Nobody ever really wants to cry or make a scene, but of course, those of us that have mastered the art of hiding their feelings behind other cloaks sometimes find that it doesn’t help whatsoever. The stoic “nothing is wrong” facial expression and furrowed brow has been something that I have carried on my face for a very long time. Everything is okay, every is fine. It never was, though, and the only time I felt like everything was going to be okay was after a violent bounce off the bottom of the barrel – bucket – hole – whatever people hit that is “bottom”. The bottom, much like the edge, is something that you become semi-aware of, but you never really know it until it encompasses your body and heart.
The bottom, to many people is just an aggregation of circumstances that causes you to be in a shitty situation. To steal some words from Thomas Wolf “A in the past causes B in the present which leads to C in the future.” You screw up enough and you’ll find yourself looking at a list of A incidents that causes you to B in a crummy situation. C, however, is the scary bit, especially if you’ve realized that you can sink no lower, that bottom is your friend and you’ve almost adopted it as a sort of grounding force – almost like gravity. As long as you’re at the bottom you can’t fall any farther, you’re safe. It’s a great mentality, but that’s not entirely true, things can always get worse, especially if you ignore the fact you are responsible for getting yourself on the bottom, and there is a real chance that you might find it again.
Making peace with the fact that you’ve found yourself flat on your ass wallowing in self pity helps, but only for a short while. The ego of mankind can only take so much abuse for so long until it really starts to gnaw not only on the sanity of the person, but also the ability to dust themselves off and actually try to get up from the bottom. The bottom, your old friend, is stable, but what sort of instability had to occur to get to that bottom point. How many eggs had to be broken to make that particular omelette? Did you want one in the first place, do you even like eggs?
This is where I am, I’m looking at the bottom, I’m looking at where I am, how I got there and the fact that all the eggs that I broke to get here were never once worth it. I don’t even like eggs. Instead of looking at myself and being sickened by the fact that I’m at the bottom – I’m just numb to the fact that I could let this happen. A life that I loved, a life that was prosperous and optimistic was shadowed with all sorts of storm clouds and although I carried an umbrella, there was no way that I was going to be protected from the shit rain that was eventually going to fall. I saw the weather report, the signs of a storm-a-brewin’ were all there but I couldn’t do anything. I was frozen in fear.
“I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often.”
― Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness
Sick sad and the feeling of just complete and utter chaos is something that you really can’t identify to other people. It’s a sickening feeling worse than the worst flu bug, the worst migraine and the worst venereal disease you could ever think of. To watch everything that you work for and love fall away from you one piece at at a time is unbearable, and it takes a very strong person to keep on blazing through that shit storm. Bukowski was living in a perverbial shit storm, and I can very honestly say I took a little bit of his personality with me after reading “Love is a dog from Hell.” It’s true, he was a grumpy guy with a shitty life, but he never gave up. He talked about giving up, and everybody who knows anything about him he had all the opportunities in the world to throw up his hands and say “this is it, I’m over this.”
I couldn’t choke back those tears anymore, I finally broke. Like a mighty wave that has been working it’s way to the shore, when it finally cracked the noise and fury dislodged lots of crabs from the sand. My crabs were in my mind, and suddenly I felt like Bukowski, flying high over Indiana in a dark plane with nobody to comfort me but me. It was a sick sad feeling, but a sort of sad that was unlike anything that an actor could portray on the stage. This was a sad from the heart, this was a sad from the soul, this was the ultimate broken heart, shattered battered and done. The fragments of my heart have fallen into places in my belly and rest there like shrapnel from a scatter bomb.
My broken heart has been breaking for decades, and not in the Valentines Day sort of “I have a broken heart because I was dumped, I can’t get a date, I can’t get laid” sort of broken heart. This was my very own broken heart, I broke it and I’ve been breaking it for a long time. The hatred that has manifested itself in my belly now has company. That pithy bitter sting of self loathing is now being tended to by a very shattered, broken, injured heart. These two bits of mind and soul are working together to overcome some nasty feelings. The feeling of failure, of loss, of regret, of bad mistakes and missed opportunities.
“I’ve had so many knives stuck into me, when they hand me a flower, I can’t quite make out what it is. It takes time.” – Bukowski
So, in order to try to start mending and bending myself back to the person that I need to be to crawl up from this pit of mental hell that I’ve fallen, I’m going to start rejecting the daggers that pierce my heart. Instead of being the one sticking knives into my flesh to see the blood flow, I’m going to use those knives in self respect. I’m goign to respect my own honor, and for the love of god, I need more flowers in my life.