When I was in my twenties, it was a distant concern, a lower priority than when and where the next party would be thrown.
When I was in my thirties, it was the burden of the older workers who seemed to be placed in my path to annoy and slow me down.
When I was in my forties, it was a predator that knocked on the door I refused to answer. Sometimes it would go away, and sometimes it would return with several armed friends.
Now that I am in my fifties, it has become the realization that I will be spending half my life in a literal blur looking for a pair of reading glasses to see things more clearly, after having spent half my life in an intellectual blur, completely clueless and empowered only to make that blur more intense and disorienting.
When I was young, I presumed that I was alone in my ineptness and kept it hidden from no one but myself. The difference between being a worker and being a manager was the quality of the lies I told.
Now that I am older, the difference between being a worker and being a manager is still the quality of the lies I tell myself, but now I feel every lie so deeply that no massage therapist can smooth them out nor any chiropractor retrieve. As I see my fellows breaking down at the horror of watching, and the thought of having to clean up after, six billion people all committing suicide, my bones ache with the impossible honesty I would ask of those who stay behind to testify to the power of love. Not the love of song and sex, but the love of Kahil Gibran – the threshing floor kind of love that only those committed to another for multiple decades can even begin to appreciate.
When, in my deepest, most final sadness, I am forced to squeeze, not point, the finger of last judgment in your direction, it is this kind of love I would save you from; the kind of love that the narcissistic and genocidally inclined cannot know, much less appreciate. It would be cruel of me to expect you to know or to care of this love, yet it is the love your mother knew or you would have never been born and raised past the age of consent. I would ask the forgiveness not of you because your cause is a sad and troubling loss, but of your mother. Her generosity, or the generosity of a mother before her, is beyond doubt or question.
May I always keep this silent prayer in mind as I beg all that is real and true for this to be my last judgment. May I always be capable of feeling the loss of your humanity as mine when you cannot. May I never lack the integrity to see clearly when, past every warning, you repeatedly or belligerently cross the line of humanness in praise of the reptiles we once were. May I never lack the courage necessary to make crooked the finger of last judgment that hope might be more conserved.
Of the four boxes of hope, in order: soap, ballot, jury and ammo – three have been exhausted. I know the third has been exhausted because I contributed to the receipt of one copy of Vincent Bugliosi’s book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder, for every District Attorney in the United States where a constituent had died in the Iraq War. Over one thousand copies of that book were delivered two years ago and not one single prosecution, in spite of the unimpeachable prosecutorial integrity of Bugliosi, was ever initiated.
Nigeria may seek to prosecute Dick Cheney, Spain may overlook the threat imposed upon it by the World Bank and decide to prosecute members of the Bush or Obama Administrations, but in these United States, no prosecutor or legislature would dare place their reelection at risk by taking responsibility for maintaining a democratic republic governed by a constitution and a Bill of Rights. Doing the right thing has become a task of impossible honesty in these formerly United States of America, circa 2010 CE – AynRandistan by another name.
May your prayers be answered, your box bottomless and your aim true.