The Problem With Being Human
Hey. I've been thinkin'. Workin'. Movin'. Shakin'. Doin' many things 'cept writin'. Okay - enough with the backwoods 1840's prospector-speak.
These past few weeks and months have been interesting ones. I've been islanding myself a little more than usual. And as the late-day darkness of latter day Autumn has started to move in, I've found myself looking inward for answers. I guess I've been going through a bit of a ditch - my engine is working and I'm moving onward, but I'm not really asking the questions. Getting dumped is never easy - and that's something I experienced recently. I felt like I had met someone who I could see getting serious with, and it seemed like that sentiment was mutual on both sides. She met my wild variety of friends and my immediate family, and just when it seemed like we were headed somewhere, the carpet of emotive-comfort was ripped out from under me and I found myself ass-over-tea-kettle after a phone call from hell.
I believe I have a pretty strong propensity to love others. I'd even go so far as to say that my ability to love is greater than most. And I'm talking about the all-accepting, prodigal son, weepy love. This type of love has almost nothing to do with romance. It's purely based in a surfery 'c'mon man! I don't care if you killed people! Bring it in for a hug! We all need hugs!' type of love. I know that's a bold claim, but I know it's true. I have a pretty innate sense of acceptance and open arms with my friends and family, and it has been a saving-grace quality in my life - and it's something I do to never earn favour. And in today's society, that is so quick to label genuine, selfless acts of kindness as 'creepy', my love-powers can sometimes make people uncomfortable.
I've never been one to paint myself with the genius brush (although it seems like something most geniuses do - because if they are, in fact, geniuses, wouldn't the self-proclamation be almost redundant and often accidental? in a sort of 'oh sorry - didn't you KNOW that I'm a genius?' type-way?) My book smarts have always been just alright - passable. Par. I believe that my ability to get good marks was there, but my lack of genius with books always lay in my ability to apply myself. For better or for worse, in my teens, I realized that whether you receive either all A+'s or all C-'s all your life, once you're an adult, it doesn't make one fucking iota of difference towards your identity or even your economic stability.
But where I do believe I may be somewhat close to the genius spectrum is in my street smarts - and more precisely in my ability to read people. People-study is something I've always been fascinated with, and something I'm fairly confident with. It's an inborn skillset, and something I just know how to do. You may not know it, but I study you. I listen. I adapt. I watch. I've studied people for almost 40 years. As someone who craves being liked, and is heavily addicted to that mainline drug, I can whiff when someone does or doesn't like me within seconds of an introduction. Their body language. Eye movements. And I know what to say, and when to say it. When to bullshit and when to tell the truth.
But it is exactly because of this strange, alien-like gift that I can sometimes use my people-reading power for evil purposes - and a handful of times in my life, when I've been really mad at or wronged by someone, instead of beaming out that patient, all-powerful, otherworldly love, I move into a dark mode. A mode of absolution, payback and revenge. And this isn't your average run of the mill 'FUCK YOU JERK!' and run away crying type of mode. No, no. Make no mistake. I know exactly what to say, and when to say it, and how to say it - and how to stick a red hot poker of demonic, deathful harm into the core of a soul of a friend or a loved one, and utterly break them. And for a moment, in the tiniest corner of my being, I feel a small sense of joy from getting them back in a way that they will NEVER forget. In fact, this very act happened recently, with someone I care for deeply, and the thought of the words and the way in which I chose to hurt this person makes my skin crawl. It's actually making my face hot, in this very moment.
But even a day or two after that dark cloud of my actions has passed, for all of the momentary relief and sinister joy that I feel from wilting the roots of my wrongdoer - have I ever continued to feel good for doing what I did and saying what I've said? Absolutely not. Never. FUCK no. It's never worth it. Never ever. The damage. The regret. The uphill work I need to go through to even get back to level ground with the receiver of my silver-tongued devilish words is always mountainous and treacherous. And never easy to navigate.
I hope that none of you ever see this side of me. It's only a side that has reared its warted, monstrous head with a few people, but when it has happened, it has often shipwrecked any hopeful vessel of connection. And I'm sure that as some of you who may have a similar dark side can attest, these person-pulping words are never said to someone on the periphery. Nope. They are always said to someone who is very important to us. Someone who we need. And to be honest, as I usher out the end of my 30's, I don't know why that side of me is there. I don't come from a bad home. I have glorious friends and an incredible family of delightful people in my corner. Why do we do the horrible, awful things we do? And make no mistake - I'm aware that this side of me is a problem. I'm not excusing any of it. But Sam Jackson's hitman character in Pulp Fiction states, 'I'm tryin' - I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd'.
I'd say that's me, in a nutshell. Trying. I don't claim to have any answers or to be perfect, but perhaps as I move forward in my writing, I can venture to be a little more honest.
I'm sorry. I really am. Help me continue to try.