Friday, June 13, 2008

Like That, Like That

And then there is this:

The feeling that those you care most about have let you down in irreconcilable ways, forcing you to confront a reality you'd prefer to go on denying.

Like being told, yes, we are going. Make sure you're ready!

And then waiting at the door, and still waiting, your six-year-old mind unable to fathom a let down so heavy, so thoughtless, so damaging.

And realizing — hours after your mother storms in and tells you it's your fault you're not going — that she never had the tickets in the first place.

There will be moments, I tell you, that your children will never forget. Little lies you tell; promises you make, believing that such a small mind couldn't possibly retain.

But they will, I promise you, and some night years later when they are trying to sleep — tossing and turning to a past doomed to repeat itself — they will recollect these moments with a nauseating clarity. They will come to understand the truth that we go on denying:

Everything is meaningless.

People you love will leave, and the heroes of your youth will haunt you with their future indifference. They will reach out from your past as such a stark contrast to your present that you will fear you never really knew them at all.

And so it goes. And so it goes.

Like that, times two — the disappointments simultaneous and mounting, almost too much to bear.

Almost, you think. Almost.

But there is your alarm, and you force your mind through the fog and begin the rituals of the day, closing — dear God, please turn off the circuits that remind me of them — your thoughts to your present decay.

I have become dispensable, you think, squeezing out the last of the toothpaste.

But then again: was there ever a point when you weren't?


Anonymous said...

We all have those moments. Mine was when I was four and we had to call something off because work called.

I think that is one of those reasons I try to always do what I say I am going to do. And my gut churns when I can't.

We go through life insulated by illusions about how life works. The people we love won't hurt us. The people we love will keep their word. The people we love will answer the phone when we call. The people we love will be there when we need them. And some times that illusion gets shattered and we feel the cold wind of hard reality blowing.

So what do you do then?

Woodrow said...

Thanks for the reminder.

MelO said...

ugh... I hate getting older (and therefore wiser). It is so unbelievably bittersweet.

XOXO said...

Remember when you used to say, "I can't wait to grow up" and adults around you would shudder in almost horror? Now I know why.

ds said...

a response somewhere else.