Sometimes I just want to sing, I love my son I love my son I love my son. I watch him sleeping in his room and I am robbed of any words. I feel as though everyone should love him: I truly do not believe he has or ever will have a bad bone in his body.
He's gawky. He will never win a running race. He will never do delicate things with his hands.
He's naughty. He does not toe the line. He cannot sit still in boring class. He does not care what other people want and never thinks he has to please them.
He's beautiful. He knows he is charming. He manipulates everyone around him. He is happy.
He is happy! My boy loves his life. He is never troubled, never concerned, rarely angry, rarely sad for more than a moment. He negotiates with life, with me, he makes the world the way he wants as far as he can.
There he is sleeping in his room. He is my son and I love him. When I dream, I want to dream him a life to come as happy as the life he's had. I wish I had a god to bless him, and since I don't, I bless him myself.
There he is in his room. He is sleeping without a care. God, if there ever should be a god, let him remain without care.
So I thought things were pretty bad. I have no work and no prospect of work; I live in a town with very few jobs in my field and I can't relocate; I have no money and no way to get money; my car was wrecked so I don't have a car.
But it's worse. The guy who wrecked my car hasn't claimed on his insurance. So I have to pursue him. But meanwhile, the RACQ arranged for my car to be towed. No one asked me where I wanted it towed. I was led to understand it was being taken where they wanted it taken: "the insurance will take care of everything". But the insurance won't take care of anything. If the guy won't claim, they are not interested. They deny arranging a tow and say that I should have been given the choice where to have it towed to.
The towing company towed it to a yard, where I am on the hook for 55 dollars a day until I get it moved somewhere else. But I can't move it until I get it valued and then have somewhere to have it wrecked. These are things it's easy for an insurance company to sort out: they just ring whoever's on their list. But I don't have a list. I don't know who values cars. I will have to pay all the costs.
And then sue some guy who told me he would claim on his insurance but didn't. I mean, this is some guy who didn't do the right thing. If he didn't intend to make a claim, he needed to contact me to explain how he would set right his liability for my car.
So not only did I wreck my car. The fault for wrecking it lies with some guy who it seems has no intention of taking the course that makes it easy for me but is going to need me to take legal action to get him to do anything.
Everyone involved seems to have done the wrong thing in one way or another, except, for once, me. The RACQ arranged the tow but shouldn't have done (I mean, I suppose the guy who caused the accident should have done; he was responsible for clearing away the cars from the road); the police should not have prevented me from getting the guy's contact details (don't know what the copper was thinking; right now I could really do with the guy's mobile number so I could sort this out with him, but all I have is his home phone and have to try to catch him at home) or allowed me to speak to the RACQ (because it was not up to me to sort out towing or anything like that--but how could I know that?); the towing company should not a/ have towed my car without explaining that I had a choice where to have it towed and b/ have told me the "insurance would sort it out" if in fact the insurance had not arranged to have it towed to a particular place; the insurance company should not have told me that everything was okay because the guy would make a claim and I'd be fine; and RACQ roadside should have said when I explained what had happened that it was not for me to sort out. You would not believe how many times I asked people "what should I do?" "do I have to do anything?" and each one, including my insurance company, said no, there's nothing you have to do, when the correct answer was, "yes, make sure the guy who wrecked your car does something about it".
If I had known, I would simply have got the guy's mobile number, walked away from the scene and suggested that since he accepted liability, the undriveable Camry in the middle of Wecker Road was his problem. Which it turns out is exactly the facts of it.
It seems like I did nothing wrong on my own volition; I listened to professionals around me; I did everything I could, and now I will be faced with a huge bill for towing and storing my car; I have to arrange to have it valued and wrecked; and worst of all, I am out one car, with no idea whether I will ever see a cent for my Camry.
I'd also like to know, given that the insurance company weren't supposed to tell me whether the guy had claimed, how am I supposed to know what's going on? I am literally supposed to sit around, while some shyster holds my car at 55 bucks a day, waiting to hear from an insurance company (the supervisor at RACQ tells me they can't even tell me if the guy has insurance with them) until I decide I can't wait any longer and start legal action! Is this actually how car accidents are meant to happen?
My tiny dream
The other day I had a vivid daydream of myself in a bath. I often dream of baths. I think the reason is that I'm a big man, and would need a big bath, so if I picture myself in a bath of my own, I know that I must have a level of material comfort that would allow me to have acquired one. I used to dream of a cottage with a walled garden, which had the same nuance of homeliness for me, but not any more.
