A Clear, Expansive Sky

Black Friday. Woke up knowing the day would be a turning point of one sort or another. The question was asked of me last night. How long can I separate things in my mind before it becomes a problem. I said forever. For a guy who no longer makes decisions based on emotion, this seems like a plausible answer.

I put up my Christmas tree today. I only did it for my daughter because that's the only reason for me to celebrate the holiday. I sat on the floor surrounded by memories of the past. Plenty of ornaments marking her first, second and third year. Plenty of ornaments marking different times in my life. Times I'll never get back. Times I'm not sure I ever really knew what they meant.

My daughter, the one thing I do get emotional about because that is my job as a parent, was having a ball decorating the tree. Eventually I stopped doing it and sat back and watched her. She put ornaments together to make a scene. That made me smile because I do the same thing. She is my child. It's all right there. The hair, the mannerisms, the sense of humor.

And all those pieces of memories disappeared, and I now had a bunch of new ones. Good ones. Ones that wouldn't be yanked away like a dog running to the end of its chain. I took pictures of her in front of the tree. She posed in various ways, always the ham. She told me it was the most beautiful tree she had ever seen, and I told her it was because she decorated it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. My daughter will be with me, so that will be good. My friends and family care more about it than I do. Like I said at work the other day. Yeah, it's great. Let's all celebrate that my parents fucked. That's what it boils down to. I didn't ask to be born. I didn't ask to be put upon this Earth and be a hard companion of misery. These things were thrust upon me, and I don't claim them as my own.

My daughter is excited about it, though. She loves the idea of my birthday. That makes that okay. That makes me feel more human. It makes me think that if I bring her that much joy, I can't be all that bad. The mirror must be a bit of a liar. But just a bit.

The apparent female version of me (or, in order to be fair, I'm the male version of her), is off dealing with family over this vacation stretch. Dealing with family is like robbing graves. You dig into the mold and dirt, unearth treasures both forgotten and previously unknown, but when it comes down to it, you are desecrating the dead. You are delving into things not meant to be explored. You are in uncomfortable surroundings and you have to be on high alert lest you be caught. She deserves to be away from here, but she shouldn't be forced to rob graves.

Her sense of betrayal over what happened at work is like mine. Maybe not the same, but close enough. When I explained to a dear friend why I felt the way I did, she said, "Things happen for a reason." They do, and what happened wasn't my fault, but I knew when it happened that my co-worker's life was about to become very screwed up. It wasn't a pleasant thing to feel or live with. Still isn't, but I've distanced myself. The betrayal remains. The feelings are slowly fading.

My discussions with my friends (one in particular) as of late have been eye opening, to say the last. For once I'm pretty sure the observations made aren't way off base, and I wonder what that says about me. I tell my friends not to worry, but I know they do. I tell my friends I'll be fine, and I will be. The unspoken question remains, however: You'll be fine, but at what price?

There's more I want to say. Plenty, actually. But, as long time readers know, this blog ain't the venue for it. I've already gotten personal enough on here today. People either love the personal or hate it. Me? I feel like I'm poking a corpse, and I'm tired of it for the obvious reasons.

This is also the month my father died.

Talked about GG Allin last night. He's dead, too.

In about eighteen minutes I'll be another year older. One step closer to death. Maybe next year I'll have all this figured out.

But I doubt it.

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