Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bits and pieces

Sometimes my life doesn't seem all that well integrated. It seems to be packed into compartments that overlap and intersect but are all the same separate. People rarely understand that and equally I don't understand how they are. That they feel monolothic and singular seems odd to me. I know I contain multitudes, and it seems odd that they want to be small. Because I don't. Even though I live a small life, and will not make much in the way of waves in this world, I feel that I am bigger than it. In some ways, of course, I am. I will live on in my children, and if I father them well, they will survive and prosper. I do not know what fathering them well consists in, but I do what I do with any compartment of my life: try to do the right thing by my own lights. I know I fail: part of having your self in different aspects is that you are able--doomed even--to audit yourself, to grade yourself even. I am though comfortable with failure. I do not consider failure a bad thing if you try your best, or even if you try at all. It's a curious word, failure, because we use it to mean falling short of a target and also achieving a target that was not high enough in some way.

There are people who wish I would love them, and I do, although they do not understand that I do, because I love them with one part, or some parts, of me. There are some people I love with every part of me, in every compartment: I am sure that three of them are my children, and less sure that four more are my family. This does not mean that they are part of every part of me, or have access to every compartment. It just means that there is nothing in me that doesn't love them, whatever I am, whatever I consist of, if I even consist of anything.

I wish that would be enough for you, because it is all there is of me to offer. But I know that people feel it lessens their importance to be important only some of the time, in some ways, to some part of a person. For me, that is enough, but I can understand that people can be frustrated not only that I feel it should be enough for them but that it is enough for me too. They want me to appreciate that they offer more than that, and are hurt that I don't want it.

But I cannot want it. I never have wanted to be the whole of what someone wants. I have only ever wanted to be a thing that they want among other things. I do not know that I am wrong to feel that, or you are wrong to feel what you feel, but I know that the two can be water and oil.

You know what is fucking weird? I understand that I am just spinning atoms, that I emanate epiphenomenally from the chemistry of my component parts, yet I feel like something that can love other bags of chemicals and I do not know how that can be explained by physics.

(I know that I want to touch you, to take one day out of our lives and set it aside, to make it just what it is. And I know that you can't do that, because you cannot find a way to make a compartment to put it in. I feel sad sometimes that the distance between people can be universes apart yet they inhabit the same planet, the same town, the same room, the same bed. I cannot feel it is wrong though to yearn to hold you in my arms one time, to kiss your face, to feel your pussy on my tongue.)

I know that seems an elaborate way of having your cake and eating it, but really it isn't. I believe rectitude has value and I do not believe I am doing anything wrong. That is probably because I do not believe you can truly be doing the wrong thing if you do not intend to. I have little tolerance for utilitarianism precisely because it lends itself too readily to justifying the wrong because it turns out right. But if we are aiming to do wrong, we are doing wrong.

That's not to say that you cannot do wrong by ignoring or failing to consider the outcomes what you do might have, but I am saying that you cannot intend wrong, observe good consequences and then claim to have done the right thing just because it turned out okay. And the reverse obviously, that you cannot be condemned for the bad outcomes of doing the right thing.

Is this thinking simply an outcome of believing myself to be someone who tries to do the right thing? Maybe, but without an absolute measure of good and bad, how else can we define them but by considering what seems right to us and wrong to us?


I was thinking today of H, who would have been my girlfriend had I not moved away from Cornwall. (Which sounds presumptuous but trust me, I don't have an unrealistic view of myself and this was something I knew for a fact.)

I remember drinking coffee with her in a backstreet in Penzance. She is crying because I have to go. I am fifteen and I cannot defy my father. My life ran off the rails at that point and has never refound them. I don't know what would have become of me had my dad taken the job he could have in the tax office in Truro.

I do not regret it, of course. I do not regret my life in any specific because regretting it is the end of the existence of my children, and I would not wish that, no matter what I believe the alternative would have been. But I know that I lost a lot. I belonged there. I had found happiness and was comfortable in a place I understood and fitted into. That hadn't always been true. I had a happy early childhood, but I was moved up to secondary school a year early and some of the other boys, resentful and cruel, bullied me for it. I was too quiet and gentle to do well in the rough and tumble of a boys' school, and being a swot made it worse for me. It took me until my fourth year to find my feet, to become friends with some of the boys who had once been my nemeses, to become confident and comfortable in myself.

