It began, as most things do, as a search for truth. I began, as most things do, unacquainted with truth, and that which I stumbled upon was quickly spun to me as something quite different by those who were well-meaning, and those who were, well, less so.
It is true that the reeducation starts early, before we get into any nasty and persistent habits like trusting ourselves, and feeling good, and, oh, I don’t know, eating with exquisite appreciation of the taste of really good Belgian chocolate and a fantastic Nebraska steak, in a land where food is neither criminal nor deadly.
I learned long before I arrived at Catholic school that eternal and everlasting joy could only be bought with scarring pain, and back-breaking, acne-causing guilt, and that is how our loving god wanted it. I take back all those sins I confessed. Children don’t sin. But we learn to make it up, to apologize for being. Sorry, Jesus. Bummer about that crucifixion, although may I say, it’s tough to be born in the red, a spiritual debtor. Thanks a lot. Thanks for nothing.
Regarding with suspicion ourselves and everyone else, the volunteer rat squad polices all of us all the time, understanding that with dissent comes disaster, with contentment, the ruination of all we hold dear. If only little tin badges were handed out, now that’d be something, boy. We’d be blinded by the reflection of the sun off their multitudes. You know you want one.
I wonder if the American dream exists only as a theoretical alternative to the real American nightmare. And is the American nightmare the worst of those available? Somehow, I doubt it, but how is that a consolation?
Truth is beauty and beauty is truth, and sometimes truth is a bottle-blonde with fake tits, and beauty is a brilliant, ass-saving lie in the nick of time, and what is ugly is art, and thus, beautiful and truthful both, if you believe in that sort of thing.
It is a quirk of the infinite mind that we can hide from our truth, beautiful and hideous alike, that we can lose memos to ourselves, misplace important directives from our weak and gasping souls, evade our better angels like Navy pilots. And no one can stop us.
I can’t remember how to play cribbage, and I can’t remember my grandmother’s voice, and I can’t remember where I left my idealism, possibly in my other pants, but those were pretty worn at the knees anyway.
The cynic takes no joy in being right, and in a tiny and unconfessed place hopes it was all a misunderstanding.
The questions are piling up, and the answers are not forthcoming. Wisdom is on back-order, and patience has been discontinued. Pandora’s shaking the box, and there’s nothing left. There’s nothing right, either.