I am simple and 99 percent of the time, I don't know what to say, so I just talk shit. But when I talk to you, I want to sing sweet rhymes, lift you up and make you feel all right.
What I want and what I am, they can be miles apart, I know, but good intentions count, tell me they do, because I have only good intentions when I talk to you.
I want to tell you the thousand ways you are pleasing to me, but it is everything about you, and I can say it just by saying your name. I want to tell you how many times I have dreamt about you, but you are my dream, and I can dream you just by saying your name. I want to tell you you are luscious fruit hanging on the vine, but words are dry and useless tools that I will never learn to tame. They will not say anything but that you are pleasing to me.
I want to tell you about your laugh, and no one laughs like you. It sounds like you are unsure you should, which makes it a gift that I treasure when I can bring it out. I want to tell you about your smile, how I love to see your perfect teeth, pale jewels in a mouth I'd love to kiss. I cannot tell you about your kiss; words are too few, too barren. I will, given the chance, show you my meaning, that's all I can do.
I want to tell you about your hair, your eyes, your cheeks, your lips. I want to tell you how beautiful you are to me, how the world made me a dream and you were it.
You are a treasure that I would keep close to me for all my days, a world that I would explore and never grow tired of unravelling its secrets. I do not have words to explain, only the sighs I sigh, only the few feeble lines I can make from the poor treasury of signs that I possess.
But what does it matter? What do words matter? Here we are: just hearts that beat. Here we are: D and K, that's all we can be--I am D and you are pleasant to me.
"Treat me like a fool"
When you have been lonely for a long time, you ask yourself, am I just clinging on to whatever, whoever passes by, yet I think I want to know the people I know and I feel they are not just passing conveniences because I would not trade them.
At the start of another long hot day in someone else's office in someone else's house, I am staring at his map of western Asia and I know my brain is memorising the shape of Kazakhstan and what good will that ever do me?
It's easy to ask what good anything I do will ever do me, as though the purpose of my life was to do me good and not just to feel good about what I am doing. Maybe it is not even something I do; maybe it really is something that just happens to me -- and how good or bad it will be depends on how I am about it. Right now I am okay.
I know what you are thinking though. If you are lonely, make friends. But it's not easy to push yourself beyond your boundaries when you are unsure that there is anything worthwhile to project. Twice recently I have been reminded that I am not interesting enough for people to want to know. Two old friends -- one an acquaintance to put it more accurately, but the other an old friend who I met up with in the UK when I went there -- wrote to me and I wrote back, excited and I thought conveying that excitement. Neither replied. This happens to me a lot. I know it's not a big deal. People have lives that I am barely a tiny part of. Even people who I don't think have much of a life still have a day to day that doesn't include me. But what you know and what you feel are not always in alignment.
I am constituted to go with what I feel. I couldn't change that because it's what I consist in. If I did change it, what would I be like? Would I "fulfil my potential"? Or would I simply become more coldly calculating? Would I be happier if I knew the answers, or knew how to pursue them? I know I am capable of feeling my way to happiness -- I know that with a certainty that is diamond hard because I do feel it sometmes and I know why -- but can I reason my way into it?
I sometimes wonder whether I have constructed myself this way to avoid hard answers, to make wrongness right. What I mean is, if you do wrong, you may hold yourself up to moral inquisition and blame. But if you say, I just felt it was right, you can excuse yourself. I have been trying to unravel where I have done that, not because I want to beat myself up for wasting my life and opportunities but because I don't want to continue to do it.
When I was, I think I was 14, I had a crush on a girl called Sally. She seemed special to me -- mostly special to look at because I didn't know her to talk to. I would watch from the window of my class as she walked to her class. She had a dignity of carriage that I still find incredibly attractive in women -- it is one of the things about K that attracted me, a certainty that she was worthwhile that she expressed in how she bore herself -- and she was pretty. I believed that I would be a good boyfriend for her: I did not think anything of my looks, although in fact, looking back at my pictures, I was handsome enough, but I was sensitive and kind, and I was sure that away from the playground I could listen to what she had to say and find good things to say to her. I wrote poetry about her, about my unrequited love and my dreams of walking hand in hand with her, or whatever I dreamed of. (Then, as now, I saw the person I loved as someone I wanted to hold gently, rather than someone I wanted to have sex with, although of course I was old enough to think of women in that way. She seemed too nice to think of like that.) In any case, one morning I found reserves of courage that I did not know I had and asked her out. She turned me down flat. She may even have laughed at the idea, I don't remember, but certainly she was scornful. I had to wait till lunchtime to be able to find somewhere private where I could cry.
I felt a bitter injustice. I knew I could be right for her and I had no way to show it. She had disallowed something good that I had to offer. And worse, she did it unkindly. After that, I no longer watched her from the window, I no longer wrote poetry about her (although I still have the poetry I did write) and I tried to still my thoughts about her.
