I wake up angry and bitter today. The time has passed. I have lost this great battle and I don’t know what comes next. It looks grim and unhappy regardless. And I’m furious. If it were a person I’d come in swinging. My tongue would curl with abuse.
I accept this anger. It’s right and proper and will pass at some point, but for now is perfectly appropriate. I’m angry at what has become of me, what I have been led to. I take some responsibility, but without wanting to shirk anything know that in many ways now I am the victim of my fates.
I’ve always maintained that to be a man – in the old-fashioned sense – is to take responsibility for your actions. That is, to be honest with yourself at the very least, and to own up to the flaws in your make-up and to the mistakes you have made. To deflect blame and responsibility is ultimately a betrayal of self. I think I’m pretty scrupulous about that still. In a way that makes it worse though, because – and I think I’m being rational – there is only so much I can take the blame for. There is so much more I have little or no control over, and which is in large part the reason I am here today. Is that a fair assessment? I think so.
You teach yourself as you go along that fairness doesn’t come into it. You believe in karma at the same as understanding that shit happens and will continue to happen. You know there is little profit in complaining about it, or letting it get you down. That’s the test, the challenge, of living. You’ll always have things thrown at you. It’s what makes life interesting, and what can make it rewarding too. You know that. You measure yourself by the ability to meet these things square on and to overcome them. So it’s unfair, you think, but there’s no arbitrator to run to. You deal with it. That’s your thing: you deal with it.
I’ve been dealing with it. In a way this anger is another way of dealing with it. It burns off the excess fuel. It fires up the competitive spirit: anger is much better than despair. You believe still that you’ve been hard done by, and in this moment it fires your outrage. There is hate in it.
I believe in the dictum of grace under pressure. In my reading of it it means that you maintain a kind of integrity regardless of the stress you are put under. I think I have largely lived up to that throughout all of this. Even now if I were to walk down the street I would appear a normal man. I would be polite to those I deal with, I would not forget my manners or sense of perspective. All the same that facade would cloke this inner turmoil. I seethe. I want to lash out at these invisible forces that have brought me so low. I’d almost take a pummeling myself just to feel something tangible against me. I’m furious and bitter and scared and that’s the truth of it, but after today I have to put them aside to get on with salvaging what I can from this catastrophe.
That’s how hard this is. You should know that.