To be honest, I wouldn’t put it past my phone to give me such a message when Siri finds herself in a sassy mood. I’m more than somewhat glad that she doesn’t.
Saturday night, I walked out of work in a terrible mood, though all things considered, I can’t say that’s such a surprise. For the past five months, I’ve been going in everyday with the hope that at some point, I’d be told that I’m going to be able to stick around for a good long while.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like that’s not going to happen and not because I did something wrong or that I’m not good at what it is I do in exchange for a paycheck. As best I can tell, it’s just the price of business. A choice made by the people at the top, who don’t seem much concerned or aware of what happens to everyone else on the other side of the door to their corner offices.
Earlier that same day, someone I knew once and cared about very much was not all that far away, spending the day in pursuit of Pokemon along the coastline.
We haven’t said a word to one another in six months. Prior to that, we hadn’t seen each other in close to five years and if my suspicions are correct, then this is how things will remain going forward.
I wish I knew why. The fact that I don’t have an answer on either front is something that’s been gnawing at me for a while now, to the point that when I got to the subway that night, those feelings that I do my best to not think about whenever possible, all day, every day, had sank their teeth in.
And standing on the underground platform in the stifling, late-night heat, I suddenly found myself needing to step back from it as far as I could…because I had been given a command by my own subconscious to jump.
Now obviously I didn’t or else I’d be having to explain just how I’m sitting here writing this out now with more than just my digits intact. But that doesn’t alleviate the reality that there is a very real hole in the middle of my being. I thought coming back home would give me the means to finally fill it – fresh start with new opportunities and different people.
Close to a year later, it’s impossible not to recognize that I somehow went from an already bad situation to a worse one and all because I wanted to be happy and finally feel better about who I am.
It’s a terrible thing to live with, trying to be happy and knowing that it’s always beyond your reach. To most people, happiness involves some degree of wealth, power, influence, and having someone to love who loves you back. In our modern context, a man who wants even a small degree of those things is considered an enemy, a part of what’s wrong with the world at large.
While I’m not naive to say that if someone dumped a ton of money in my lap that I wouldn’t want it, I also grew up around people who weren’t wealthy. They did enough to provide for their families and enjoy a comfortable life once their work was done everyday.
As a kid, that didn’t seem like an impossibility. If anything, I figured all I had to do was what my grandparents did and be as good a person as they taught me how to be. Shows you what childish aspirations are worth when you get older, I guess.
The most bitter pill to swallow along the way has been understanding that the reason why my life is what it is is because there’s something wrong with me. What that is depends entirely on who you ask, but I imagine the list is long and distinguished at this point. Half the time, it’s a case of me simply wanting anything in the first place. After all, good men aren’t supposed to want anything. They just somehow get it all because they’re good men.
All I ever wanted to be is a good man, but I’m not. After 40 years, there’s no way I can’t ignore that anymore. If I were, then my life would be a whole hell of a lot different than it is now.
But it’s what it is and it feels like every day is just another reminder of that.