The house mess, and anyone in the way of my cleaning it, or adding to it, can kiss my ass. And so can anyone who questions my methods but doesn’t lift a finger to DO it differently. I’ve cleaned surfaces and gone back to find them re-cluttered. Why? Because it’s like this verse in the Bible, exactly like this:
Matthew 12: 43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Fans of Dexter will recall Brother Sam (Mos Def, FFS!!), quizzed by Dexter about Sam’s inner demons (Season 6, Episode 2) :
Dexter: So that darkness inside, it’s gone?
Brother Sam: No. It’s still there, but I’m fighting its ass every day.
I’m not free. I’m a slave to the battle. I ride its’ whims and notions instead of my own, and that’s a poem/song I’m going to write. Coming soon to a blog near you. The shit is, even the Bible acknowledges that LIFE is a battle and NO ONE is free from it. The shittier is, somehow, in the midst of the battle and thereafter, we’re supposed to figure out how it works, and we look for the substitutes instead of finding real freedom. The substitutes only leave us more enslaved than we were before (see Matthew text above.).
I’m doing battle with the clutter, with the general mess, with work, with time, with the family, with the wife, with the dog, with training the kids (and the dog), with money, and with love.
That was last weekend.
THIS weekend I wanted to die, but I couldn’t do anything about it. No, this weekend I want to die but can’t do anything about it.
THIS weekend I was a personal failure everywhere I looked, and Mrs. M is still pushing those buttons. My daughter cried about us not having enough money to buy her a new car now that she got her driver’s license and a job that starts soon. We have to make travel arrangements so she can have a car, because my boss is “letting” me have a normal shift again, starting in two weeks, but I have to go in to the office again, just because she wants to be in control and even though my work from home has been fine she wants that power. Ass hole. Anyway, my daughter cried about the car so I’m a failure to her.
And Mrs M and I fought because the damned plumbing still leaks. It wasn’t her fault, it was mine. I was angry because I felt like a failure so I raised my voice with her. But what does she expect, for fucks sake? Dammit, Mrs M! I’m a village idiot, not a plumber! (Reminded myself of Doctor McCoy from Star Trek for a second. Bless you, DeForest Kelley.)
When I let Mrs M know she pushed the button Saturday night and again Sunday morning she half-apologized. So there’s that. I fail all the time for Mrs M. Last night’s adventure in plumbing was trying to get the hose for the shower to not leak, and I tried various things, including washers provided by the manufacturer (fail), washers I bought (fail), plumber’s tape (fail). This morning I didn’t grind the coffee last night (fail), or have the energy to take the dog for a walk (fail). All I did was walk him yesterday, run about town with him to his obedience class (teaching us why we’ve failed to understand our dog’s behavior and communication), cut down the tree that’s trying to wreck our house’s foundation in the back, sprayed for the ant problem, and earlier this week reinforced our daughter’s driving skills and try to encourage her (she passed the exam!), helped with cooking and made afternoon snacks on request for son and daughter, and almost kept up with dishes and laundry and sweeping and vacuuming and straightening what I could. But I didn’t make progress about what really needs to be done, because I ran out of energy and time.
We went to church Sunday, although I really didn’t want to hear a sermon. What I wanted to hear was the church history lesson before the sermon. But the sermon was about how I fail to understand the nature of God. Wait, no. Semi-mercifully to me, he didn’t say “you,” he said “we.” The church history lesson was interesting. The sermon tried hard to be hopeful and empowering. But I went home after the sermon and don’t feel the power.
I really should, my daughter is desperate for me to show my faith. I’ve taken leaps of faith before and everything turned out basically OK. It’s just that the last one had the WORST landing ever. I’ve been waiting for a blessing, I’ve been waiting on the promises to be fulfilled, waiting for it to get better and it’s just not.
My back was sore Saturday and I can’t afford to go to a chiropractor; at least that’s ok on any given morning until I start moving. I reflect back to the $700 of bloody stupid blood testing I couldn’t afford that my crap insurance company left me stuck with and my doctor unsympathetically half-laughed about when I went in for my physical, because he doesn’t give a shit that I’m poor. Neither does the insurance company that stuck me with the fucking bill, as if I haven’t paid more in health insurance payments to amortize my own costs for both medical AND dental. Nor the company I slave for that pays me the same shitty wages they pay people new off the fucking street after about 10 years. Ass holes.
They ALL pretend to be sympathetic and caring when you come to them in need. Yes, ALL of the above. But don’t go to them twice, or you get a letter or some patronizing bullshit or worse, you get told to help yourself. Or you get a bill for their services.
And the dog pretends to love me, but wants to bite everyone in the neighborhood AND their dogs and stick me with the insurance bills and court costs and medical bills. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to control him most of the time, but he’s bitten two people, one of them was in our extended family, for fucks sake. Ass hole. Loveable, yes. Loveable ass hole.
I still don’t want this life. I want a better one. But from what I’ve read, I’m not alone.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
“to die is gain.” If my labor were fruitful I might have some kind of hope, like Paul. There were also Moses, Job, Elijah, and Jonah. It’s by a process of twisted logic, but I find these examples encouraging because I see that even if you’re spiritually huge and important like Elijah and Moses, you still can have doubts. And, maybe it’s reasonable to think that if the people around them called them crazy, maybe they believed it, or at least, felt those waves of depression just like I do.
I can’t kill myself. I want the kids to think there’s hope. Maybe there is, for them. I’m not feeling it. But I do want to see how it works out. It doesn’t matter whether people measure up to my hopes for them. It matters whether God proves as infinite and loving as He says he is. It’s unfortunate I don’t get eternal proof until eternity, and a whole bunch of absolute shit can happen to me, just as it happened to prophets and apostles and martyrs before me. I just have to figure out what faith and trust looks like for me, and then live like that. But I’ll tell you, like those great men of the faith (and I’ll bet women too) doubted, questioned, worried, and lamented, so also with me. I’m doing all of that.