Thursday, November 05, 2015

How I became a fucking arsehole in three easy stages

When I was I don't know 11 years old or something like that a boy who wasn't that nice of a kid said I had a milk gut, maybe I was 13 though, it's hard to recall.

Neil Wildgust, he was not that nice of a kid and you wonder whether he grew to be not that nice of a man because biology is destiny or some rule like that but I'm not sure if I read it or just made it up but certainly I don't understand it because you do have choices don't you?

He was not that nice of a kid and I justify it by peer pressure I justify it by bad parenting I justify it by he didn't understand the redemptive power of love or some rule like that but I'm not sure if I read it or just made it up but certainly I don't believe it because I never got redeemed and I justify every other sinner's bad choices but not mine.

When I reached 14, 15, it became apparent to me I had been marooned on a planet inhabited by another species and not a pleasant one. Mind you, are there any pleasant species? Isn't nature red in tooth or claw? You'd certainly think so if your education in biology consisted of drawing a few cells, skin and what in a generous mood you might describe as male and female genitalia, which, if my memory is to be trusted, mine did.

(Not that I think my memory can be trusted. It's like a poorly designed rummage sale in there. I mean, I did two years of "additional mathematics", which I have a vague recollection was largely to do with trigonometry, but I still couldn't tell you what a sine is.)

I scored 0/10 for female genitalia btw. Which was harsh but fair because you would not wish to be encumbered with what I was trying to pass off as a uterus, I can tell you. I assure you my practical knowledge of that area is quite decent though. I can find a clitoris with the lights off, or at least get within cooee of it. That's not much of a boast though. I've often thought that the idea that men cannot find clitorides was risible since even if they do come in an array of shapes and sizes they are at least relatively in the same place on most women, at least as far as I know. They just don't care to. I say often but I don't remember thinking it more than one other time. There should be a word for that: the memory of memories that you do not actually have. I mean, I remember often thinking it but can't recall any instance of thinking it bar one. There probably is a word in Greek but I learned Latin.

And I remember Neil Wildgust throwing a paper plane at Mr... Mr... Mr... well, at whoever the Latin master was and it's strange, I can remember how his hair was and that he had a certain kind of face but I don't remember his name at all. He was poorly equipped for inspiring young men with the knowledge of the language of ancient Rome but I don't hold it against him: I have been poorly equipped for nearly everything in this life and I expect people to be generous to me about it.

So stage one I never believed I was human. Okay, you could argue that I strongly resembled my "dad" but that just goes to show the cunning of my alien forebears, galactic gypsies who brought babies to Earth like space storks and fooled you people into thinking cuckoos like me are like you by fiddling with our genes -- if we have genes as such -- so that we grow to look like you.

And why would I believe this story about myself (and I did; I'm not even lying -- I very rarely lie, which is one thing that marks me out as not from this planet, since you guys spend practically every waking minute dreaming up new ways to be dishonest about yourselves and to each other)? Because everyone expressed how they felt with a shared emotional language that I did not know how to speak. I learned it, of course, but only by studying you, and I have to be honest (I do have to be honest -- my Earth mother used to claim I had no tact when I was a teen because she didn't understand that I was yet to learn that people expect you to lie to spare their feelings) I have never really become fluent.

The second stage in my becoming a huge bellend was acquiring the belief that because I was not like other people, I should be better than them. I should do better, know better, think better. Which would be admirable if I had coupled it with actually doing better, knowing better, thinking better or in any other way being better than the next guy. It's lucky for me that the next guy is so often a gaping arsehole that simply occasionally remembering to be kind or gentle or thoughtful is enough to vault into the higher percentiles of men.

I mean, shall we not pretend? That is the truth about us, isn't it? It has taken me years to realise I have led a sheltered life. Most of the men I have known have been varying degrees of twat but they have not been particularly dangerous to other human beings. They've been thoughtless, lazy, uninterested, stupid and banal but they have not been pernicious. You might not be able to trust them to take the bins out but they won't thieve your wallet if you leave it lying around.

But they'd probably fuck your girlfriend if you left her lying around. Not that I'm suggesting we can or should control our girlfriend's (or in my case, forgive me for not yet fully having made the adjustment, wife's) sex life.

And yes, we are rapists, thugs, liars, alcoholics, unrepentant dickheads, neanderthal fucktards who walk around thinking the world was created just for us to live in and everyone in it, and in particular women, invented to serve us if we can somehow compel them to, prone to aggressive, poor at handling stress, idiots who find thinking more than one thought an hour too hard, unless we are thinking about pussy (or cock: I don't imagine for one instant that gay men are any less inclined to be ridiculous cockwombles than straights). And on that subject, very few of us are inclined to be in any way accomplished at sex. It's enough that we turn up, whether invited or not. We have centuries, millennia of history of not giving a fuck whether women actually enjoy it and we're not inclined to go against tradition.

I mean, this is what I'm led to believe. Because if I'm anything, I'm a bit naive, and what I've learned, if I've learned a single thing, since leaving my first wife, is that men are on the whole scumbags. I have heard a litany of scumbaggery and downright shittiness that has me almost continually shaking my head, like one of those bobblehead dogs you might have on your dashboard if you're a bit dim. I never even realised what wankers we are. But we are. I have heard about it in excruciating, embarrassing detail. I mean, I want to throw out a blanket disclaimer: it's not all of us because it's not me. Then I get to thinking, has it been me? And from there it's a short step to it's me it's me it's me.

