The past two days have been trying on my equilibrium, more than usual anyway compared to my lately. Every now and then I start to feel really down about myself and the pains of being alone are a little sharper and more difficult to ignore. These past two days have been like that. It may have something to do with running into my ex. It may also have something to do with a lot of things, some of which I can name and some I cannot. So I bought a pack of cigarettes. I haven’t bought a pack of cigarettes in about 10 months, when my ex and I broke up, and they lasted me a really fucking long time. Probably because I don’t much care for them after a while. It’s more the act of smoking I enjoy; holding something in, then letting it go, while watching something transcend into a nothing right before my eyes. It’s like my very own magic trick, but done by millions and killing thousands (that’s a guesstimate). At any rate, I bring up the cigarettes because I assure you it is indicative of how I was feeling when I made the purchase. Pretty damn lousy.
So I arrive after dropping my kids off with their dad–it is Father’s Day afterall–cry for a spell at the empty nest I’ve come home to, I open up the fresh pack of cigarettes I just bought for eight whole dollars($8!!), crack open a beer and smoke the remains of my bowl. Again, signs that I’m feeling pretty shitty. And then I crank up the tunes. I’m on youtube now, searching for a few go-to songs that I like to listen to when I’m having a hard time managing the meaninglessness of life. A Perfect Circle’s Noose is one of them. But I had never, until this point, seen one particular video that someone mastered with images of GW Bush and some unbelievable clips and images of the most shocking atrocities I could never conceive of. I started out watching the video feeling sorry for myself. I ended up realizing how fucking stupid and self-centered I was being. Watch the video and you’ll see for yourself (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHdRy-iivcg). You’ll see the senseless devastation and heartless politicians who are to blame.
There really aren’t words for what has happened, real life things that have happened on land far away from the part I tread on. It’s no wonder soldiers who come back from war are never the same. It’s no wonder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs so naturally among them. I hate that such calamity can lead to a boost in my spirits. And it’s not to say that I wasn’t incredibly disturbed and sobbing at the horror of it all as I sat and watched that video. But… it woke me up a bit, too. It made me realize how much worse things could be. They could be a LOT worse. My family hasn’t been blown to bits or had their faces burned off. My child isn’t laying on a gurney with their brains being stitched back into their head or their flesh entirely missing from parts of their body. I’m not holding them dead in my arms. My kids are alive and well. And so am I (although adding to my chances of cancer this very moment). I have so much to be thankful for, despite the loneliness and emptiness I try not to think about.
I may not know what the hell life is for. And this unknowing may start to get me down time and again. But I do know that life is not about blowing people up and gunning people down; it’s not about exchanging dog tags for price tags. It’s about finding those rare moments when you’re able to accept rather than resist everyone’s right to be human.