"Did you flush your lines," my neighbor asked.
"You should run the water in the bathtub for a long time," he said.
Oops. There was nothing in the flyer telling me to flush my lines, but I guess I should have known. I had another bad day.
"Are you kidding?" wrote my former college roommate, band member, and factory worker. "We're the ones who wrote the song, 'You Can't Trust the Government!'"
"Word to that," I responded.
And so I spent much of my day in bed.
I called my mother to tell her that I would not be up for coming to dinner. That seemed O.K. It didn't look like they were making anything formal anyway. But I guess I'm still in line for my inheritance. My mother was mad at my two female cousins.
"I'm over them," she said. "They just talk to one another and not to me. They talk in low tones when I am out of the room and stop when I enter. I'm sure they are saying all sorts of things about me. That's the way they are."
"Well, mom. . . I don't say anything because they are your relatives, but, you know, I just tolerate them because of you."
It is the hillbilly way. Don't leave your purse sitting out unattended.
At one point during the day, I decided I needed to try out my knee. Here's the report so far. I walk much better from room to room without as much pain but without total mobility. Walking any distance, though, still causes pain at a not to distant point. I would say it is better, but I am certainly not in walking shape. I will continue to work my knee in the gym a little more each day.
After a lifetime of running--away from trouble, away from mental stress, toward a clear mind and tremendous beauty--it is depressing to think I will never run again. I guess I still don't truly believe it, but I should. I ought to be happy-ish, I guess. I've been shot, gassed, and blown up by bombs, and I can still sit in a cafe. I'm a tough son of a bitch.
And a big crybaby. That's what makes me special.
And I'm a thinker. I've been thinking lately about love. I love madly, deeply, incredibly. I've been told that nobody loves the way I do. I've also been told I haven't loved enough. Probably neither of those things are true. Probably both are. Who knows? There isn't really a universal scale for measuring this. But what I've been thinking lately is that it is really stupid to resent someone for not loving you the way you want to be loved. Just dumber than mud. Because people are going to love you the way they are going to love you, and there is not changing that. And if they fall out of love with you or if they begin to fall in love with something else, there is nothing to be done about it. I've always been really good at letting go the moment things change. I've been great at walking away. To outward appearances. . . no, I don't know what it appeared to be. I wanted it to be clear that I was not madman stalker nor an Ophelia who would drown himself at the loss of love. I've always been easy to catch.
"What type of girl do you like."
"The type that likes me, mostly."
But I'm also easy to lose. I don't need to be hit in the nose. I can take a subtle hint.
But. . . and here you may identify with me more than you might have in the last pathetic paragraph. . . I have been guilty of resentment. I mean, "How could they not love me the way I want to be loved?"
You know how good you felt in the beginning? That's how bad you will feel in the end. But I learned an important lesson when I got divorced that I forget from time to time. I felt my wife. . . well. . . I was starting to hate her. She had cheated me out of money and then wanted more. But, by and large, the law was on her side.
Later, when people asked me why my wife left, I would blithely say, "I think she quit liking me." Which had to be true. It didn't matter why. I didn't want to go into analysis.
What was true, though, is that when I told the story, I told the truth. I never lied. And when my wife told the story, she told the truth, too. She never lied.
But they were two different stories. You don't have to lie to be wrong, you see. You just have to leave things out. And that is what happens all the time. People don't have to lie.
What I learned then and should have remembered is that it is fruitless to be angry at someone when their emotions toward you change. It is, in general, pointless and probably wrong.
But people do it all the time. It is painful, you know, not to get what you want, and we all feel we deserve what we are suddenly lacking.
But as Will Munny says in "Unforgiven," "Deserve's got nothing to do with it. . . . If we got what we deserve, we'd all starve to death."
Hard to remember sometimes.
I'm trying to remember that now.
I saw that Banksy stencil on a wall in an alleyway when I went to pick up my fish tacos the other night. How many Banskys are there? Banksy has to be a corporate entity. I had just watched a documentary on Banksy the night before I saw this in the alleyway. I had to go back to get the photo.
I made my coffee with bottled water this morning. I brushed my teeth with bottled water, too. I even washed my dishes in it. I won't be drinking the tap water for days to come. I want to focus on some things. Projects, maybe. I'll just need to be able to walk a little bit. And if I do something good, you know. . . maybe I'll get what I deserve.