I was bitter for a long time that my dad took that from me, because moving away from Cornwall was like having the rug pulled from under my feet and I fell hard, smack on my arse. It was difficult to adjust. In the sixth form of my new school, the students split into two factions. One set were academic achievers, my intellectual peers, I suppose, but also mostly Christians and deadly dull to me. The other set were the guys who would drop out after a year, thugs and no-marks. I liked them a lot better. There was no one like H, or M, or S, girls who I liked because they were clever but sparky. And above all, they were girls who liked me, and I like to be liked.

I remember that I was deeply smitten by another H, and I think she liked me, but she wouldn't go out with me because I wasn't a Christian. I went to their Fellowship meetings, but I was fooling no one. I think she dreamed of a man she could talk to about how lovely Jesus was; I dreamed of sucking her gorgeous tits.

Well, I never did, and more's the pity, and it seems curious, thinking back on it, that I didn't even keep in touch with the other H, although I liked her a lot. Perhaps I understood the impossibility of a friendship when I would be a couple of hundred miles away, with no money ever to visit. Or maybe I am being too generous about myself, because I have let countless people slip away (more because I do not like to impose myself than because I didn't want them to continue to be part of my life). But didn't they also let me go? Well, I am nothing special, just bits and pieces of a person, and who wants that? The rest of you seem satisfyingly whole, even if those wholes are messy sometimes.


At 3:26 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

because I have let countless people slip away (more because I do not like to impose myself than because I didn't want them to continue to be part of my life). But didn't they also let me go?

Perhaps for the very same reason you let go. I've gotten better at not worrying about whether or not I'm imposing as I've become older, but it was especially hard for me when I was younger, and if I didn't hear from the other person, I'd think it was because they didn't want me in their lives any more, and not because they might have been waiting to hear from me. Sometimes I'd take a chance and write or call, but if I didn't hear back, that would be that. Nowadays I better understand the busyness of life simply because I've watched myself let good friends go due to the passage of time. I never intend to not get back to them, but time just slips by, and then you lose touch or feel that too much time has passed.

The rest of you seem satisfyingly whole,...


We are what we are. No more, no less. When I was an art teacher for elementary school I noticed something. By itself, the children's art could look quite ugly (yes, yes, it could be appreciated because it was done by a child, and of course parents would praise anything), but once I prepared the pieces to show off, gave them matting and frames, and arranged them just so on the bulletin board, even the ugliest of pictures became something special. It's all in the presentation, you see. Don't be fooled by the frames. Not only are we messy, we can be nothing more than bits and pieces trying to keep it all together, too.

I think that you may be better at analyzing such things than most, though, seeing your feelings for what they are, and accepting them and yourself, whereas many of the people I've met, and me as well, really make a mess of things, thinking that a thing is something it's not, or have expectations of how how we or others "ought" to feel.

There are so many things that I know now, that I wish I knew when I was younger. That's a sad part of getting older. You finally begin to experience some understanding (I'm not saying it's complete, just more than you had), but you've reached a stage in your life where it doesn't much matter any more. It would have served you so much better to have known it back then.

At 8:43 am, Blogger P. said...

it seems odd that they want to be small. Because I don't.

Sometimes Small needs a catalyst in order to grow.

At 8:28 am, Blogger P. said...

Charmed to make your acquaintance, Anon, I'm sure.

At 9:26 pm, Blogger P. said...

Right, okay, I know I haven't had any mind altering drugs in the last 12 hours so I am pretty sure there was a "what a cunt" comment up there and now I just look like I'm talking to myself. Which I'm not afraid of appearing to do - people worry too much what others think of them already - but for my own peace of mind... ?

Who removed it, Zen or Anon? It can't have been Zen because comment rules or no comment rules, if he removed the comments from everyone who called him a cunt there would only be Arleen and I (okay, Arleen on her own) who ever made regular appearances.

Anon, wtf you playing at?

At 11:52 pm, Blogger Mcleod said...

Zen Said:

There are people who wish I would love them, and I do, although they do not understand that I do, because I love them with one part, or some parts, of me.

Thats not love you prick! Love is an all consuming emotion that is uncontrollable often rationale. You can love and be in love with many people at the same time. What you are talking about is fondness and familiarness, you miss them when they are not there but there's no pain that you feel when you love them.

I honestly think you left your ability to love back in the west country before your internal emotional break down. Perhaps if you had a break from the spliff reality could once again dawn on you. Right now you are living in a numbed out reality that only you inhabit.