I am relaxing in the bath, carefree, and I feel I know that somewhere in the house is a woman who loves me. She is not just someone who says she loves me, not someone for whom love is simply an expression of a desire to be loved, but someone who does love me. She needs me, wants where she can to please me and for me to please her, recognises what I need and where possible, gives it to me.
She would never let me spin in loneliness, as I do now. She would find ways to let me know she was thinking about me even when she couldn't be with me, because she would know that I start to cease to exist when no one lets me know they know I am here.
I know, it is just a dream. It is hopeless as dreaming of cottages and pear trees. It seems tiny but sometimes even a tiny dream is not small enough to come true.
In the couple of seconds before I collide, I think no more than, I wonder what will happen. I am not anxious and it would be ridiculous to be afraid. Then I think, my car's fucked and then I hit him and my car is fucked.
I don't suppose there is ever a good time to collide with a Nissan Micra that wasn't looking or didn't see you, but at this point, with no job, no money and no income now that I feel unable to beat poker, it feels a bit like a cosmic joke. My best hope is that God is humbling me before doing me a favour.
A few minutes later I am standing in the rain on the phone. I am mostly in one piece, but Lady Jane is not. I want to imagine the workshop straightening her out, restoring her to life, but I know that the callous insurance assessor will write her off on a glance, and I will be given what a car of that age is worth, which is close to nothing. Old cars are always going to be worth more to their owners than they are as goods.
Not to mention that you grow to love your car. You learn how it's best driven, how it corners, how it likes to be accelerated, when it is unhappy or in discomfort. Your driving moulds to the car, so that any other car will at first feel awkward or even unpleasant to drive. A bit like changing girlfriends. Except I don't generally pay several thousand dollars for a girlfriend. Not up front anyway.
So I'm saying that you can't just say you love someone; actions speak louder than words.
So someone asks me, how does someone show you they love you?
Which is a very good question.
You don't sit and enumerate ways; you just know it when you feel it. And what does it for one won't necessarily feel that way to the next. So I say something and it's only when she's gone that I realise she thought I had meant something personal by it.
And I am left thinking, some actions are performed in words though.
Still, that reminds me, must phone my mum.
You often see people in blog comments claiming that the Democratic Party spends taxes on programmes aimed at certain groups in an effort to buy those groups' votes.
But political parties exist precisely for the purpose of representing interest groups, so what else should one expect? It should not be forgotten that when parties make promises in their manifestos, those promises have benefits (and costs) to different groups. If you say you will not increase spending, you are telling the haves that you will not share with the have-nots; if you promise to "invest", you are telling them that you will.
On another political note, I was writing a post on libertarianism but I ran out of steam, but here's the wreckage...
Reading this article
and its associated comments, I enjoyed again the spectacle of oh-so-rational libertarians being handed their butts by liberals. Their problem is, as it is so often, that their "philosophy" is used as a defence of bigotry and inequity, but they believe it to be in some way "pure" (untainted, as it were, by the sordid compromises other systems of political thought are forced into).
The chief problem for that branch of libertarianism most commonly encountered in the States is that it depends on a right of property as fundamental, yet because it would be wicked to pretend that one could have property without the means of preventing others from taking it, it requires a government to ensure that right. (Those crazy realists among us might point out to them that all
rights are ensured by governments, in so far as governments represent the power to enforce them -- there is no doubt that you could be afforded rights by a group, since this is precisely what human groups do: who has not been a member of something online where behaviour was restricted by the community involved in it?
It's a short walk from there to realising that if rights are things afforded, and not things inherent in humanity -- not endowed by a Creator but endowed by our fellows -- one cannot appeal to some notion that some are prior to others, more "natural". So the right to property becomes just one more claim on one's fellow man: the very things libertarianism seeks to deny. It's foundational to this libertarianism -- propertarianism -- that no rights exist that are not reflexes of the fundamental rights it claims are natural.
Indeed, one could deny the need of the government to assure the "right". It's simple to see what would ensue: a world of rightholders who had no enjoyment of the things they had a right to because the more powerful had stolen it from them. Their "right" would mean nothing. I can accept that you can argue that we do not surrender rights in potentia: we do not say that slaves have no right to liberty just because they cannot acquire liberty. In this sense, we understand that rights are claims we believe justifiable. But we also believe they should be enforced. When we say something like "gays should have the right to marry", we don't simply mean we believe their claim to it is justifiable but also that someone should enforce it.
In any case, any right to property involves denying the right to enjoyment of that property to others. I understand that libertarians like to pretend that it does not because once upon a time everyone did have that latter right but the application of labour changed the nature of the property and thus the nature of the right over it. Conveniently, this means the appropriation of Indian lands by Americans did not infringe their rights, because they didn't have shoe shops or sew crops (ignoring those who, erm, did). So I do
have a right to my neighbour's back yard but erm... waves hand... we should go back on the gold standard because gold is so shiny and paper notes do not glister and hey, did I mention income tax is bad?
