I’m an existential motor-mouth assaults-with-more-than-you-ordered vending machine, but I will never truly assume or preach that anything I do is good or valid. The double standard thing is I unconditionally believe in the transcendence of creation. Whether it’s a story of what happens when a 14-year old outcast gets to decide whether to end all of existence. Whether it’s something someone recorded for you and that you looped 50 times. While I gotta believe in what I do—I’m not a hipster who cynically does things sarcastically—I choose to not validate anything I do with an assumption that it works. If I get psychoanalytical, I used to live as if a hypothetically kinder world and my own accountability were mutually exclusive. When it did 1km/h sink in that I’ve done enough awful things to parallel with my own world resentment, I made it the mission to atone and crater myself in humility whenever I find possible.
As a result of wanting to be a kinder generously vulnerable person, I get why anyone would take that as “MmYouWereOnceStrongButNowYou’reWeakSoLet’sFightAndYouWon’tBeatMeUpThisTime”. I think we’re all taught to look at confidence—even arrogance / insecurity masquerading as confidence—as the absolute autocratic trait of a model human and the O.C.-style #1 you look out for and follow. And I’m gonna go and do the reverse of “and that’s fine, [goes on explanation]” thing cause I haven’t found that fine. It’s that all-confidence no-problems perception we’re conditioned to rooting for that endangers me time and again to relapse into a hypocritical hurtful hater. And there’s the war part of me that I declare won’t change. The same part where if someone I don’t side with irrevocably hurts I don’t know like Matias they will know how it feels to have a dusted-up skateboard indefinitely lodged and physiologically one with what’s left of their skull; so they’ll likely still be alive, just not having a good time. And if I can’t change that scary-Terry part of me, I don’t wanna aim at it. The results are always the same—blam, brap, blood, who needs hospitalizing, who plays C.S.I. intro, who can go home, clean up, get scolded by their household. What can change anything is the peace part of me that wants to get through to others not through punching but linking what makes us fragile.
When the dust settles from throwing down with my adversaries or my own monsters, after upholding this he’s-so-cool-and-resilient shtick for the entirety of a battle, I wondered on the times that I afterwards did succumb to tears in front of an ally why I’m such a sissy of a tough guy. Then I realized it has nothing to do with that delusion or elite fantasy. It’s the kindness of others that breaks me.
Those times as a kid after walking away from or finishing a throwdown with bullies those were Oh You’ll Be Sorry We’ll Meet Again tears I shed. The only thing I claimed to learn from the shame was that I wasn’t tougher and needed to be.
These days the shame I feel is that I’m crying in front of an ally and this will make them respect me less. Followed by the shame that I had thought I got tougher. Just to realize again that wanting to be tough was what made me shameful.
Just to learn again that if I had it my way—I would never have to act tough. I would live an openly vulnerable and generously sensitive life.
And if I reflect that to what’s passed, things tend to make more sense in hindsight.
I feel frustrated and not good enough when someone tells me about someone they know who’s doing so well, wins every conflict or has no conflicts, so confident, so charismatic & well-adjusted, so popular, so smooth-skinned sexy, so magnetic, clearly this is someone they’d switch me with at any given moment on their calendar, cause it wasn’t hard enough getting an appointment slot with them once every 1.5 years.
And I feel comforted—very much not spitefully—when someone shares what’s not right in their life, when they’ve been bullied, what they’ve gone and go through to be accepted for who they actually wanna be and not what’s expected / imposed, when they don’t get nor want to live by the elite fantasy. If most people I pay attention to are vulnerable and scared, then why is everyone outdoing one another to reach this heightened immune numbness, rather than come together below at the pits?
I know that was rhetorical. People want to live. They want to be seen and accepted. They don’t want to die alone. So they do what they have to, even if it’s turning their backs on their kid version. Believe me I’m not patronizing. If no one else I talk about myself. And I just realized how soul-crushing it is to imagine my kid version in the middle of a snowy schoolyard, walking away and forcing a recess snack into his mouth to lie to himself that he wouldn’t rather cry. He cries anyway.
