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Monday, July 21, 2008

Never trust an 'institution'.

Marriage. The very word makes me shudder. Not that I think the institution is inherently wrong, just that we've outgrown it. To be fair, that I have outgrown it. The days of being married for the long haul seem to be a very long time ago.

We live in a disposable society. If something breaks, don't fix it, get a new one, a better one, a shinier one.

I have three failed marriages to my credit, and as I am the common denominator in all three take the blame for all three. And I'm not proud of any of them, or should I say I'm not proud of my behaviour during and after the marriages. Yes...honesty counts.

(I am proud of my three daughters...I have four but the oldest only views me as an ATM machine and wants nothing to do with me. Fair enough. I have to be bigger than shutting down completely on that front but there are days when I'm just not up to it. But I digress...)

My parents were married five times each. They were my role models, my examples of how things worked.
On the flip side I'm close to my Aunt and Uncle, who have been married to one another a very long time indeed. Irish Catholics to the bone, five kids...they made the long haul work, but in my world they were the exception, not the rule.

I've now been marriage free for eight years. I've learned how to be alone. I've even learned to like it. This was not always the case.

I joined the army when I was seventeen. After three disastrous years I was somehow honorably discharged. Three years of drugs, alcohol, European travel, the cold war, and headbutting authority every chance I got. When I enlisted my head was filled with naive romance and adventure. I performed well in basic training, but knew I didn't fit. Skinny assed white kid with a big mouth and a decent vocabulary. I should have known.

When I reported to my permanent duty station in Germany I tried to fit in, but knew I was different. Then I started trying to make the burnt out lifers see it my way, so I threw down the gauntlet, and they responded in kind. They begged me to pick it up, and when I did, I'd find myself picking up teeth. It was then I read James Crumley's 'One to Count Cadence'. That, along with Earl Thompson's 'A Garden of Sand' and 'Tattoo' sparked the romance into a fire and I yearned to write, and drink, and travel. Life imitated art, and I stayed a private for three years, and stayed drunk for even longer.

I was a mess, but so were all my literary hero's. I thought that was the way it should be done, so I drank, and threw typewriters out of windows, and screwed my way across south Texas. After my enlistment, I stayed with my father and his last wife for a bit, until I backed my grandmothers car over a gas meter one night, drunk, after a one night stand. So I packed and got on a bus for South Texas. I had cousins who would put me up while I tried to get it together. The only thing was, they expected me to have it together already. Who knew?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.
I'm sure you've heard of Charles Bukowski, if not, you should totally check him out... I think you would understand each other to the bone.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...