Well, the Indians' rights were like anyone else's: as strong as the power that backed them.
You'll hear in two weeks.
Three weeks pass. I had already known though. So that's that. Some part of me wants to drive round to the guy's office and just yell at him, I'd have liked that job, you cunt, but you can't, can you?
People can lie to you, can hurt you, can disrespect you, and all you can do is curl ever tighter in a ball.
So B sometimes reads my blog. She wants to know what I have to say about her. Nothing much is the answer. There is nothing further to say about women who think that saying they love you is a passkey to taking whatever they need without giving you anything.
This is what I said about that six years ago (almost to the day, strangely) and I haven't changed my views, just become more disillusioned by the women I've met:
I am tired of being reflected through a mirror of expectation, but only ever expectation for you and not for me. When do I get to want, to feel, to need anything? It is the downfall of the stronger that they cannot be weak, that they are held to account for every weakness, every small flaw, as though they should be diamonds while all around them are permitted to be coal.
And I am stronger than you. Because I demand nothing, only love, and that is easier to give than service, only you don't know it.
I am tired of falling short of your targets, which you set for yourself but expect me to strike. You knew I was not perfect but you thought that just by knowing you I might become it; and yet, not perfect for me but perfect for you. But you don't care. Because you never asked what I wanted; you think I can just get by without wanting anything at all.
And I can. I can get by on just the whiff of being desired, just the merest scent of being wanted. You girls can troll me to oblivion and back if you will only send me the ghosts of kisses.
I am tired of the imposition of your dreams. I am not a pool you can see your face in. I am not still waters; I am the sea, endlessly turning over, restless and cruel. You think you are hurting me but you are not even touching me. You think you are meaning something to me but you are not even a stone in the water. I can lose anything if I have to. Do you think we get to forty and don't learn how? It is how we become men and you don't understand it.
I am tired of being loved. It is the burden of complicated men that women can see in them shards of what they take to be a whole pane but is only ever the reflection of sun on choppy water. You could love the sea; you could love to swim. But all you ever really want to do is admire yourselves in a looking-glass.
I am tired of you. You want to choke me, smother me, rein me in and cut my wind but I want to breathe. I am worth more than your desires. Come to me when you want to know me, not indulge your belief about what I can be if only I allow you to turn my key. Come to me when you want to love what is real, when you are ready to shed your skin, be my equal and live.
I know, that's fucking gold. It's a tragedy that the world doesn't have a need for someone who can write like that. You can't. No one you know can. I can and I can't even get paid a living wage for it. Sick life.
And B? Well, I guess she will join the crew of women who read my blog as a proxy for actually giving a shit about me. I guess they have their reasons but you know, from my point of view, people's selfish indulgence has zero value. In some cases, less than zero, because it hurts me that they can pretend to care about me by reading about how painful my life is without ever feeling any desire to lessen that pain by giving me some of what I want.
I do wish I lived in a world in which people would say, we just won't bother with you if we don't want you. Because the lying hurts more than the not being wanted. Knowing I am stuck in a place where people have no honour, no shame, is worse than anything.
People aren't like that in the UK. I mean, they can be rotten, but if they say you'll hear in two weeks, you hear in two weeks. They do not so frankly treat you like dirt. They have a nagging sense of shame that doesn't permit it.
And my people in Singapore have not even answered emails.
I am sick of you cowards. I am sick of people who do not have the balls to say fuck you to me. I am sorry that my abiding memory of B will be of her crying on the stairs instead of standing up for what she wanted, of someone who thought I could be manipulated like that instead of being negotiated with. Which I can. I wanted it to work and was willing to give so that it would. But not at any price. I mean, why should I? What was so good about being used that I would beg for it to continue?
When it came to it, I did not do what my sister thought I should. I did not get my family to the UK and then fuck Mrs Zen over. It's not that there's not part of me who wishes I had. After all, she fucked me over. She lied to me so that she could get what she wanted. She did not pay me what she owed me.
But mostly I felt good about it because I had been decent. Shit, I know it's old fashioned to think that being honourable is worth anything. But I knew how much I had hurt and would not do it to someone else.
Even if the whole world around me does, I don't. It's worth nothing -- integrity -- it's not worth a fucking thing, doesn't pay the rent, doesn't keep you warm at night, feeds only the monkey within.
I hate that I'm such an idiot. I could have trapped her there, where I could find work, where I had people I could trust and love, where there was life for me, and I chose honour.