But I think if it really was me I'd recognise it rather than feeling like I definitely am from some other planet.

And I do care about a woman's pleasure btw. I'll freely admit I only care because it's a way of exalting myself: that I can please, that I can serve, that I can be wanted. And I know that nearly the worst experience of my life was having a girlfriend who I couldn't please at all -- and no matter that rationally that was her fault, if fault is the right way to look at it, and I'd be willing to accept it isn't but it feels that way, I felt diminished in a way that was novel to me. I mean, I had to face two ideas I didn't much care for: first, that I only wanted to please if I pleased as is, if it was easy, just a function of who I am. Because that's me in a nutshell: always wanting to be praised for being whatever I am, rather than doing anything praiseworthy. And second, that I am losing vigour, that my body is betraying me, that I am no longer young and -- this is the important thing because becoming old is not a problem in itself, since it has its benefits -- however I feel, will never be young again.

Which leads me to the third stage. Which is nameless and formless and I don't think I can ever really put it into words but what it feels like is that even though I don't care about what you think and I don't care about you at all even if I can do a passable job of looking like I do (and ffs Alison, that "you" is not you; I care about you in a way that I don't think you comprehend since you've never had it, not from anyone in your life, I care about you in a whole-of-being way that has taken me by surprise but you know it when you feel it; I mean the other cunts, darling, so no need to pace round the garden over that one word that you will misinterpret), the only thing I really do care about is that women love me.

Not enough to be loveable obv.

I mean, I suppose I care that my children love me. I mean, I do care about that. But my being isn't created by their loving me. I am not a dad. Being a dad is something I do.

I don't know. I've actually never thought about this and now I do, I realise that isn't wholly true. I can ask, is it integral to me? Did anything change when Zenella was born? And it feels like, nothing inherent, nothing intrinsic did.

But of course some things did. I discovered something powerful I had not known existed before. And I gained an element in my life that will last for all my life. I am not saying a purpose. That's silly.

I think I am trying to say that it doesn't feel precisely like a part of me, not like my liver, or my penis, or my ears. I am trying to say it feels like something I do, like breathing, or eating chocolate, or picking my teeth. Something I couldn't not do. I might try but somehow I'd find myself doing it despite myself.

But I don't think of it as being me. Although I could. I mean, I am a being that breathes. If I gave up breathing, well, I would not be able to be this kind of being. But it doesn't seem intrinsic.

In fact, be honest, your body doesn't always feel like it's intrinsic to you. It often feels like a coat you wear, you have to wear, and not always a comfortable one. And doesn't that suck and suck hard? When you feel like your body is a wet jacket you wish you could just shuck off and let dry by the fire.

But women have defined me, marked out the limits of me, the space that I exist in, and I have only felt able to live when one, or more than one, has loved me.

Yes I'm that needy. I told you I was a fucking arsehole and I wasn't lying.

Sometimes I've settled for grudging acceptance and pretended that was love. Sometimes I've allowed a pale shadow of nothing much to pose as love just so I could feel worth while.

I mean, in the past few months I've had a pretty strong demonstration of how shallow "love" can run, as a succession of women who've spent several years wishing I was happy so long as someone else made me happy have cried bitter tears and sidelined me because they fear I am happy and someone else has made it so. (Which she does. Hey Ally, next time you're agonising over how you can't make my life better, how about you consider this? I'm the kind of arsehole who makes his own life rubbish, who creates enough angst to power a small town without anyone else needing to intervene, and nothing bad, nothing bad at all, has been brought into my life by you, and you are the source, the wellspring, of so much good in my life that seriously I make myself a bit vomity when I think about how awesome I think you are.)

Anyway fuck it. I'm bored. I was going to say more but if you read all this you probably need to read more about as much as I feel like writing it. You got the gist anyway.

4 Comments:

At 11:38 pm, Blogger Aliy Gee said...

Cockwomble.

BWAHAHAHAHA

Ahem.

No, you ;)

 
At 9:17 am, Blogger Paula said...

We're all assholes ~ yer not so special. Jk. But I think you've hit on a huge truth. Fatherhood is something men do, not who they are, so they can shrug it off if they so choose. Motherhood is who a woman is, it's in my every breath and has been from the instant I looked into her eyes. Nothing else comes close to the emotional priority I feel for them, which may explain why I can't get attached to a new man. And also helped detach me from the old one when he became a hindrance to their future. Perhaps I extreme.

Lovely writing, as always.

 
At 9:23 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

It's funny actually. I didn't realise I actually was saying that and when Ally blogged it the other day, I felt a bit hurt. Yet there it is.

 
At 1:30 pm, Blogger AJ said...

And yet, you never shrugged off your kids, though you could have. You never let them just stay in one home while you took them on weekends or holidays, but you could have. You refused to leave them, even though being so far from the home you longed for was eating you up. Maybe for a lot of men, shrugging off fatherhood is possible. Maybe for all men, if they had no choice they'd survive it better than women...but I don't believe it's that simple. For you, it's not that simple.

 

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