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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A generational rant...this is for you, guys.

I am going to veer from the narrative, albeit briefly, to send something out into the atmosphere.

Next month, I will be 49 years old, which means, the guys I grew up with, who are all still 32 in their heads, are careening wildly into middle age. (yeah I know, fifty is the new forty, blah, blah... it's still 50, which makes you the new retarded.)

Yep, that's us guys...we have become our Fathers, and most of us are ill prepared for the responsibility. Do we love our children? Fiercely. Do we know how to raise them? Not a clue.

We were born in the Eisenhower era, and came of age in the shadow of our version of Camelot, to watch it all turn to fiery, blood soaked, rhetorical nonsense. (The bigotry, racism and 'free love' notwithstanding.)

We had no war or great cause, we had no real heroes, we had no great music. (Tell me we did and I'll beat you to death with a Culture Club album.) We had platform shoes , the mullet, and Chuck Woolery. It's no wonder I drank.

We saw most of the Beatles die and saw the Stones turn into deranged geriatrics. We were lied to constantly...and we learned to suckle the lie, lest we finally know the truth.

Most of us were raised by a single parent, and those who were not, secretely wished they were.

Our hopes and dreams, for the most part were never realized, we could never measure up to those who went before us, and now, those behind us are protecting our liberties, while we wonder why and how we got fat, and bald, and nothing ever came true.

I remember when my parents died..and I realized I was totally alone on this planet and had not been prepared for it. I was thirty five years old, and I felt about eleven. So I did the best I could, and wrecked lives, and gnawed on the truth, wondering when it would all stop or I would get the rule book I thought everyone else had. And one day, I realized no one had it...that we were all, just spinning on the rock, waiting... to spin into oblivion.

For me Chuck Palahniuk summed it up..."The people you are trying to step on, we're everyone you depend on. We are the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We make your bed. We guard you while you're asleep. We drive the ambulances. We direct your call. We are cooks and taxi drivers and we know everything about you. We process your insurance claims and credit card charges. We control every part of your life.

"We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won't. And we're just learning the fact. So don't fuck with us."

A heavy drinker keeps his virtues for himself and cripples others with his flaws-Phyl Kennedy (George Axelrod)

Greek tragedies are filled with heroes. And they all share something in common. A fatal flaw.
My flaw was walking away when something got tough. This was one of the first times I could actually see me doing it.

I made it about a half a block when we started up the hill. I was carting close to six hundred pounds of prime American, corn fed Democracy, slowly towards Chinatown. And they were already unhappy.

I was straining. I was wheezing. I was shaking. For a moment I envisioned somehow making it to the top of the hill, only to begin descending the other side, brakes smoking, picking up speed, hurtling to a fat, gravy laden death.

Oh, I don't think so.

I locked the emergency brake, and, legs shaking, dismounted the vehicle. The woman was making sounds of protest from somewhere in the folds of her neck, and hubby was grunting with displeasure.

"Folks, we've got a little mechanical...whew...problem..., someone...hang on...will be with you shortly."

And I walked away.

I had a moment of clarity and realized this was how I dealt with anything even remotely difficult, that I could turn around, get back on, and finish what I started.

Or, I could get a beer and look in the want ads for work.

That may have been the coldest beer I ever tasted.

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...