At 11:54 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Poor Grant. I feel genuinely sorry for you that you find everything so hard to understand unless you can chop it up with the same old cookiecutter.

At 11:58 pm, Blogger Mcleod said...

Dave you're one off lifes losers who thinks to deeply. Try and break things down to basics on a human level and you my well find that even you can integrate successfully with human kind.

Well done on deleting the Cunt post so quickly! its nice to know you are hovering.

At 11:59 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

LOL. And you're one of life's winners, you raging spanktard? LOLOLOLOLOL.

At 11:59 pm, Blogger Mcleod said...

Compartmentalised love the more i read it the funnier it gets.

At 12:03 am, Blogger Mcleod said...

Compared to you Dave I'm a winner, I'm not tortured by my life I'm not as miserable as you, you hate almost ever aspect of your life. And would change it all but for your Kids. I'm not wrong am i, in fact i know I'm right its all here in your blog.

At 12:10 am, Blogger P. said...

Love is an all consuming emotion that is uncontrollable often rationale. You can love and be in love with many people at the same time.

How can you be in love with many people at the same time if it's, how did you put it, "an all consuming emotion"? It is either all or it is not. So which is it?

I thought I understood your argument much better than Zen's. Now I am beginning to wonder just what it is you disagree with because you appear to be saying the same thing, with different words.

At 3:05 pm, Anonymous theminotaur said...

winners don't misspeelllll

At 3:30 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Grant, you've contravened the comments policy of this blog several times. In particular, abusing other posters is not acceptable to me. So I'm asking you to refrain from commenting on this blog. If you don't comply like a grownup, I'll have to restrict commenting for everyone. I will return your privileges to you after you have had a period of reflection.

At 8:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently the only person I may have insulted is you by calling you a"cunt" now if to find that insulting then you are indeed a hypocrite after all you are constantly referring to me as "Gunt" which is clearly a play on "Grant & Cunt" and clearly means "Grant is/You are a cunt" As for returning my privileges go fuck yourself.

No doubt you will delete this as you normaly do when i demonstrate what a hypocritical fraud you are.

At 8:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

theminotaur said...

winners don't misspeelllll

Really! google famous dslexics you will find many winners.

At 10:03 pm, Blogger P. said...

In particular, abusing other posters is not acceptable to me

In which case is there any reason, besides your persistent singling out of Grant, theminotaur's comment is still showing?

I would like to read a copy of your comments policy please. God forbid I should ever be banned. Again.

Oh and Grant? Google had this to say:

No results found for "famous dslexics". Did you mean: "famous dyslexics"

Well I fucking laughed like a drain.

At 10:27 pm, Blogger P. said...

I vote for a democracy - har. Make a post containing your policy and ask your readers if they in any way mind being "abused" by others commenting. If you don't get a response, you'll know no one gives a fuck (in case there was any doubt, I'm in that apparent minority). If it's a majority vote for the soft cunts who can't take it, fine. I just don't see why you get to decide what I can take in a public forum. Which is what this blog is, since I didn't need a username and password to get here.

At 11:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Oh and Grant? Google had this to say:

No results found for "famous dslexics". Did you mean: "famous dyslexics"

Well I fucking laughed like a drain.

LOL dare i say? You cunt! LOL.

At 8:40 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

How sad that you are too much of a baby to respect the commenting policy of this blog and put others to inconvenience because of it.

At 11:50 am, Anonymous theminotaur said...

winners also have a sense of humor...

At 12:02 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

20 fucking comments and not even one of them is mine?


At 11:00 pm, Blogger P. said...

winners also have a sense of humor...

Well that discounts all politicians, millions of captains of industry and quite possibly a good deal of sporting "personalities".

You didn't think that one out too well, did you?

20 fucking comments and not even one of them is mine?

You should redress this oversight immediately, Zero. Let's have a word association game.


At 2:24 am, Blogger $Zero said...


At 2:52 am, Anonymous theminotaur said...

As a matter of fact, I did. If you don't have a sense of humor, it's no fault of mine.

This thread is boring.

At 10:30 am, Blogger Father Luke said...

I'll give you this, Zen.
You throw a hell of a blog party.


- -
Father Luke

At 9:09 pm, Blogger P. said...

This thread is boring.


Please don't take your ball away, my dear. I was only playing.

At 9:10 pm, Blogger P. said...




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