Saturday, November 24, 2012

Living in the Fire

I'm still fragile.  I was out last night with The Man from San Antone, and he would say I'm about as fragile as a samurai sword, but if you ask me, I'm still fragile.  In many ways, it was like breaking up with him all over again because the same issue is wedged between us.

In an individual, microcosmic sort of way, The Man from San Antone provides insight into what happens when a person abandons his authentic self to become who his family wants him to be.  On a macro level, it was more like seeing what happens when a person enters the land of wealth and power with good intentions, only to become as fucked up as everybody else in that world while he's trying to do a little good for a handful of people.  All that moral ambiguity and compromise has a way of confusing an issue - so that killing little Pakistani kids with drones is justified simply because you happen to be representing a client whose parents were in seats 5A and 5B on one of the planes that flew into the World Trade Center.

But that's what happens when somebody is convinced you have to work within the system.  Although The Man is not nearly as obnoxious as Chris Matthews, he clearly shared Matthews' opinion that anyone who voted for a third party candidate is an idiot.  We're living under this system ergo it is impractical to play by any other rules.  I refused to discuss my choice to vote Green with him for a while, but when he told me that he was going to the inauguration, I couldn't help saying something about shooting the drones his own self.

The Man from San Antone really does want to make the world a better place - it's just that he is so surrounded by cheaters and liars that he has to become one to function at work. I suppose he's a liar in his personal life too since he was up here with a woman and told her he had to go to a meeting when he ditched her to see me. While I can see how it would be unnecessarily complicated to explain to a new female that he wanted to meet his college girl friend for drinks, I still hate it when a man tells a woman that I'm a client meeting.  Those shit heads on Ashley Madison did that all the time - but at least The Man didn't tell me to shush while he called her from the bar and pretended to be delayed.  I'm pretty sure those married men from Ashley Madison got a hard on simply from calling their wives while they were out with another woman.  I'm not sure The Man can get a hard on from anything except money and power.

In any case, I did the right thing when I walked away from all that years ago because I could see then and I could see now that there was no room for a preschool teacher in all that foolishness.  He'll be up here a lot for the next year or two because he's representing some people in New Jersey whose homes were destroyed in the hurricane - which for some reason has to be called a super storm so that they don't have to pay an exorbitant deductible.  They're all being royally screwed by a crooked insurance company based in Texas.  It really is a good thing that the people he's representing have an advocate like The Man who has a lot of experience dealing with crooked corporations and who really does want to make sure they are treated fairly.

It's just that The Man thinks money leads to healing when it's really just compensation.  Granted, a person has more time to heal when s/he's not worried about finances, but it's not Justice anymore than killing Osama bin Laden was Justice.  It was vengeance (assuming he hadn't been dead for years and the US perpetrated another big, fat propaganda farce staring Special Ops - which some people believe is what really happened since no soldiers witnessed the burial at sea, but I digress).

Lots of people think vengeance and justice are the same thing.  I'm not so sure there is such a thing as justice in this life, except for poetic justice sometimes.  But I know there is such a thing as Love, and there's no room for Love in the world The Man from San Antone has chosen for his own.  It's really hard to love someone who is so tightly closed and defended that he can't even imagine love is real.  Money, power and influence is real, and that's what leads to compensation that masquerades as justice.  The Man occasionally takes on a police brutality case in San Antonio, and he really does secure compensation for the victim or the family.  I suppose the money makes it better on some level, and certainly it makes The Man feel like a hero and a savior to that family.  But to me, he's taking on those cases in much the same way as he said Hail Marys back in the day when his father took a priest along on vacations so that the priest could absolve The Man and his brothers from all the guilt they incurred with the local ladies before the plane took off.  Kind of like in MacBeth - if you kill a sinner when he's praying, he won't go to hell.

I didn't tell The Man that last night, though. I did tell him that I had noticed he only had time for me if I was in a jam, and after months and months of unacknowledged texts or calls when everything was fine, I realized he cared more about being somebody's Savior than he did about being a friend. Who knows if I'll ever see him again.