But I do believe that my world should be just. I don't know why, but I do. I believed it then and I believe it now, even though I am perfectly aware it is irrational to think so. I could not credit that someone I had thought so wonderful could be cruel, so I rationalised the injustice away. I came to believe that she had chosen correctly, that I was not worth going out with, that I was too ugly, too boring, too vapid. It never occurred to me that it could simply be that some strange boy, who she had no awareness of, had approached her out of the blue and taken her unawares. Tell my heart that! It won't listen. And anyway, I was not wrong. I would have been a good boyfriend for her or anyone, and when later I had girlfriends, I was good for them. The injustice was the world's, in that it equipped me poorly in means to show her that I was the right choice, or mine, in that I expected a world that does not care to care about me, to nurture me, to not let me be lonely or unhappy, because I am still that gentle boy looking out of the window yearning and I don't know how not to be.
Did you ever have anyone in your life that you never felt a moment's bitterness towards? Even though they may have done things you wish they wouldn't, or not done what you wish they would, you could only feel goodwill about them?
It is a blessing to have someone like that in your life and I do.
Did you ever have anyone in your life who uplifts you, who makes you feel good just by existing? I have ups and downs, spells of irrational energy and spells of agonising depression. But I have someone who can uplift me, can make me feel the same manic burst just by being with me. And there is no one I have ever met who is more pleasant to be with.
It is a blessing to have someone like that in your life and I do.
I had a dream when I was a youngster, marooned miles from civilisation in a country village, a dream that some exotic stranger would walk into my life and capture my heart, a beautiful gypsy with dust on her shoes, darkhaired and darkeyed, a look of mischief but a smile that if I could uncover it would warm my heart through all my days.
That luscious gypsy came and went but I did not ever forget her. She is the guiding star of my heart because it sings her name when she is near.
It is a blessing to have known you and I have been blessed.
The band is playing soul burners and a small crowd is dancing, growing though, ever more people. Some are dancing clumsily and some well, but most are dancing with pure joy.
The band is playing the Four Tops, I can't help myself, and I am not feeling joy, but I'm crying for love because the Four Tops specialised in simple truths and I am simple in matters of the heart at least.
At least I feel like I am.
So I do not dance, although I'd like to, because I am someone who cannot find joy within themselves, but I need to be led by the hand and I don't have anyone who does that in my life. I would not even know where to look for them.
That does not mean no one ever does bring me joy. They do, of course they do.
Sometimes you are just sick of never being right and I am sick of it. I am sick of not being right in myself, constantly feeling as though I am someone I am not, yet if I'm not me, who am I? It's a problem because I fear I may have been deluding myself into thinking I am someone else inside
when the outside is not deceptive at all; I just am this person.
But why then do some people love me? What do they see that is loveable but I don't see? What do they know that I don't know? I feel sorry that S is clever enough to help me by showing me ways I am wrong with her, but has, and had, nothing at all to say about why I was right. She earned it though, and I am sick of not being right with other people, not being able to give them what they need, sometimes not caring, sometimes not understanding.
I am sick of feeling I could be what people need but powerless to move them and have them believe it. Or sick of being unable just to see what it is, so it's just another way of not being right for them.
I am thinking this as we are walking along Byron beach, and I think that I have been what M needs because I have worked hard at it, but it's not something I could keep on doing.
Other people at the pub talk to strangers easily and I'm envious because I cannot overcome myself enough to be able to do it and I never will be able to. So I will not make a great life out of where I am now. I need help and no one wants to help me, or if they do, they don't know how.
And why should they? I am not right with anyone. I am not good for anyone. I don't know how to be. Sometimes I do try but it's easy to be discouraged. I have a long list of people I've tried to be good for, sometimes against what I felt were my own interests, or my needs at least, and I feel like the rewards were slim, that where I could have expected some increase in the good they did for me, I just got kicked in the nuts.
Am I just wrong about that though?
And M is saying, as we're trying to keep out of the gale, you are obliged to Mrs Zen because you married her, and I say no, you become obliged to someone because of how they are to you, not because of the name you put on your relationship. Yes, you make allowances when someone is something to you, but that has its limits. They do not just receive your respect because at some point you signed some piece of paper that says they are whatever, nor even because you swore to your god that you'd respect them, nor for any other reason but that they earned it by being the thing that has that name.
I didn't earn it either though but it's not a oneway street, after all.
There are lots of people dancing by the end of the night, although the band has gone off some and now is more cabaret than it began, which is not good.
I feel huddled within myself, unable to show anything to the world that is good, unable to believe that there even is anything within me that they would want to see.
