Wee hours before Friday.
With a little love from somebody, what might I not be? With an unconditional blessing for who I am, what might I do with my life? Yesterday I got myself a two liter of Coca-Cola and between then and now, drank the whole thing. The experience was rather rejuvenating, and now a few memories detach themselves from the background. I was with a friend on the Downtown Mall during the Christmas season 34 years ago, and I looked for a gift for my mother. One empty building had been converted to a book fair, so we examined some of the titles on display, ranged about on tables. Empty handed, we moved on to the locally owned Book Mark, where I found a modest hardcover of the paintings of Claude Monet and picked it up.
Somewhere that same day I bought the paperback edition of A Separate Peace by John Knowles and began to reread it. The story was about the envy of an intellectual nerd in prep school for his friend who was athletic and charismatic; about the unaccountable irrational in everyday life and how it intrudes on our awareness. Thinking back, were you supposed to like Gene the intellectual or not? At the time, I sympathized with his character, even though he was guilty of a strange crime, while Finny was his innocent victim. I don’t remember the ending very well, except I know that the truth of the incident between them is found out in a mock trial. Envy and jealousy are odd emotions, often destructive. I’ve known a few people consumed by these feelings. They don’t lead to anything good.
One o’clock. The caffeine from the Coke was toxic to me again. It was very difficult to breathe, and I felt like I would have a stroke or heart attack. I should be smarter than to do anything self destructive…
It occurs to me even more clearly that my brother was never on my side. If anything, he would have liked to murder me to puff himself up. He is not a terrible person; only terrible to me. I hope he doesn’t try to call me again. To hell with him. It must be because Mom was better to me than she ever was to him. His motivation then is sheer jealousy and resentment, as I picked up on starting at age 16 or so. I put my observations into my creative writing in high school and college. At 31 years old I was fully conscious of his hatred of me, but Mom never did realize how he despised her. Today, my brother’s hate consumes his body and his soul. He told me that he would never forgive Mom for neglecting him. It’s not hard to infer that he will never forgive me either for benefiting where he missed out… It’s a little sad to countenance it, since I grew up adoring him. Maybe one of these days Polly will call me with the news that Jeff is dead. Then, gone with him will be Tarzan, John Carter, Conan, and all my heroes from childhood.
I guess what Derek the cabby said yesterday really disturbed me. It came from a place of malice, possibly. There will be no second American civil war. I’m not just a Democrat, I’m a person with a disability, and a personality aside from all that. Who was the jerk that said something about using the system in reference to me? It was a long time ago. Like I was some evil genius or something. Well there’s one whose devotion is undoubted, and that’s Aesop’s… Satin Love ended in disaster for me because I held onto my secure situation. That included my income. And then Chris went and got himself diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, just a bullshit category. Polly did the same thing. And Jeff went to a psychiatrist, hoping for something terrible. I guess he got PTSD out of it. It’s hard for me not to shoulder the blame for the behavior of these others who were envious. It’s just a bizarre quirk of human nature, but it shows a lack of empathy. Therefore I think the cabby’s remarks came from a similar place. He didn’t really like giving Ride-source rides.