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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


andy goldsworthy

Ever known somebody who believes everything is about them? It's hard to be so insensitive to say, Why is everything about you? It's a question that can't be answered by somebody so unconscious they believe the sun revolves around the earth, ultimately themselves. Were I to say something like that, the only answer I'd get would be on the order of, "NO-NO-NO! You don't GET it!" Can't say anything in response, because he never stops talking in exclamation points. What do I do? Shut down and listen to nonsense until it wears itself out, being nice. This is someone who interprets conversation to mean him standing over you barking in your face straightening out your erroneous mind. I tell him to stay out of my face, then it's my fault he's in my face. He's mad at me now for making him "look like a fool." I'm not a plastic surgeon. All I did was report my experience from my point of view, not his. He doesn't like being told to stay out of my face, never complies, and gets mad at me for saying it so much, like I'm obsessed, which I've been told. Finally, I've been told, "Total closure," with exceptions, of course, like repetitions to be sure I understand it means almost total closure. He's mad at me for "making" him look like a fool, like it's not ok for me to have feelings about being talked to like I'm a fool.

Lord have mercy. He's permanently pist with me now, and I feel good about it. I've listened to bullshit for so many years wishing I could be unkind enough to say stop it, but gulped it down reminding myself this is an unconscious child who quit school because he knew more than the teachers. This is a forty-something, who when he was sixteen visited the farm with mom from the big city. He wanted to do farm work (as long as he could watch it on tv). We were putting up hay. We could use the hand, but I did not need his help that I already knew was in the negative range. He insisted. We put him on the hay wagon to stack the hay bales as the three of us on the ground picked them up and put them on the trailer bed for him. He did a good job of stacking blocks. The hay bales came to up over the top of my head when we were finishing the trailer load. I lifted a bale and placed it at his feet. He laughed and mocked me. I can't do any better than that. I don't have what it takes to throw one up there. Laughing, mocking, being a stupid ass. He caught the next one in his arms. It carried him over the other side of the trailer to the ground in one move, head first.

The next day I needed to go to town. I wanted his mother to go with me. I had not seen her in a year and wanted to talk with her with his continually running mouth out of the way. He wanted to go. I said no until mom told him he could go. My inner tire went flat. He had to sit in the back of the pickup. "I want to stand up!" No. "I want to stand up!" No. "I want to stand up!" No. "I want to stand up!" I thought about allowing it and throwing him out the back of the truck with a quick release of the clutch. I said I'm not going, and left the truck. He said he'd sit down. I get in the truck and it's, "I want to stand on my knees!" No. "I want to stand on my knees!" No. "I want to stand on my knees!" Ok, whatever. Drove to town intentionally not throwing him out the back of the truck, imagining mom flipping out seeing her baby sprawled on the pavement. After I'd done all that needed doing in town, I found him on the porch of Lowes hardware store playing putt-putt on riding mowers like it was a merry-go-round. He was sixteen, not six. Finally caught his attention to get in the truck and head home. "I want to stand up!" No. "I want to stand on my knees!" Ok, whatever. I started rolling out of the parking lot that had a slightly downhill slant, looked in the mirror and saw him looking at me with a gloating teenage smartass smirk.


I touched the brake. Next thing I saw was his face on the back glass, flat and round as a pancake showing big surprise. I still see that image as if it happened ten minutes ago. He cried lying in the back of the truck and cried all the way home. It would not have been legal for me to hammer his face with my fists, but it was legal to touch the brake. By then the little monster had put me through so much over so many years it felt good to flatten his face and see it flat. I felt no sympathy for his pain. I meant to hurt him. Back at the house, he was still crying in the back of the truck. I thought: dramatist to the very last drop. He said when he lunged forward the spare tire I had in the back hit his nuts. He was crying because I'd hurt his nuts. It made me laugh. All the better. By now in his late forties, he continues to talk non-stop, interrupts frequently when I speak. I have come to see interruption as an insult that says, I don't want to hear anything you have to say. When he's around, I am told by interruption that he is only interested in what he has to say. I don't care. I don't want to talk anyway. I do, however, grow weary of the disrespect, which I'm expected to receive as unconsciously as it is given.

This is the third bullshitter in my life I've alienated in the last couple years. Earlier in the day I was wondering what was happening. I'd alienated three bullshitters in a fairly short span of time. It told me something had changed inside me. Each of the alienations was made consciously. One day I asked myself of each one, why is it that I'm expected to receive the insult of disrespect again and again, but I can't give any disrespect in turn. There came a time I called each one on their disrespect. They each one puffed up and absented themselves of their own volition, to my silent applause. They showed me how none of them could take the insult of disrespect I was expected to receive passively on a regular basis. I called them on the disrespect and they wanted nothing more to do with me. I sighed relief over them, one at a time. Calling their disrespect in whatever way I chose at the moment, I questioned my own brazen feelings. What has changed in me to make me less tolerant of bullshit and disrespect? I talked with a  woman friend about the issue. I like to hear a woman's perspective on male behavior. Women are insightful, which men generally are not, and women know men better than men know themselves. She said, "You're getting old." Bingo. Today I found for maybe the first time, no, second time, anyway first notable time, the freedom in growing old. I don't have time to indulge myself in the drama of other people's neuroses anymore. That's the best I can make of it.


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