We have entered another year, but we’re still dealing with the same shit. As COVID rates are climbing up, resignation takes hold. COVID is seen more as an inevitability than something we can avoid. News coverage from last year’s insurrection increased around the anniversary. And quite frankly, I am tired of this shit. Though I am not ready to give up. Not ready to raise a white flag. Because I didn’t survive through this muck to lie down.
I don’t have any resolutions, but I haven’t made one in a while. But I do hope that this is the year we all become lightning. That we remember that we have more in common than we do differences. That in spite of what we’re told, we’re in this together.
It’s an ugly road toward enlightenment, but let us travel it together.
New Year’s Day is just around the corner, and the resolutions of others are bubbling on Facebook and other social networks. So much positivity and promise longed for by each of these people who I acknowledge are my friends and loved ones.
I played through the scenarios, and contemplated the chapters. Not a single one do I fit in. These promises exclude me, and it’s something that I’ve been realizing a long time coming. I’ve attempted to hold on to a modicum of we shared and turned up empty-handed.
And just as I lose hope, I see her. Someone who I thought I’d gotten over, but I see her and I hear voice and I know that there is home between them. Maybe I’m being an emotional vampire, seeking for someone to love me. Someone who can love this monster and someone who can make me feel human. If only through conversation. When I see her smile and when I listen to her singing, it’s a peace that I thought would never be recovered.
Of all the conversations we shared, they’re all my favorite. Even when we disagree, I enjoy just speaking to her. So why is it that I cannot express myself? If I can share my deepest secret with her, why can’t I just tell her how I feel?
Another year come and gone. This year, I got a job at the local library – actually, that was last year, but considering I got the job in December, couldn’t we just peg it as this year’s achievements? Even so, this year is my first year at the library. And while I have some qualms about the way they run the joint (namely the 1984-esque vibe in our department), I’m still grateful I have a job. This year I saw the birth of my son, Shaun Damien. A new experience that will never become old, I am told. Fatherhood. It’s a scary thought. Me. A father. A role model. Dare I say – responsible. A friend told me it’s something that has to happen in a man’s life. I beg to differ, as so many guys I’ve met should never have become fathers. But me? It’s out of my character, yet something I always longed for.
This year, I saw the collapse of my old job. It depresses me that a mayor would get on his knees to please the local UT system, even more so when his council follows suit. I often wonder how much money now lines their pockets in making deals with the devil. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t be so against this if it had an impact on the students (it doesn’t, it never will, despite what lies they spin).
I made a few new companions at work. In and out of our department. And I’m remembering old acquaintances. I started writing again this year. I started editing old pieces. I’m becoming more myself again.
There are a few things I managed to fuck up this year, one that I cannot dive into. Not here. Even though I treat this as my personal journal left opened upon the coffee table, there are some things I’m not allowed to share with the general masses.
I have no expectations for 2013, other than celebrating Shaun’s 1st birthday. And no matter where this road leads me, it will never stray me from him.
The fireworks explode in the sky, sending their flares to smolder out another year. People drink their drinks and embrace their wicked passions should old acquaintance be forgot. On TV, the ratings skyrocketed as the militia moved into the country. People forget who they are sometimes.
The hopeless have their gods and fictions to order their lives. “Here’s to the new year,” they raise their glasses and drink in the spirit of the age. “Let it be better than the last.” Yet, every year they curl up in fetal position and bitch about how the year was horrible. “But this coming year looks promising.”
In the country of misleading constitutional propaganda, apes were ushered into the capital to make the rules for the less fortunate. Streets were condemned as undriveable. Our schools were shut down. The money stopped funneling. “We thought we were fixing the world, but instead we’ve enslaved ourselves to mix media stupidity.”
“Nothing’s gonna change the world,” the old beggar states on his soapbox. “Not a seventy-seven-year-old with backward views. Not a half-African-American with hope in his pockets.” The sniper cross hairs line him up. He’s taken down. No one watched. No one saw. He was forgotten.
We drink wine. We drink the blood of christ. We nurture ourselves into thinking we’re something important. Something significant. We play our games, created our mythologies and condemn those who do not follow or believe in what we do. We are too stupid to realize we are enslaved to our own stupidity.
“Come to bed,” Angel says. “What’s the point of wondering?”
Somewhere, in the depths, a plane crashed into the ocean, killing the savior and the antichrist in one blink. As the plane plummeted, the messiah turned to the demon and said, “You’re the only one I could love in this dying world.”
Sometimes life is full of disappointment. Other times, it’s just banal.
I’m sure we’ve all been there at least once in our lives. Your sitting with your family and the sudden realization that you’re actually related to these people seeps in. You hope that you are adopted because it’s the only logical explanation why you’re so odd compared to the rest of them – or rather, you’re not odd enough. I’ll admit, there are times that I hoped I was adopted. But the evidence of my biological attachment to these people was damning. I looked like my older brother when he was a kid; I resembled my mother; I have my father’s chubby cheeks, inability to grow actual facial hair and his temper. The creator or mother nature has one hell of a sense of humor when it comes to choosing who shares our DNA.
And for those who know me, I’m not big on family. But once upon a time, I was. Not that I’m saying all I ever wanted to do was spend time with my family – no, nothing like that. It was just at one point I looked forward to the holidays, Thanksgiving especially.
Thanksgiving meant cooking at grandmothers, starting at the crack of dawn. My uncle Danny and his family coming down from Midland to spend it with us. And me actually tolerating my family – for a day’s worth of feeling related to these strangers. That was tradition, anyway, up until 1997 when my grandmother passed away in October. That shattered my idea of what the holiday should be.
Uncle Danny stopped by a two more times after her death before announcing he wasn’t going to spend Thanksgiving with us anymore. What followed was what I called the dark years. I spent Thanksgiving with an ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t an ex at the time, obviously) but I was the stranger again. There was no attachment. My mother, who worked for an elderly lady at the time, spent Thanksgiving working on other people’s dinner. And I would spend it listening to radio and drinking cough and cold medicine for a cheap buzz.
Frustrated with the fact that I felt even more distant from the people I should have some biochemical bond with, I announced one day, a few years ago, that we were a goddamn family and should start acting like one. We had our first Thanksgiving with a motley crew of individuals including my immediate family, Joey, Jyg, Izzy and (possibly) Ruben. This idea bled into having X-mas together as a family, with yet another meal.
Now there are three brothers and each needed to do something. It was agreed upon that Martin, the oldest, would have Thanksgiving, I, the youngest, would have X-mas and Jay, the middle child, would have New Year‘s. That way we all had to deal with each other three times a year and enjoy it. Then the rat incident happen and our oven died. So Jay consumed X-mas as well, though I would provide the main course.
This year, Martin’s wife announced she wouldn’t be doing Thanksgiving this year. The reason was a long term struggle that I had known about and kept to myself, for the most part. The marriage was crumbling and she saw no reason for it anymore. Fine, I can take the helm of Thanksgiving and Jay can have the other two holidays, main course included.
So where we are again. At the beginning of it all. Thanksgiving crumbled and I fear X-mas will follow suit (New Year’s is safe as my family tends to be filled with raging alcoholics – with the exception of me and my mother). What was my foundation of normalcy is now the tombstone upon its grave.
I might not be a family guy, but I know the value that should be placed in one. Sadly, I might be the only one who sees this now. In this family, anyway.