How Many Ways Can A Life Be Ruined?

Via on Jul 8, 2011

Someone can hurt your heart. That means the things she loved have become the diaspora of your life. Everything that was your fault has now become your failure . You thought once you could save the planet and she didn’t believe you. Now you can’t save yourself. Everything that you wanted now was just a lie, a joke.  What a fool. A clown at the circus where all the little kids laugh.  A mime grasping at the air for the window he can’t open. The glass around your heart has cracked, spreading its tentacles in an attempt to completely shatter everything. You wake up in the morning, and all I want to do is go back to sleep forever. But I have to pee.

Someone can betray you. Slander you. Stab you in the back. “Stabbing in the back” is the most often-used metaphor in the English language. It’s the first phrase we use to comfort ourselves. We hug that phrase. I was “stabbed in the back”**. I didn’t even see it coming. Faceless friends nod their heads. Been there. You can’t ever pull that knife fully out again. I wish I could pull it out and I would use it to stab in the center of the face. I would cut out the mouth. Not stab in the back. But that metal always stays inside.  Why would they stab you like that? You ask the question every day. Nobody answers. You wake up every morning feeling the sliver. Throughout the day, one wrong twist of the back and you feel the knife again. It always hurts.

A parent can disappoint you. They were supposed to take care of us. When you get lost in the tangles you’re always supposed to follow those tangles back to the roots and get comfort from the Earth, from the sun, from the arms hugging you. It’s scary when you lose the parent. No roots to return to. “You can’t go home again”, the title of a horrible book from the 40s but he could’ve stopped the book at the title.  I only remember my dad in the moments when I’m losing the most. He always said, “things get better.” How stupid he was. He was never right. But who can say it now that I can trust as much as I trusted him?

An argument. You know you’re right. Why don’t they see it? You present the logic. It’s reality. Its full-proof. But they still disagree. “No,” they say. And you present the logic a different way. “No,” they said. And you try again and again. I just want to break through to some cells inside of you that believe me. I can talk to them, they can negotiate my case through the rest of your body. “No,” they say. How can they not see? You wake up thinking, “how didn’t they see?”  and you feel dead inside at the thought. This is IMPORTANT. You have to get them to see. You see them again, “how come you can’t see?” “No,” their smile says, their bodies say, the way they look away says, the way they walk away says. “No.”

You’re ignored. You have to talk RIGHT NOW to that one person who out of six billion people is the one you need to talk to RIGHT NOW. There’s no other choice. She knows the secret code words that unlock everything. She can say the words. But she keeps hanging up. Then the phone keeps ringing with no pickup. Then it goes straight to voicemail. You slam the phone down, you throw a book, you stalk where they live, you pace up and down the sidewalks when the light is not on in their apartment and nobody answers the bell. Something’s gone horribly horribly wrong. And you just have to tell them.  Feelings have become pregnant and the belly is fully swollen and you have no say at all in the abortion of your own child.

You lose everything. You lose a job. You lose an opportunity. You lose a business. You’re let go. They were barely holding onto you anyway. You didn’t know their grasp was so weak. The ship was taking off, their hands were out, holding onto you. You were holding on as tightly as you could.. The ship is going into outerspace, on great adventures, a star trek, to explore, to dream, to kiss the beautiful aliens with the special music whenever they enter the room. But the ship’s masters forgot you were holding on or they didn’t care, or they didn’t really like you or budgets were cut or you got on the wrong rocketship in the first place, the one going to Beta Centauri when you really meant to go to Alpha Centauri, you were wearing the red shirt, and they let go of your hands right before breaking free of the atmosphere. What agony when you finally realize how long it will take to fall back to Earth.

Your baby grows up. You once chased her naked little body around the house. “I’m going to get that baby!” Her squeals of laughter fill the house as she runs everywhere. She thinks she can’t get caught. She thinks she’s invincible. But you have so much power, so much love, so much speed, so much of her genes, that you know you’ll catch her at will. But she runs, naked and against all hope, and laughs laughs laughs the laugh she inherited straight from you. Then she’s older, sullen, you’re afraid to talk. Maybe the only reason you existed was to create her. Anw now that use is over. She still thinks she’s invincible. What happened to that little girl?

And… I have to then ask… what the hell happened to you?

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** – from Wikipedia: “The official birth of the term “stab-in-the back” itself possibly can be dated to mid-1919, when Ludendorff was having lunch with British general Sir Neil Malcolm. Malcolm asked Ludendorff why it was that he thought Germany lost the war. Ludendorff replied with his list of excuses: the home front failed us, etc. Then Sir Neil Malcolm said that “it sounds like you were stabbed in the back, then?” The phrase was to Ludendorff’s liking, and he let it be known among the general staff that this was the ‘official’ version, then disseminated throughout German society. This was picked up by right-wing political factions and used as a form of attack against the SPD-led early Weimar government, which had come to power in the German Revolution of November 1918.”

** – The women of Star Trek. Was Star Trek sexist?

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7 Responses to “How Many Ways Can A Life Be Ruined?”

  1. Martha says:

    I love everything you write.

  2. Claudia Azula Altucher Claudia says:

    Very well written and it makes me sad :(… touched something there…

  3. Kristina says:

    Thank you James,. I love when you contribute to EJ, your posts are always so heartfelt and honest.

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