It is almost ridiculously easy to enumerate my faults–and just writing that, I am poised to slide directly into a list of them. It would be so very simple, completely effortless to do. My pen wouldn’t stop moving for days and days and I wouldn’t have to ever stop and think. I would just sit and write a list, numbers marching down the page, of every thing that is wrong with me, and every thing that is broken, bruised, damaged, fucked up and irredeemable.
Then, I could flip the page to a fresh sheet and start writing down every thing that I’ve ever done wrong, every thing that I’ve ever fucked up, all the ways I’ve blundered and stumbled and all the times I wished I could backpedal, even though backpedaling always sends things further into fuckup territory, and the reparations I try to make end up making me look even more like a big asshole. I would go ahead and take the time to list them in the order of magnitude, from stupidest and worst to slightly less stupid and still pretty bad, but when I think about it, they all seem pretty much about equal to me in terms of screwed up-edness. Bad, uncomfortable, embarrassing, so easy to recall and impossible to either forgive or forget.
It is so easy. Not many things come easily to me, and that is
probably what you call irony. I would rather be able to maybe play by
ear, or juggle a soccer ball or catch a fly between two chopsticks or
do large sums in my head. Those are no less useless skills, but aren’t
they so much nicer? They are also a fuck of a lot more fun at parties,
I’ll tell you what.
It is so easy, and it is automatic, hard to shut off, endlessly
frustrating to suck so, so much. And it makes it difficult to
concentrate on what good things there are. Sometimes, there are good
things, there really are, I swear. I am trying to convince both of us,
Sometimes, I do okay. I don’t kick puppies. I donate to charity. I have
been known to volunteer, to lift heavy things for people, to do favors
and not expect thank yous. I had a weekend of endless stumbling, and
now, I might be back on my feet. Here I am qualifying my statements and
hesitating and afraid to maybe say that sometimes I do more than okay.
Sometimes I can be a rock star. A super, duper rock star who
concentrates on her protein and avoids sugar. Woo!
Though in actual truth, though eating chicken salad for lunch isn’t
really that bad-ass, hard core and totally awesome, it kind of feels
that way. I wanted a bagel for lunch; I got chicken instead. I wanted
a donut; I got a latte. Can I get a what what? We love you Cleveland!
The problem with trying to reverse your–no, my; let’s take responsibility,
and not hide behind rhetorical gestures, and say my. It appears that
the problem with trying to reverse my polarity like this, going from
half-empty to half-full, attempting to give myself a break and feel
good even about the little things, is that when I do break down and
admit that maybe I am not all bad and terrible and everything that’s
wrong with the world, then everything I do that isn’t actively a terrorist
action suddenly seems monumental, and worthy of praise and notice, and
why aren’t you telling me how fucking much the super greatest I am?
Tell me how awesome I am, holy crap, you’ve never seen anyone eat tuna
salad exactly like that! Tell me I am not all bad, please! Please, tell
me you’ve noticed that, and you forgive me, and that I am just exactly
like a cancer-curer, though much more punk rock.
What it is, I think, is that I spend so much time assuming that
everyone can tell what a terrible person I am, and that they are just too
polite to admit it. That every single person I pass on the street can
take one look at me, a cursory glance, and see directly into the
wretched hive of scum and villainy that is my soul, and they are
disgusted and horrified and I want them to turn around, and come back,
and take a better look, or let me explain, and I want them to see that
I am not everything that is terrible in the world. And I want them to
know that it is hard to be good and do right, and it is hard to let
myself admit that I might not be all bad; it is so hard to congratulate
myself for the things that I do well, and I need someone to give me
permission. I don’t want to ask for permission, and I hate depending on
someone else’s opinion, more than anything. And yet, that is exactly
what I am looking for, and what is wrong with me? Everything is wrong
with me. But not all the time, right?