Meanwhile, another there-but-for-the-grace-of-god moments happened a couple days ago. Obviously I’m not as bad as that guy. And hopefully I’m just paranoid in my concern over others seeing parallels. But anytime shit like this happens I feel the need to be overly gregarious and affable, lest someone calls the police.
There have been two sources who suggest I should revisit ideas from the past. Of course, I am absolutely reading more into everything, just like I always do. I shouldn’t completely foreclose the idea—she knows more of the flaws than I could explain to any stranger. And ultimately, I think that is what I’m looking for. Acceptance. That’s been more difficult to find than I thought it would be. Maybe there is some benefit in going more metacognitive. This entire week has been has been nothing but poor decisions, consciously made. I knew better, every step of the way. And I still kept doing that which I knew I should not do. I’d put up a fight for a little while, but I failed each and every time. It didn’t even seem like a surprise when it happened, either.
It’s too soon to say with confidence that that whole thing is done. But, I’ve gotten pretty good at picking up on whatever it is on the tail end. I have not been wrong so far, except maybe in the initial optimism. After that, though, I’ve been right every time, right on time.
If nothing else, that asshole in Pennsylvania has shown me something of my own understanding of the situation. There really is no confusion any more. I don’t throw my hands to the sky and plaintively ask, why not me? It’s because I don’t try. And when I do, I don’t present anything more engaging than a maudlin, arrogant, stifled, strident, austere megalomaniac. And I know I’m doing it. I literally know as it’s happening that I am destroying whatever could be. I see the ending before it even begins. The problem bigger than whatever need I feel in doing that is the inability to stop it as it’s happening. It’s not like some kind of freight train coming my way; I’m the one doing it. Maybe I was wrong earlier. Shit, I can’t even remember anymore. There is some inconsistency. Who knows?
I’d question the speed with which I chose to think the worst, but there is no mystery left in that. I’m as incurable as any pessimist, and the effects thereof have been so ingrained I don’t even notice when the knee jerks anymore.
There is a tornado element to it: hopeless pessimism comes at the cost of hopeless optimism. The sun ends up rising and setting a thousand times every day. Whichever wins is only a matter of what time it is when I decide to give up for the day. It’s almost unnerving how impressionable I still am.
There is no thorn in the paw, no simple and single thing to be pulled out, cut away, smoothed over. There is no solution to be sought, discovered. I don’t even know where to begin. There is this inescapable need—almost a mission—to build myself up, then destroy myself to less than I was before. I don’t even know what I need. I don’t even know what I want. There are the things I’ve led myself to believe, but I trust my voice less than those of all others. I don’t trust anyone. Not because I think they’re lying; because I think they don’t know. I don’t believe anyone knows anything.
The skepticism is helpful, I think, at times. There is rational safety in not falling for whatever it is that we want to be true. But maybe—just maybe—there is a time and place for such things as faith. In a sidebar, there is a split second that I feel like the most lethal thing in the world, but I choose not to advertise it. Anyway, there may be a venue for faith. I am anathema to even write such a thing. I am fully incapable of comprehending it. I don’t even know where to start. It seems to me that the cost of seeing when your eyes are closed is an abandonment of some kind of self. And that I am simply not willing to do. It may not be a concern in the present discussion, but it is still difficult to contemplate. I’ve never put much value on filling the empirical void with whatever it is we wish to be true.
So, then, perhaps this is the price to be paid. A weltanschauung that really hasn’t served me that well anyway. Even a data-driven analysis leads me to confusion and poor choices. That’s not to suggest that the strategy is fatally flawed. All I know is that it hasn’t exactly worked out for me. Maybe nothing ever will. If nothing else, I can draw comfort from the fact that I don’t think I’ve hurt too many people too much. No, the majority of my damage has been internal, Maybe the worst I have inflicted has been discomfort. Even still, I am sorry. The man unseen, unknown, unlamented…never hurt anyone. If I can’t accomplish what I have spent a lifetime beholding, the very least I can hope is that no one else felt sad. That asshole in Pennsylvania—how the fuck could you blame them? It’s not their fault. It’s ours. It’s our fault. We have enough inherent potential for some kind of thing. And if what we feel is available to us is somehow less than what we would seek, so be it. Either we need to step up and try with everything we’ve got to be more like whatever it is that they want, or we need to accept those who find us unobjectionable, whether we contemplate their divinity or not. Either way, it’s not their fault.
You really fucked us, you know that? Some of us choose to be by ourselves, sometimes. Some of us are so flawed that we would worship the first to take a chance. Some of us are just trying to understand an unpredictable world. You made us all monsters.
So, thanks a lot. Now every quiet guy feels more alone than ever. We’ve gone from overlooked to overscrutinized. When we once worried if we were even seen, we now worry if we’re feared. They are not the enemy. They are the treasure. Thanks for making it harder for the rest of us. Asshole.