Credo

| December 9th, 2016

A good friend of mine got married recently. His best man, probably one of my best friends as well, had to give a speech, of course. I offered to help him with it, and he politely declined. He gave one of the most heartfelt, and best speeches that I’ve ever heard; I was touched and proud.

However, being the neurotic mess that I am, I thought about what speech I would give it I was asked. I have one for my brother, and it was alright, if I say so myself, but something sparked my imagination. The humble subject of the meaning of life.

When I was probably thirteen or fourteen, I asked my father, probably sarcastically, what the meaning of life was. He thought for a few moments, sat me down in an almost comically fatherly way, and said:

“Contentment,”

He went on to explain that he didn’t mean you had to be satisfied, or settle. But you have to be able to step back and reconcile your life as it is. You can’t give in to feelings of bitterness, or resentment. You have to take stock, and accept what you have before you can move forward.

Some years later, at my high school graduation party, a family friend came up to me and asked if I knew the meaning of life. Guided by eighteen years of wisdom, I told him to follow your dreams, and try to make sure that they outlive you. He patted me on the head; something only I would allow an old family friend to do and said:

“Not quite,”

He went on to explain that the meaning of life was something that had been written 222 years ago. “The pursuit of happiness?” I hazarded to guess. He nodded and went on to explain that he knew rich men who were miserable, who had it all, but they lost that drive. That the “Pursuit of Happiness,” is a guiding philosophy. That when you have to make a decision or find yourself in a bad situation, you have to do that which you think will make you happy. Sometimes you have to make hard choices, but you always had to keep happiness as your goal, your lighthouse in the storm.

Maybe a year or two after that, I wondered what my mother would define the meaning of life. So I asked her. She just smiled, shook her head, looked deeply into my eyes, and lightly touched my cheek.

Some years later, my father had died, and my mother was facing her second battle with cancer; breast cancer. Now, I’m the baby if the family, and we didn’t always have the hard conversations. But I happened to be only on there before her surgery.

I asked her that, should something happen, what would she want? She told me that if she were alive, but unconscious, with no chance to return, that she wouldn’t want to live; we shouldn’t keep her in life support. Then she did something odd…

She shook her head, looked deeply into my eyes, and lightly touched my cheek.

Then they wheeled her into the OR.

It was then that I knew, for her, the meaning of life was to have people who love you, whom you love in return, and with whom you can, with just a look and a simple gesture, say everything you need to say about that love.

So I say, this Thanksgiving, appreciate what you have; find some contentment.

Think about where you are going; pursue happiness.

Chasm

| August 16th, 2016

There’s a place that my mind wanders. An empty place.

A place where memory fades,
pride dulls, intellect dims.

A sheer chasm over an endless pit.
The cold, wet wind kisses my face, as I try not to look down into that abyss.

The emptiness calls, and I summon whatever fire within me to resist it.

Yet,

Resent me.

| June 24th, 2016

“Everything you touch turns to shit,”

The more I think of it, the more I think it’s true. Everything I say or do; every relationship I have, is made worse by me.

“I deserve a husband that puts attention to me,”

I’m an anxious, broken man. Frozen because I’m afraid to move. I’m afraid that you attention will burn me, so I run away.

“I deserve a husband that’s attracted to me.”

I don’t know what to say. I feel so empty and sad sometimes. I love you, and I want you, but you don’t want me to touch you, until you do.

“I deserve a husband that can give me a third child without autism.”

Yes. Yes you do. I can’t give that to you. I wish I could. I see the envy in your eyes. I can feel every missed milestone like a dagger in my heart. I love my children I’m proud of who they are, and I love who the will become, but I know this isn’t an easy road.

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

I can’t think of a thing I’ve made better in this life. I think my friends are friends despite me.

I’m sorry you have to resent me

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

Even my mother got tired of me, although she’d never admit it.

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

I’m sorry I make you resent me.

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

I just bull through life, hoping for the best.

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

Perhaps it was an inevitability.

“I deserve someone better.”

You didn’t say it, but you said it. And it’s true.

“Everything you touch turns to shit.”

Everything.

Everyone.

Resents me eventually.

The facade fades, the music grows tiresome, the dance ends.

The band stops. The game ends.
And in the end.