5 comments on “Four Dirty Words

  1. interesting. i’ve been wondering about this concept in a roundabout way lately, too. snap out of it. isn’t that simply a way of saying, stop being you? and who else have i to be, really, anyway?

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    • When our children were growing up, I always told them they never needed to feel embarrassed or scared of sharing their thoughts with me. If they were particularly bothersome or uncomfortable thoughts, so be it.
      I told them that if they were walking around the house wearing aluminum foil top hats with a little Indiana Jones action figure hanging around their necks because they thought the next-door neighbors were mind readers who could shape shift into grotesque trolls who were going to break into their rooms in the middle of the night and hypnotize them into following the troll to a child slave camp on an island in the Indian Ocean …
      I might have a bit of a problem with the veracity of such a claim, but their reality was the one that mattered.
      And there was nothing that we couldn’t work out if we tried hard enough.
      Together.
      And they, in turn, understand that sometimes there are days I’m too uncomfortable or anxious or scared to leave the house to walk half a block to pick up the mail.
      And that I will snap out of it if and when I’m damned good and ready.
      And capable.

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        • While I have a hard time grasping the concept of trusting someone on the basis of a few or a few dozen or a few hundred or a few thousand words posted on the Internet (“He’s a French model!” comes to mind), I was deeply touched by your kind words and your acknowledging whatever impressions I might have left with you.

          I used to sell cars for a living, by the way.

          Still with me?
          Cool.

          I think what it comes down to was having been taught by some really incredible people how to relate to others and make myself relatable to them. My Mom, my Uncle Ben, some incredible people I wrote about in https://nocturnaladmissions.net/2014/04/24/a-story-for-lacey-and-jami/ and a bunch of friends – even some of my best friends – who my son always points out are, like, twenty years younger than I am. In some cases, twenty years younger than I used to be.
          There’s so much to learn from them.
          Learned even more about that in all those years working in Child Support, seeing people occasionally at their worst and knowing that their stories could have been mine, or our son’s or our daughter’s.
          Out of all the things I blurted out during breaks down at the office, sitting back there in the driveway with The Smoking Section, the one that left them the most bug-eyed and slack-jawed was when I decided that I could be a mere two strands of DNA away from Charlie Manson.
          Two strands of DNA, five seconds of really stupid thinking, or one too many bong hits.
          We’re all carrying around the same thoughts and emotions as all the “each others” out there: it’s just a matter of their respective level of intensity that keeps some of us grounded, some of us up on the water tower dressed in camo and some of us on Reality TV or in Congress.

          So I figure maybe that’s what it is, but I truly appreciate your thoughts and having you tagging along on The Next Chapter of whatever story it is I was meant to live.

          Stay well, and you two keep smiles on each other’s faces.

          Harris

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          • Hi amigo. Somewhere in all this it eventually comes down to trying to hold others to a standard we’ve created in our own minds as an ideal of human behavior and allowed ourselves to suppose others could live by it. We’re lousy at living up to standards, we humans, even if we’re the ones who set them. And for the most part we don’t have to search too far in our own lives to discover under rocks and behind bushes, that we haven’t been consistent nor religious about living up to our own.
            You mentioned trust somewhere in a comment, or post here, but trusting human beings while necessary, requires realism. You can trust human beings to be flawed, same as you can trust yourself to be flawed and weak. Human beings are going to fall short of being worthy of the kind of trust that imposes behavioral standards on them. And though they could probably help it, they also evidently couldn’t force themselves to sufficiently to avoid betraying a particular sort of trust loved ones, friends, others who have expectations of them, demand them to live up to.
            Not many of us ever sat down and considered the matter of trust and the demands we placed on others without them ever agreeing to be trusted. Or the similar demands placed on ourselves by others, and we never agreed to, but tacitly agreed to feel guilt when we didn’t live up to them. “Betrayed” them.
            Human beings can be trusted to be trustworthy if they’re trusted to betray behavioral expectations placed on them by others, or by themselves in a blustering hope, claim of strength, or ‘manhood’.
            And if we owe anything at all to those we love, those we care about, those we merely have hope of seeing get through life in some satisfying way, we owe them a shrugging forgiveness for betrayals of trust.
            Sheeze I’ve rambled here. Interesting reads amigo. J

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