I used to have frequent conversations with the skeleton of my long-dead father. I did this for about two years, almost every day, sitting at the computer, taking dictation to the steady beat of my tapping fingers, thumb adding off-beats on the space bar. Once in a while I read one of these chats, often out of curiosity after I see someone has clicked on one (as somebody did yesterday) and realize I miss talking to my witty lifelong enemy, now that he is dead and full of self-knowledge and empathy.
“Who are you talking to, motherfucker?”
You’re a droll one, doll-face. You know goddamned well who I’m talking to. I’m having what you might call an inner dialogue, something that becomes necessary from time to time to straighten out my unruly thoughts, if you know what I’m saying.
“Talking to yourself…”
I’m going to ignore these interruptions. The nagging, niggling voice of the reflexive interrupter is not something to be interrupted by, if you seek clarity of any kind.
“If you say so, Chief.”
You can be 100% correct in your analysis, based on specific past experience and outside knowledge, your overall analysis can be dead on, and you can still, in an individual case, be wrong. For example, you can be dealing with an inhuman bureaucracy, bent on saving money by cutting the eligibility of anyone it can, in a system brutally skewed toward protecting the privileges of the privileged; that bureaucracy can have twice or more arbitrarily fucked you, in excruciating detail, for reasons they later reverse — and in “the instant case”, as we are taught to say by law professors, you may have simply been fucked by your own inaction or error, the inhuman bureaucracy in that particular case virtually, or at least legally, blameless.
“Seriously, man, who are you talking to?”
That is a disgusting and fake question. You have a sickening smell. You’re a disgraceful excuse for an interrupter!
As you were. Now men, it is very important, and I say this to you as a role model and the steward of your morality, that you not be confused by these competing truths. Both things can be true at the same time, even if one is more true at the moment than the other. Do not doubt your essential analytical skills because you find yourself mistaken in one instance. Yes, the enemy is brutal and sneaky. Yes, sometimes you fall asleep at your post with your hand on your dick, mouth open, vulnerable to even the kindest, most considerate attack.
“Sir, yes Sir!”
The exploitation of your vulnerability, even if done by the enemy in the most considerate possible way AT THAT TIME, does not mean that at any other time your ruthless enemy will not revert to character, not revert to the supremely inconsiderate beast it also is.
Your faith in your fact-based analysis, men, should be as clear to you as a glass of pure water. Be the water, not the glass.
“Bruce Lee, Jeet Kun Do, the Way of the Intercepting Fist.”
You can live on a low income, by choice, and not really be entitled to call yourself low-income, though why you would want to do that is another question entirely. You can be protected by someone who loves you, who has the means to protect you financially from the worst, and still be vulnerable to the same institutional cruelties that routinely kill many other people in your situation.
Be self-effacing at your own risk, men. Remember, the boy who cries “poison gas!” in a coal mine filled with odorless gas will still be killed by the poison gas he can’t smell.
It’s may be easy to view someone you feel has not worked as hard as you, at least not for pay, as a whiner complaining about the brand new rope being used to hang him.
To consider me a pampered stuck pig screaming in pain from a self-inflicted wound I imagine is another of the thousand cuts freely given to anybody who speaks up, or stays silent, howling at unbearable, over-amped length, tediously advertising myself as the most learned and righteous of victims, giving pompous, imagined voice to the other, voiceless, real victims, is to paint only a corner of the larger picture. I am also, potentially, with the right marinade and glaze, and slow-cooked to a turn, a very tasty rack of ribs.
“Sir, yes SIR! Oh, yum! SIR!”