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Rant #364
(published January 10, 2008)
Resemble This
by R.J. Bullock
Having whored for so long for that old time unconditional love, having come to this point in this life at which men of the world may realistically think of winding down, their strategies for enjoying the really good life come to fruition, I have instead stretched my potential as manifested in my wife's love and belief in me beyond the pale of the breaking point, having just crossed over into my twenty-eighth year without a single drink or intoxicating drug writhing naked across my blood brain barrier, a point at which sober brothers and sisters of comparable longevity are enjoying the fruits of their hard-won serenity, I sit in this college student cafe far too old for it, everybody's deluded dad or pervert uncle, counting the change in my pocket to make sure I can cover the cost of a cup of house blend, scratching out a screed of no socially redeeming value on the back of a moot receipt folded precisely and placed carefully in my inner coat pocket facing my heart as if it were important like all the pieces of paper I save for what only that God I'm not even sure I believe in knows, some day of reckoning when the money-men think they got me cornered and I whip out the whetted paper like a straight razor from my insides and lance their shame for a change, waiting for the art-house movie to start for which admission fee I plan to submit a slice of flat rectangular plastic with amazing powers of speech that is still in my wallet which is still in my hip pocket that draws on an account that is still in both our names though my love I know at last would prefer it otherwise, still within my grasp though I had resolved to surrender it and all it's empty promises after our last go-round detailing the entrenched diametrically-opposed positions we two hold concerning the one true path and proper value of the ways and means of the world, the world, the valley of the shadow of flesh and bone, dirt and air, fire and water, sorrow joy fear pain hope and ensuing craving for all it is not, the environs in which I must admit I find myself as if mysteriously placed by an unseen hand, the world operating at standards to which I have not yet grown accustomed, the environs I continue to reckon wrongly with such relentless consistency it's a wonder I am allowed to wander without more formal restriction in it, given that my malformed understanding of it must be unintentional otherwise perversely selfish, that I, an apparently healthy white man with a college degree from a good family must certainly be inflicting this negation of what had been a relatively normal, happy life until I discovered almost by accident as many great discoveries have been that what I had to do if I were ever to know anything substantive beyond provisional egoistic truth, if I were to make good on the challenge of my existence as I understood it, the only real and authentic thing I could do was to stop striving, cease trying, desist from the endless effort to make myself valuable and feel valued by others, which at first blush I took to mean making others happy with me but since have come to see simply as relinquishing the craving to be a fixed and solid entity of significance, worthwhile and memorable even to myself and know not why.

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