And it’s not soul-crushing cause I imagine the other kids getting smaller and smaller in the background laughing and celebrating their victory at having ambushed the neurodivergent colored kid—and most of that group was colored too so I can only imagine their own potentially boiling self-hate. What’s soul-crushing is knowing For A Fact that if I had it my way at the time, I would’ve been with the bullies. And at a later point in my adolescence I very much was, even if it feels like no one else would look in a mirror to admit that. Even if they never even realized they may have irreversibly scarred another human being. We’re all too busy acting like the vindictive victims.
And suddenly instead I see kid Terry getting smaller and smaller in the background.
To honor his memory and that of every other hurting kid, teen, adult, understandably pissed off geezer regardless their color or roots, I Have To plead guilty to the realization—that if it genuinely threatened my place in whatever race / general hierarchal war that I would rather do nothing about one more person who needed help.
So I will never again give myself the right to cry for not being tougher. I will never give myself the right to cry cause I entitle myself to something I don’t have.
I will instead try to give myself the right to cry when someone offers me compassion. When they see me clearly ready to fuck more shit up and they focus on saying it’s chill. Or when they actually tell me something deeply personal that involves my having a positive part hence getting me to feel for once in a magenta moon that I wasn’t always utterly useless to others. Like you would think when they were going through something and they got through it apparently partly with me in their thoughts that I would be someone who’d appreciate hearing it so that I don’t think I’m straight up the only person in my life who goes through any of these things. I don’t get how it can be this hard to tell someone you were and are scared of whatever it is.
But it is. And I’m set on watching every meaningful person in my life dissipate towards a momentous path that doesn’t have room for the weak and fragile. Because it makes so much sense that a sentient being that’s what 75% fluid and can make an m&m building to get laid is Not weak and fragile, physiologically or psychologically. You could argue making an m&m building takes sheer insistence but you can also look at it as “This is how badly they can’t cope with not getting laid”. I’m set on watching every meaningful person leave cause their path to a least-painful life can’t involve someone who actively dissects pain Operation-Game-hazardously. And I’ve made it clear how much I get it. And I am on edge every time I take a chance on someone. And I will continue atoning for everyone I won’t forget I left behind. Admitting all this is the price I make myself pay.
Because if I don’t truly take steps to atone then I’m another politician. And all this shit is already politicized enough. I don’t need to be one more pigfuck who goes on the internet and acts high and mighty. I don’t need to be another person who imposes themselves at any specific place at any specific time to blend in with whatever cause they don’t actually believe in just to validate themselves. Or it’s a fucked up gathering and they do believe in it and they’re there because that’s how badly they wanna actualize an even worse future. I don’t think it matters where you are or what you rationally gauge you could do and it doesn’t matter what the others are doing compared to you. They’re not smarter or more accomplished cause the exact ways you take to make a difference is different from theirs. And if they compare then they’re not doing what they do cause they believe in it—they wanna feel tough. They wanna feel so confident, so charismatic & well-adjusted, so popular, so smooth-skinned sexy, so magnetic. They wanna not be left behind and die alone, but at the expense of others.
I still remember something someone who I didn’t even like that much at the time said—that he thinks being kind in of itself is a political act. He didn’t mean this in the conniving opportunistic way. Rather it’s a choice you get to make and actualize. And I think that counts—regardless which side you ultimately stand on.
If I virtuously gotta be tough, bring it. If I gotta fuck opponents up, I’ll do so hopefully with a value system that justifies it. If I gotta express things through absurdly-dressed characters fighting then they’re screaming their dialogue at each other.
Still I can’t not at least equally allow myself to melt in my feels for those I do care about. And when I’m not walking sleek like the character in a trailer approaching their nemesis, I can’t otherwise not posture myself in an understated stance. Cause if I had it my way I would live a life where I don’t second-guess being honest about my pain, vulnerabilities, and fears. That whoever I share them with won’t make comparisons to just how great they or someone they actually like are doing. That whoever I do share them with can feel any kind of comfort. It’s at least one other way to know they are (not) alone.