Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cheer Up



If you are a man, if you are manly, you handle stress.  You deal with it.  Pain, anxiety, whatever.  That is the model I was raised on, anyway.  My generation rejected that to some extent.  We were allowed to talk about our feelings.  Encouraged to, really.  And perhaps that was the floodgate to the present. Perhaps I should go on t.v. and cry for everyone to see.  Perhaps I would feel better.  It would please many.  I'd get plenty of support, even kudos.

Cry it all away, man, cry it all away.

But that is not how I am built.  I'd rather whine a bit here and there and suffer the most terrible things silently.

Yea, the death of my cat made me cry, but that is just part of a jumbled mix of stressful life denying things that are going on right now.  And I can feel the results of it in my body and in my mind.

And I am ashamed.

I think about people who live in places like South Sudan or Syria, and I can't imagine how they go on.  They do, I know, but at what terrible cost?

But their suffering is abstract, and mine is personal.  For me.  Just as my suffering here is meant to be illuminating but is at best merely entertainment.

There is suffering and there is desire, and sometimes the two commingle.  And like the pain, a man suffers his desire silently.

Except my generation rejected that as well.  We opened the porn store on Main Street.  And now, for (almost) any desire you may harbor, you can get support, even kudos.

Almost.

I need to get away.  I need a real vacation, not an adventure.  I need enough money to make my troubles go away.  It would take lots and lots.

But I'd settle for a month in the mountains in a pretty stilted house with tremendous views.

Just like the people of South Sudan and Syria.

Yea, it is shameful all this bellyaching we do.  I do.

"Cheer up," a friend said.  "Things could be worse."

So I took his advice.  And he was right.

Things got worse.

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