Monday, March 28, 2011


There is always another way to describe a process.  Your own description  of things observed, their how and why,their primal twitches and reflexes, help you ease your way into the deeper history of how you came to see them in the first place.

Often you were introduced to a process as a part of what is considered basic information.  Things and persons were provided as recruits in an army might be provided a uniform.  One field jacket.  One shirt. One pair pants.  Etc.  Thus you were exposed to and allowed yourself to grow into a place of mild acceptance, but a growing irritation smoldering under the surface.  There were times when you thought it no doubt had to do with girls, as in your own hormonal nudges that caused you to look then be attracted, then act.  But even then, naive as you were, this did not seem right, nor did the added smolder of irritation as it grew into anger, until you more or less came awake to the fact that girls and hormones were one thing, your anger another; they were not to be conflated.  They did not have to be conflated; your parental role models, not always easy for you to read, were not distractions that caused you to conflate your anger with the anger you were beginning to see among others, where men believed it was anyone's fault where the anger came from in the first place, then took it out on the closest target, which often happened to be a woman.

You were through all of that pretty fast, but you were still angry at something, it mounting until it became anger at nearly everything.  Later in the game, you began to recognize you were angry at the information you were presented as absolute, indisputable fact, angrier still at yourself for having bought into it for so long.  An occasional flare-up still comes your way; you wonder, will you ever get free of it?  It is probable you won't, but as Huck said, that ain't no matter, at least not so long as you keep trying to stop taking every explanation of process as some incontrovertible gospel, without so much as a flicker of challenge from you.  Is it, you wonder, possible to work your way into being a cynic?  At least a questioner, right?

Becoming the kind of writer of your upward spiral of dreams presents to you, you recognize there is a kind of monasticism about it that has nothing to do with hormones or girls or close relationships so much as it does being with yourself on a long project and running through the gamut of intimacy with it while attempting to maintain a relationship of intimacy with yourself.

Because you live in a city that by relative size is small, you see in your daily rounds individuals who have become familiar to you and you to them.  I know who you are, a complete stranger tells you at about noon today, as you sit in one of your favored coffee locales, sipping latte while trying to work out a pesky paragraph relative to your revision project.  You are tempted to tell this individual that you congratulate him for knowing you because you do not always know who you are.  But at the last minute, you forebear, thinking your response, intended as an irony, may slip over the boundary from irony into that suspect country called sarcasm.  Then what?  You'd have bewildered someone who was trying to be nice, show appreciation, that's what.

It helps that you know where a major source of your angry sentiments had their origins, not by any means from your family of origin but rather your education of origin and your responses to it, and how it distracted and diverted you.  What you have now is scarcely of the intensity of your previous anger, more an impatience with the relatively large amounts of things to be learned and the smaller amounts of time in which to learn them.

At least you will not have the institutional targets at which to direct your impatience and cynical eye; you will have your lurching, grasping self.

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