P.24 the Last Letters

    “Go on. I know you can give me more than that.” 

“Hm. Okay. You said home life- you already know that I still live with my parents. My brother moved out a few years back, so it’s just me left to deal with mom’s bullshit. I don’t really talk much to my brother, haven’t spent much any time with him since we were teens without licenses. But he was damn glad to finally get out. It was us vs them as kids; now it’s just me. Most ironic, but fortunate- my brother grew up with a severe learning disability and supposed ‘aspergers”, they said he’d never be able to properly hold a job or live on his own- but he did both, with a successful career in the works and going damn straight at life. Equally as funny, I was supposedly a “gifted” student intellectually- at least as the assessments go- but I actually ended up being the one unable to do any of those things; maybe instead of him? I mean I’m happy for him, and pray more for him, but me- I’ve run out of excuses for failure at my age-”

“Wait, slow down. Your mom’s bullshit?”                                        

“Yeah, that’s just what we call it.”

“Call what?” she repeated.                  

I was getting lost in my head again, spinning off in fifty directions. 

“I don’t know, I guess she’s always been like a straight laced and sober rageaholic. Ever since as young as I can remember, she was always stressed, always angry, constant yelling, blaming, martyrdom- we hated being around her. We still do. I still do. Everytime my brother comes to visit he says he still says that he had forgotten how awful she is, or doesn’t know how I don’t just cold cock the woman. Sometimes I nearly do. I break other things instead. And that’s partly why I’m here, tensions were just too high and I have my own shit without hers. They can’t deal with my forgetfulness anymore, and I don’t know why my brain just doesn’t seem to work the way it used to. Even I’m tired of it, I’m surprised they hadn’t kicked me out sooner, for leaving crumbs on the counter or some other dumb bullshit that she’s always cared so much about.”

   “Okay,” she scribbled something down, “See, there’s something. She seemed nice when I talked to her. And your dad?”

“Duh, isn’t that what families do- pretend to be nice when friends are around? Pretend that you like eachother when your date is over?” 

“Sometimes. What’s dad like?”

“I’d say he’s a good Christian guy, a lighthearted kid in a grown man’s body most of the time. I really respect him. He’d always bring the hammer down on us when Mom’s screaming wasn’t enough- but if you ask me, I wouldn’t say he was the head of the household when I was growing up. But he prayed. He taught me to, and to mountain bike, and to keep my eyes fixed on only where I want to go. I suck at that, but I at least learned the lessons literal application after hitting enough rocks, facedown into the dirt.”

“So you like your dad.”

“Basically. In the same kind of distant understanding my brother and I have always had, without much in common, conversation or understanding. But honestly I’ve wondered my entire life if the problem of disconnect isn’t just a problem with me- that maybe I’m a psychopath or sociopath who doesn’t even realize that I don’t actually feel anything, but just use people to get what I need in order to not die.”

“Do you really believe that you use people? If I may say, from the extensive conversations I’ve had with Sherice, you’re anything but a psychopath.” 

“I would never consciously use anyone, but can’t help but wonder; because all growing up I’ve said I love you to my parents- to my mother- but inside felt alone in a family and knew that I could never see them again and wouldn’t hurt any more for it. But as a kid, I’d say I love you to my mother if she said it, but it was like choking on bitter seeds, because I knew she could never know that inside I felt like I wanted to say that I hated her and when I grew up I wanted to be anyone or anything but like her. But she could never ever find that out because as a kid or teen, I still needed things. But even I knew disgust enough at that age to know that something was wrong- and that today I have absolutely no concept of what love is.”

“When you were a kid and you’d get upset, you wouldn’t feel a little better if your dad just held you, even if he couldn’t fix whatever it was? Or you’ve never had a relationship before that you felt love in?”

“Not that I’m aware of, and if I have ever felt “love”, then it must be catastrophically, severely overrated. Never felt it, never been in it; it’s likely nothing more the actions we take as a conscious decision to treat others as ourselves. But if that’s truly all love is, I doubt that it could be as strong a driving force in everyone around me, in this world; I doubt all the songs about it would be on the radio, or even be written at all. I doubt people would become obsessed with another person solely of sexual  attraction, or get married, or raise up more kids who will go though life believing love is just a tool, or a meaningless rose or box of chocolate on February 14th that some people get or deserve while others don’t.” 

“I can tell you that it’s more than that.” She wrote again. “Now let’s move on to relationship history.”

… 

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