I do not even know how I could know I was wrong though if I am wrong.
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Please note that I have another blog, Monkey Banana
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In other news, my new life sucks almost as badly as the old one, it won't surprise anyone to learn.
I'm desperate for a trip away, says M. So we decide on Byron Bay because I can't go up the coast for one reason or another. So okay, that entitles him to be a slight pain in the arse, under the International Pain in the Arse Rules. He says where do you want to stay and I say, somewhere cheap, because, as you know, I don't have a job and I don't have much spare money.
I'm not that keen on going away anyway, I should note. I'm doing him a favour as much as anything.
So he says, I'm not staying in a hostel. Okay, I say, find the place you do want to stay in. So he looks for an hour or so and goes to bed without saying whether he booked anything. Because I'm like that, I hang around waiting for him to say, rather than hassle him. He's liable to get stroppy when hassled, and I'm a guest, here on sufferance, which in small ways he makes very very plain.
So I ask him this morning and he says he was too tired to concentrate on finding somewhere, and even though I do not consider looking for accommodation to be the most mentally taxing task a person can undertake, I say okay, I'll find something. So I find a guesthouse reasonably near the town. It's perfect, but apparently being within 500m of the beach is not good enough.
I feel like saying "why don't you just bite my cock, you miserable cunt", but you know, house guest and all, I have to wear his shit, and I spend at least 9/10 of nearly every conversation that I have not saying what I feel like saying, so it's no big deal. When I do express myself, I find myself much more expendable than I hoped.
I am thinking that I am going to have to rent a studio flat and drink myself to death. It won't be fun but you know, my life isn't anyway, so wgaf?
Shit, I realise that sounds super critical of M. It's not meant to. I mean, he's annoying over the accommodation in Byron, but he was kind enough to let me stay in his house, and he's used to having his own space all to himself. He sorted out his junkroom for me and it's not like he's wandering around in a huff because of whatever. He's a good guy. That's why we're friends. I wouldn't like to leave the impression that I don't think highly of him.
After talking it through with a friend, I have changed my mind about how my life came to be the way it is. I always thought I was basically a good person and had made bad choices. She has convinced me that I am not good at all, and made the choices you would expect. I am thankful to her for carefully destroying my illusions because I like to think I deal in what it is, and now I see it a lot more clearly.
I am sorry though. I wanted
to be good. I thought I was doing what was right, but I guess if you twist things enough, you can make any bad thing the "right thing to do". I know that people have done that to me: done things that have really hurt me and were convinced that they were justified. And probably they were.
So the good thing is, I don't feel I have to rely on others for my wellbeing. I realise that they are right not to concern themselves about that too much. I feel I can choose for myself and I can accept the circumstances, because I will not blame anyone else.
Mrs Zen has the phone and she's saying, do you want to talk to your sister, she has your family there, and Zenella has been talking to them about how much money she will get when she lands in the UK.
Because everyone has promised her ten pounds when she gets there, but she won't get there.
So my mum is on the phone and I ask her how she's going, because she has just recently had an op, and I am asking how that is, she says she is getting there, and are you okay? And I say, no I am not okay, I am leaving Mrs Zen. And I can feel my mum's shock across ten thousand miles. Oh I'm sorry, she says. I'm not, I say, I feel good about it.
I do feel good about it. I mean, I feel good for me. So long as I only think about myself, I feel relieved and happy about it.
But I can hear Zenella playing on her recorder, playing the song she has been writing, it sounds a bit like one of my songs that I play on my iPod. And I couldn't make Zenella English. I just wasn't man enough. I tried but I failed and what am I even worth? What am I worth that I couldn't stand Mrs Zen's shit for her sake? That I couldn't stand my own life being worthless and ruined so that I could get her to England where she could become herself?
What good am I that I chose my own hope of salvation over my children? Please don't write and tell me I did the right thing. I don't have a right thing to do. I can only choose which very wrong thing I break my heart over. God why did she do this to me? She only had to love me and I would never have stopped loving her.
I couldn't stand it any more. She sulked all week because I wrote an email. She said, I've been hurt because you were writing to your women. It doesn't matter that the email that upset her was to my boss, who knows I am online a lot and writes to me at night sometimes with work things. It could have been to K, or S, or P or A. They are the women she means. They don't seem like anything dirty to me. They seem like the people who have sustained me and I write to them because it makes me happy. Mrs Zen would rob me of my small measure of happiness for the sake of what? I don't even know what I am supposed to get in exchange. Years of the cold shoulder, manufactured hurt, spitefulness, inattention.
And my beautiful children. Who will now live the rest of their childhoods in her dad's house, strangled in suburbia, slowly becoming strangers to me. It should be her that is leaving. I had love enough for everyone. She had none to spare for anyone but herself.