Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Despair, that constant but not always visible, companion has driven me back to this keyboard. Back again to stay at least for a little while. In the hopeful, but ultimately fruitless attempt to alleviate that despair by putting it on 'paper.'  If  I had my way this wouldn't be true, but I am tethered to my despair like an inmate of old was tethered to his ball and chain. This despair feels as heavy as that ball and chain, and sadly just as difficult to shed.  Moonlight filters through the window as I lie (or is it lay) here stretching out into this despair that feels like a blanket. It provides some modicum of warmth, but it also, after a while, becomes oppressive.

It wasn't supposed to be like this you know. I had, in my foolishness, thought I had sloughed off this despair like a snake shedding its skin. I had put this despair in my rear view mirror as I motored my way down another one of life's lost highways.  A firm, well-reasoned, sober (for a change) decision had been made by the one person in my life that counts (i.e. me), and that decision was to leave 'despair town' for good. Little did I know that just wasn't going to happen. It seems that despair town isn't one set location, a place that you could place on a map with a big red "X" and a sign on the outskirts of the town warning people to 'be ware' and 'avoid at all costs.'

No it would appear, much to my chagrin, that much like Eeyore's dark cloud, despair town follows me around. Despair town is whatever place I am flopping at any given time. Be it my present location, Paris, France, or Brazil. It moves with me like a second skin that I struggle to breathe through.  Perhaps if I just were to sneak out the back door, I could give despair the slip. Even if just for a little while. It would be a pleasant time I am convinced to be despair-less for a while. A bit like breaking out of jail, you know you're going to get caught and shoved back into that cage the world has built for you, but for now you are going to revel in the precious few moments of freedom you have left before they close the lid back down on your coffin.

And you want that freedom to last as long as possible, so you try to elongate the time in which you are free. As if you can make three hours of freedom equal six hours of despair. Making time longer is quite a trick, and one that I've been unable to pull off with any degree of success.  I've often wondered if you can, even if for a mere few seconds make time slow down (if not stop). Despair can almost accomplish that masterful feat. Wait until something truly awful happens to you, and then you will realize that time has, if not stopped, it has at least slowed down, as you live a lifetime of despair in less than 60 seconds.

Of course all this isn't some sort of 'cry for help.' Truth be told I would not accept any help even if it was offered, which I doubt it will be. No, the exit to despair town, if such a wonderful thing does exist has to be discovered on your own. If you have help finding the exit of despair town, you might soon realize the fatal mistake you've made. If you need help getting out, then I suspect it will be all the more easier to find your way back in once that help is withdrawn. And, make no mistake, that help, no matter how well intentioned, will eventually be withdrawn. That is why you have to, no matter how difficult it may be, refuse any proffered help. It is just a temporary escape, and a bit like fool's gold. Sure it is shiny, and feels real, but at the end of the day (and there will be an end of the day make no mistake) it is a broken reed. A trick to get you to think that maybe everything isn't so bad after all.

And maybe everything isn't so bad after all, but you have to be the one to design, implement, and live with the system that gets you out of despair town. It is your town, and you're the mayor, and only you can un-elect yourself. No one else in any town, place, or time can do this for you. And your mayor-ship is the sweet revenge of life getting back at you for all the bad things you've done to both others and yourself. You know what they are even if you don't want to admit them, and you don't have to have them emblazoned upon some type of school jacket that you have to wear around the town square of despair town to show off to the other residents. No those sins, are your sins to own, and to attempt, in some small way, to fix, to make good upon so that maybe you can take the bridge out of despair town.  And it is incumbent upon you to find that bridge, once in despair town you can't just sit there like a princess in a stone tower waiting for your knight errant to come and take you away from all of this. In fact, you have to wander despair town's streets, avenues, and alleys searching for that bridge out of this shit hole. As you wander those dark (they are always dark, and it is usually raining as well) streets searching those high walls, you have to begin to wonder why wouldn't they put a gate in these walls? Well despair town didn't and whether you care for their city planning or not, you are stuck here until you find the bridge out of town.

 If you manage to find that bridge you should arm yourself with a nice container of gas, a book (just to be on the safe side, how many arson attempts have failed for want of a good match) of matches, and a handy rag. For as you walk that bridge out of despair town, you should leave behind you a trail of gasoline, which, upon reaching the far shore, you light with your match and rag combination. Watching it burn, from a safe distance of course, is perhaps the happiest you will ever be. Enjoy while it lasts because it is just possible the next town down the road could be, even though it is hard to believe, worse than despair town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

surely getting some suggestions on how to get out of Dodge wouldn't hurt though?