbreak that drove me to linger on a bridge too long and contemplate the feeling of flying you may get before you hit ground. But you would never really understand. Though you probably have had your heartbroken too. As it goes we all got or breaks and scars.

I can tell you about the nights where I could feel my life slipping away and not giving one good god-damn if it did. The warnings of doctors and family that I would died if I lived this way. But they meant nothing. A slow suicide really knows no shock. But you’d never understand.

I can tell you about jail cells, hospital rooms, institutions, bedrooms that smelled of expensive perfume and false hope, streets where hunger and need are all that you really own, I can tell you about the battles, the fights, the feeling of holding your organs in your body, of the blood collecting in a paling shocked hand. I can tell you about all of it..But you wouldn’t understand.

And here’s why. Because I don’t understand you. Because your lives are all so enigmatic to me. How do you save money? Buy a house? Own a car for longer than it takes to wreck it? How do you love and keep it alive? And failing that how do you heal your broken heart and just move on? How do you buy patio furniture? And how do you talk to a God you are so sure listens? Or how do discount a God you’re sure is folly? How the fuck do you live inside the neatly painted lines and stay sane?

Me I am fucking crazy…I am a broken-hearted father with a strong urge to…Fly away. Bye bye. I feel like only Bukowski, Earle and Burroughs really saw the world I know. And spoke of it in  language I know.

Good Lord this shit is too heavy.

Next time I promise I’ll write about my top ten favorite CDs or the sunsets I’ve seen or about naked women, that might lighten things up…Maybe I’ll put up pictures of kittens. Kittens prancing. Kittens prancing in flowers….Next to naked women. This is the internet after all…It’s all out there.

Be well.


10 responses

  1. Lisa

    you might be surprised how many of us really don’t live in side those neat painted lines. We just are not as good at expressing our inner feelings. Thank you for sharing and remember your little girl will thank you one day for not being like other part time parents.

    June 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    • I know Lisa…My point was more about how I seem to not quite ever get fully in the life I see around me.

      I know you’re secretly a wildchild…Doug just keep you in check.

      June 15, 2010 at 5:56 am

  2. “Even in a crowd, I was all alone.” – Ernest Hemingway

    “Even when I am alone, I am not completely alone.” – Cicero

    Who’s ya money on, cowboy?

    June 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    • Hemingway…Always Hemingway. I have a certain affinity for him.

      June 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

  3. NTM

    really honest post. gritty and honest. i related to much of it.

    i’m not about to give you a “stupid feel better speech” or “idiotic one line fix-all.” nope, that’s all horse shit.

    but i will say one thing sir, if i may. and that is this:

    you haven’t begun to fuck up your daughters life…yet. sure, you might have thrown it for a loop. but she can recover from that.

    what she won’t recover from, and what will really fuck her up is watching you wallow in your own self-pity, guilt & frankly fear for the rest of your life. if you can’t forgive yourself, how is she going to forgive herself when she makes a mistake?

    it’s up to you to show her how to go on with life even after royal fuck-ups. everyone makes mistakes – sometimes big, sometimes small. your daughter is going to make mistakes too. you’ve got to show her how to recover from them and not let those mistakes become a noose around her neck….

    and if you don’t forgive yourself, if you don’t embrace a new era in life…if you don’t make new, healthy relationships….well then you will truly fuck her up.

    oh, and you might want to watch “gone with the wind” if you haven’t in awhile or if you’ve never seen it.

    thanks for your post and for allowing me to comment. 🙂


    June 13, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    • Thank you man.

      You gave me a bit to think about. Even if it did make me sort of huff…”He’s wrong…I’m not wallowing”

      But you may be right. Though I will say it’s not an easy release. Maybe it has to do with the timing and all that. Plus some of the actions in the failure.

      But for my little girl I try real hard to be better then I am.

      June 15, 2010 at 5:55 am

  4. Jeff, it seems NTM took the words out of my mouth. I’m there with you, brother. No one liners from me, tho I can’t seem to find the words that need to be spoken.
    Everything you wrote about your daughter, is 100% akin to myself, and my son.
    I wish you luck with yourself and your daughter. She needs you more than you know. Don’t fuck up on that one.

    June 13, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    • Thanks brother…I’ll sort it out at some point and to be honest Sundays after giving her back is probably my most emotional and toughest time. Maybe writing at those times makes it worse in some ways.

      But I have to always be honest I guess.

      You get it, you’re there at the same time.

      June 15, 2010 at 5:58 am

  5. Julie Jane

    I can tell you about a man. A complete wreck since childhood.
    I can tell you about a man whose devastated mind -but so clever- cannot ever get rid of those jail cells, hospital rooms, violent home, chaos and addiction. A heroin hero, a king of a fancy kingdom, just right in his head, and yet just a man.
    I can tell you, or try, with such a feeble english -I’m french- of a man who is a father. Who lost his own father, a brute of sorts, a few months after his daughter’s birth.
    I can tell you, Jeff, of this airborne man that don’t catch the world around, even not himself, and who is my daughter’s father. And clutches desperately at her. At me sometimes. Or anyone else.
    Who’s “got the spirit but not the feeling” (you know this of course). Who’s made me a complete wreck as well. I had to go, heartbroken. For him, our daughter. My love. Huge and helpless.
    Cos I’m the same, and even so more lonely. Living everyday motherhood like magic when we escape in a fancy word me and her, fancy but so true, and like a burden when I face this “social” motherhood, like “social” everything, all that crap most people put between others and their inner questions, because “the other” is but the unfathomable question, to live a normal-looking life, yet so fake, cars and mortgages, to escape from inner fears.
    But -harking back to this man- his own loneliness was unable to capture mine.
    I don’t blame him. Either he needed a more secure wife or he did not see me as I am he’ll never be able to tell.
    I can tell you about this photo with Ian Curtis and baby. Their looks in opposite directions. Ian seems to ask “What does the photographer (wife?) want from me? What do they all want?” He died crooked like a question mark.
    On this photo I see Ian, I see my man, I see you, Jeff, I see me.
    Torn apart all.
    And you’re right, I don’t understand.
    Why being lonely should mean being on your own.
    Fetch this at the end of “Wings of desire” by Wim Wenders, (with Nick Cave as well, but I guess you know this) when Marion says “With you I can be lonely at last” (loose translation).
    Last thing : I have three musical mirrors. Nick Cave (long story), Ian Curtis (recent shock) and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), try this one (avoid recent albums) he is the bright side of fatherhood (song “Charmed life”), though dark at times (really try to find the song Edward the confessor). Tortured man who managed. I’m anyway a hopefull person.
    Je te porte dans mes pensées, Jeff. Kiss your daughter for me.

    June 19, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    • So much to consider. Your comment is…Almost worthy of a blog entry itself.

      I will say now three things.

      First; Thank you for writing in such an honest way.

      Second, Nick Cave is sometimes the only thing that makes sense. This morning I was listening to No More Shall We Part and the song Hallelujah sort of felt warm and comforting. To be that haunted and curious.

      Third, I clutch at my daughter too, I am a little ashamed to admit it. But it’s true. Because when it all finally comes down and there is nothing else left. She will be there. The one goodness I made. The one thing that knows no wrong. The only thing that will prove my life was real. And maybe I clutch too because when she wraps her little arms around my neck and rests her head on my shoulder, for just that moment I am perfect too.

      Thank you again

      June 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

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