Who knows what machinations are behind the curtain of our reality, I sure the fuck don’t. I wish I did. I wish I understood, but I’m just a semi-intelligent Polak from Wisconsin who has done good things and bad in the eyes of man and man’s Creator. Why the good? I’d like to say because I’m a good person. Why the bad? I’d like to say they were character flaws beyond my control. But I can’t answer those questions with platitudinal answers. I know… I know for a fact, the reason I do both good and bad is because I’m flawed and broken.
You see, I expect bad shit to happen to me. It’s a gift of my upbringing so to speak. Sure I have fond memories of my childhood, I write about them here. But, I also have bad, terrible, horrible memories of my childhood. Memories that when remembered hurt worse than a two day old scab being slowly peeled off my body. I don’t really write about those. Oh, sure I draw upon those ethereal memories for my non-fiction but not here. I don’t bleed here. I don’t do it out of the respect for the living. No one wants to be reminded of past indiscretions… well, except me. When someone comes up to me and says “Skip, you hurt me when you said….” I try to apologize as sincerely as possible. I never try to intentionally hurt someone that is just not in my nature. But perceived wrong doing is impossible to predict and even more impossible to prevent.
But what fucks with my head even more than my own indiscretions is when bad shit happens to good people for no apparent reason. I don’t like it, and I’m sure you, my dear reader, don’t like it either. It sucks total donkey ass, if you ask me.
Ok, so here is the skinny, my wife of twenty-two years had a stroke this past Monday. She is younger than yours truly and if anyone deserves to have a stroke and be bedridden in this relationship it is me. Not her. Hell, we’re talking about a woman who refused as a teenager to even try any illicit drugs. A woman who has gone out of her way to help people she barely even knows. And now, she lies in a bed in a nursing/rehabilitation home waiting for some doctor somewhere to help her out. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is not perfect, none of us are. Everyone has chinks in their armor, some more than others and in any extended relationship anywhere in the world, the ones we love the most get hurt the most often. It happens, its life. This is the way it works.
Let me give you an example… a comic book example. In the Batman universe, Mr. Freeze didn’t want his wife to die… so he ended up being a bad guy… for Love. In Shakespeare’s’ Romeo and Juliet, those two kids just wanted to love each other… Bram Stoker’s Dracula wanted a bride… The Creature from the Black Lagoon wanted a mate. Well, you get the picture. I don’t have to paint it for you with my poor use of the English language. From the dawn of the written language into the celluloid and digital age, more men and women have done all sorts of shit both good and bad in the name of love.
Twenty years ago, I’d have been cursing heaven and hell for what has happened to my wife. But I’m older, wiser and more importantly I have to be an example to my daughter for what may happen in her future. A future when I’m not there. She needs a memory of how I handled all this adversity in my life, my family’s life, so that when she has to go through tough and shitty times she will know how to handle the potholes and speed-bumps this craptastical world seems to enjoy throwing into all of our lives.
Now, I know, mentally that is, other people are going through tough times, worse times, and life ending times. But my heart doesn’t get it. It still hurts. I’ve been a shit-heel for a long time and done some shit that when I look back on it, makes me cringe and wish I had acted differently. But does that change the injustices? Nope. Not a single iota, at least not to mankind.
We all work hard to eek out an existence on this mudball in an attempt to make a better place for our progeny. Some succeed. Others don’t. I’m trying to succeed. I’m trying to learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of the ones who raised me. Life changes a person and children can bring out the best and worst in a man or woman. I’ve seen both. Not a big fan of folks who don’t see it this way.
Which leaves me in a very odd quandary. While I want desperately to rattle the foundations of heaven and piss on the fires of hell… I’m not. I’m trying to take the high road. Trying very hard and all this effort is taking its toll on my walking, talking disposition. Outside, I’m calm and tired. Inside… that’s another story… I am a raging storm the likes this planet has not seen in a long time. I haven’t felt this way in over fifteen years and it hurts to suppress.
Am I going to find a balance? Something I’ve been searching for all my life. A zen of peace that will keep me from losing my mind? I sure hope so.