From the experience last night, I was able to see how Notta Goodman reminded me of The Man in some key ways.  First, because both are tightly closed and defended against any emotional involvement and second, they both use people for a particular purpose and then put them back in their pigeon hole until they want a small dose of that person that again.  I'm pretty sure the whole detached intellectualizing thing was so familiar to me when I met Notta Goodman that I felt immediately comfortable - and at the time it had been so long since I'd talked to The Man that I was seeing the relationship through a rosy haze of nostalgia.

I imagine lots of lawyers are detached and intellectualize their feelings until they have no feelings at all. I did it for years and years myself because of my own fears and issues with intimacy.  For all his mishigas, however, Buzz Kill wasn't exactly like that.  He had his own issues with intimacy, too, but from the first time I met Buzz Kill it was clear he wanted nothing from me but love and acceptance.  I had already told The Man I wasn't going to marry him after all by the time I met Buzz Kill, but when I finally encountered somebody who was open to Love, I left The Man and married Buzz Kill.  Actually, I left The Man, my home and all my friends and family to move to New York and build a life with Buzz Kill.  It was a bold move at the time, but it was the right one.

I suspect there's another man out there who is open to Love - not in a Hallmark Card, adolescent romance sort of way, but more like feeling the life force of the whole universe so that his authentic self expands in a loving, creative way to everyone and everything around him.  I don't know if that's really true or not, but last night I decided to write an say "hello."  He lives in the woods a few hours from here.  I've been dodging Big, Bad Wolves like Little Red Riding Hood for so long that I would be glad to finally find a kindly woodsman.

Naturally, that reminds me of a song.  We sing this song with the kids at school, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a good way to live:




Do you know who I am
Do I know who you are
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are
Oh, oh so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life

Water make the river, river wash the mountain
Fire make the sunlight, turn the world around

Heart is of the river, body is the mountain
Spirit is the sunlight, turn the world around

We are of the spirit, truly of the spirit
Only can the spirit turn the world around



7 comments:

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

An excellent review of the personal aspects in a bought and sold world, Tricia. You come through it with Hope still... and that's a triumph. Good for you, sweetie.

Cali said...

I had a recent revelation: my mother is a narcissist. It happened, strangely enough, while watching Dr. Phil counsel another woman with a mother much like mine. I don't remember if the checklist had six or eight items on it, but my mother had all but one-ane-a-half of the warning signs. I can't tell you how much better it made me feel to know I'm not suffering this fate. Why I chose to waste the last 25 years of my life waiting for Peter Pan to grow the fuck up makes perfect sense-- I just chose what was familiar. I now realize that he's never going to grow up, nor will I ever be able to "top" my mother in any way-- no matter what I may yet accomplish or what may befall me

Cali said...

btw, the above realization was freeing! I am no longer taking responsibility for her weirdness.

Also, the fourth sentence is supposed to have the word ALONE at the end. What can I say? Truth is, I haven't slept and I'm EXHAUSTED. I'm going for a nap. Goodnight!

PENolan said...

Oy - a bought and sold world, for sure, GHB. The good news is that all sorts of loose ends have been tied up just in time to move into my new place. And remember, it was Hope's apartment for 90 years. Pretty cool.

Cali - Let's hoist a glass to your liberation. Enjoy your nap!

Life As I Know It Now said...

yes indeed, there are men out there who are open to love and deep emotional involvement. keep searching...:)

corticoWhat said...

I(and I think most men) am an expert at compartmentalizing my life. It is a defense mechanism I know, but it allows us to cope. Unfortunately it isn't a very efficient method of sharing in an honest loving relationship. We compartmentalize THAT too. Some us can't open all the doors at once. I, for one, have doors that I threw away the key to. :)

Susan Partlan said...

I miss living near people who say mishigas :).


I've never really understood why people think of compensation as justice.

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