A much younger me watched and enjoyed television, particularly as much British humour (lol) as I could stay up late to watch. I don’t recall how many shows featured the angry wife demanding of her guilty-looking, penitent-but-innocent husband, “and where the hell have you been?” He stammers and explains and by the end of the episode, all is resolved as the truth is revealed as truth, supported by smirking witnesses.
Anyway, I haven’t been anywhere. I wish I could tell you everything was explained and resolved. I’m still in the same exact exactness, wrestling with everything, daydreaming of being set free just enough to help other people with their wrestling matches, just a little bit to encourage them to keep fighting. Nope.
I suck as a father, revealed in my kids’ disrespect. I suck as a husband, revealed in my wife’s ongoing wavering between passive-aggressiveness, controlling, disrespect, seething anger, and disappointment, and my continual trying to succeed, effort that ends up confirming I suck even when I manage to break even or one thing actually goes right. And they all take such great delight in telling me that I’m wrong and they’re right, even when I accidentally somehow stumble into higher moral ground.
I suck as an employee, as the annual performance review was yesterday. But not enough to fire me, just enough to keep me where they want me to do better, while the clients absolutely love the way I take care of them when I’m given enough time to do it, or when I steal time from breaks and lunches and after or before work to do it. The review said I meet the company’s expectations, and one area they actually admitted I exceeded them, this year. The management has obviously mistaken my complete brokenness for a gentler, meeker and cooperative spirit.
The truth is, I should be the happiest man who ever lived. I actually want what I have. The trouble is, I want what I have to treat me differently than it ever has, better than it ever has, and that is psychotic because I can’t change anything on my own. I can only keep struggling and hope the struggle resolves in a good way. Would a financial windfall help me, or would I end up more miserable?
A decent job with decent pay, might result in me being able to pay bills on time, fix the fucking car money-pits that keep breaking in various ways and degrees, all with the goal of draining any extra money we might have to fix my teeth and buy some new glasses. It might get me farther away from minimum wage so that whenever the idiots raise it to what I currently earn, I’m not shoved back down to the lowest possible working poverty wage. With my luck, the percentages would result, once everything in the economy adjusts to the new, higher lowest low, in me being at the same damned place I was before I got the new job.
A windfall, on the other hand, might result in me writing more, finishing my books not having to worry whether they’ll sell or not, helping out friends and family, and quitting my job and not bothering to tell them why I hate the cheap-ass, tightwad, corporate bullshit they spew and insist the lowly peons thank them because it’s champagne.
On the other hand, it might result in me losing friends who were in fact acquaintances, who think somehow I owe them something in exchange for the value of their friendship, but who never really gave a shit about me before the increased cash flow. It might result in estrangement from my otherwise perfect and loving children, who naturally would only want affordable, rational, realistic and reasonable things, considering “our” newfound economic strata, when I tell them “no,” and the reasons why I won’t pay for whatever self-destructive shit they want to buy. I swear, if I bought an auto shop and hired good mechanics who knew what the hell they were doing and did a fair and reasonable business, our cars alone would bankrupt the place, or turn it into a lovely tax dodge, if I made them fix them on our profits.
I think, given my current situation, I’d still prefer a windfall, just to see how it would go.
Where the hell have I been? In the same boat, basically expectantly hoping that a certain Someone would wake up and realize I’m drowning here, in between the brief respites of merely treading water and waiting for the sharks to eat my lower extremities. In other words, the same fun as always. Sorry I’ve been away so long. I can’t claim complete innocence and just complicated circumstances that made me look like I was in the wrong. And I can’t fix anything yet, but I’m working on it.
The other part of my apology is this: Words can sometimes be encouraging and I’m sorry I’ve been so very stingy, for a long time. You’re all still very much appreciated, and I hope I can get to a place where I spread encouragement like my company’s corporate bulls spread what they spread.
Which reminds me of a really stupid joke:
Q.: Why do cows walk on hooves?
A.: Because they lack toes (lactose, y’all.)