Friday, February 14, 2014

Resolution (of a kind)

Welcome to the new year, in fact welcome to the second month of the new year. A month who's name I simply can not spell correctly. If I were to be on a million dollar game show, and the question between me and the million dollars was spell this month correctly, I would just walk off the set. It is a mental block, and one that I am not ashamed to admit. We all know that new year's is supposed to be a time for new beginnings. I am going to lose weight, I am going to get a job I love (it's called work for a reason), I am going to find Jesus, and all those other lies we tell ourselves as the calendar turns from one year to the next. Since I am the most well-adjusted motherfucker I know, and since the idea of improving myself seems well neigh impossible, I never make New Year's resolutions, after all how can I improve upon perfection?

Of course, that is bollocks. I am fat, lazy, stupid, drink too much, have not one ounce of pity in my entire body, and have about 500 other flaws that could be listed if I felt like making myself cry. Which, at least at the moment, I don't. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, there is a lot of room for improvement in the creature known as me.  Of course picking some random date like the first of the year to begin those long over due improvements is just as random as picking Bastille Day, at least Bastille Day has some real meaning to me. However, this year I decided, against my better judgment, to go ahead and make exactly ONE resolution. Truth be told, I had actually planned to make the resolution about a month before the new year, but decided to give myself one more month of this particular vice.

And it is a vice, this thing that I have resolved to give up, a vice that I share with quite a large number of people, but also one that is still uniquely my own. It is a personal vice, a vice that each person who has it makes their own. The quirks of our individual personalities make this vice unique to the person that has it, and a lot of people have it. A lot of people I know have it, and myself and those people have spent large quantities of our time pursuing this vice together. Talking about the vice, pondering why we have the vice, accepting that we are always going to have the vice, and planning our next opportunity to indulge in the vice.  It is just that all encompassing.  A vice so prevalent that the absence of it is an occasion that is to be remarked upon. 

It is a vice that has been celebrated since the beginning of time, I know I am old enough to remember the beginning of time. A fellow sufferer (who shall remain unnamed) said about this vice that it was the reason that poetry was created. Not a bad assessment, and he was in a position to know, being afflicted with the soul of a poet, and the looks of a butcher. Millions of trees have lost their lives to make the paper upon which reams of nonsense have been written, celebrating this vice. It is just one of those vices that people can not seem to do without. And it is this vice, this activity that encompassed a great deal of my misspent youth, and wasted middle age, that I have resolved to give up. 

It was not an easy decision to make, and I struggled with the making, but it is time to give up this vice. To leave it to the fellow sufferers to pursue. I wish them luck, they will need it. The timing of my giving up this vice just happened to coincide with the beginning of a new year, I could have, and should have, given this vice up back on some random day in October. However, I didn't and here I am today proclaiming, a month too late, my new years resolution to give up this vice. Lucky for me, I possess so many other vices that I do not run the risk of suddenly becoming a 'good' or 'normal' person. And I am quite sure that some long neglected vice, a vice that has been on the 'B' team of my vices, is more than willing to step into the breach that the vice I gave up previously occupied.

Giving up this vice, back when I made the decision to actually do it, did have a more positive approach. I had resolved that the time that I spent pursuing this vice, an inordinate amount I admit, would be spent pursuing something that would actually improve me as a person. It wasn't going to be anything earth shattering like become a nice person, or acting like I love my mother, but I had planned to at least try some small improvement upon the disaster that is me. However, one thing seems to have thrown a spanner in the works, and for once it isn't exactly my fault. The time spent on the vice I am giving up, was to be my own. My own to use how I saw fit, and I had hopes that it would be time well spent. But, as with most of the things in my life, I realized that the idea of having that time to burn (so to speak) was an illusion. Life, that thing that happens while we are busy making other plans, stepped in, and reclaimed my 'vice time' for its own.

The thing that is or will soon take over 'vice time' is an obligation that I swore an oath (a long time ago) to do, and in spite of my best efforts, which admittedly are piss poor as usual, it will soon take away the time I had allotted to improve upon myself.  In many ways, important way, this makes me rather militant. Wisdom comes late if at all, and the idea of giving up this vice to become the  more of the man I (and I am the important bit) want to be was something that I looked forward to. And I don't get to look forward to a whole lot of things. The fact that it has been 'stolen' from me without so much as a 'by your leave' leaves a quite bitter taste in my mouth. There is exactly fuck all I can do about it, and as to the bitter taste, well it is Valentine's Day, and there is candy to be had. Happy VD, a mob like you deserves it. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Iron Bars and Stone Walls

"So, you are the one they will never let out?" those words were the first (unwise) ones that the 'new guy' directed and me on his first day. New guys, they just never understand at first, which I suppose is the point of them being new.  I sighed and replied " and where in the world did you get such a depressing idea?"  He smiled and said 'everyone here says the same thing. They said look at that old bastard, he is the one they will never let out of here, try not to do as he does.'  Needless to say this did not enliven my spirits a great deal. 'Well iron bars and stone walls do not a prison make, and if you think this place is a prison, well it will become one pretty quickly.'  Truth be told there were no iron bars, or stone walls, and people have 'gotten out of here alive', it was just that I wasn't ever going to, and I had accepted that as my lot in life.

Actually, the real truth, is that I could get out if I had done one of three things. Walked out without so much as a 'by your leave', asked out with my hat in my hands (which I was never going to do), and well the final exit which awaits us all, and that I was not quite ready for yet.  Walking out without a fall back didn't seem to be a good plan, considering that I like to eat and sleep in a warm place. Asking to leave, well that was part of the reason I was were I was to begin with. 'They', in this case the bastards that had put and kept me here, knew that I would never ask to leave. My inability to play well with others made it impossible for me to go begging for a new 'prison'. The third option wasn't really an option, so I was as stuck as stuck could be.

"Look junior" I laughed 'this place is a bit like purgatory, for those of your kind that believe in that sort of shit.' Your lot in life is to undergo some sort of "purification" in order to ascend to the heavens above, where all the angels sing, and the streets are paved with gold.' For me it is more like your idea of 'limbo' the edge of hell, to which I am exiled to until the end of time, or I die, whichever comes first.'  His eyes widened a bit at my blasphemy, and I begin to realize that the new guy was as green as grass. Why do 'they' continue to send me raw material like him I'll never understand. I am not the great guru of this place, I have no more knowledge than several other of my fellow travelers, but the newbies come to 'learn at the knee" of the lifer, as I am referred to in this shithole.

"The ironic part is after you 'learn at the knee' with me, you then have to go bend the knee there." Something that is also not in my skill set." Nodding in agreement he replied "so I have heard, at least the bending the knee bit." Ever thought it might not be a bad skill to learn?"
"Of course, I've thought about it, but I'll give you one more lesson from the creation myth that your lot belief in, though it isn't from the 'good book' it is from Milton. In Paradise Lost Milton quotes Satan after he has been expelled from Heaven for his sin of pride, something him and I share, Satan looks around Hell, nods once, and says "So be it." That has always been one of my guiding principles once I sorted out that they would never let me out of here." I suggest you do as I say not as I do."