A wonderful old friend of many years is visiting. At lunch yesterday we discussed how we have gotten to this state which on the one hand seems so wonderful and on the other is such an incredible mess. For my part in the conversation I said we have lost touch with one another. Not just by our dependence on the electronic world to entertain and teach us but by our inability or desire to recognize we are in this together.
Our dependence on wealth for efficacy or our disdain for the anything contrary to our beliefs has led to a selfish space where no one else matters. The “Income Gap” is not just for the rich but all of us. I would call it the “Compassion Gap” and it has so many
implications. It goes to foster gated communities of a different sort. There are really gated minds. We don’t interact with any one but our kind. We don’t have to take responsibility for anyone but ourselves. Survival of the fittest? Maybe. But as we create winners and losers and we become judge and jury we fail to realize that someday we too could be on the wrong end of the gavel.
I dug back in the archives to something I wrote a few years back. It was during our mini Crash. Some of it might be dated. Among the shootings, the firings of decent people and the unending acrimony, it just seemed apropos. Hope you enjoy.
Ted The Great
You’ll Never Know…..
You’ll never know how much I hurt. My muscles, my bones ravaged by an unspeakable pain. It screams when I turn. It sends mind numbing shots even when I breathe. The cancer eats at every part of me with unrelenting vigor. How much longer? How much further? You’ll never know.
You’ll never know the loss of a child. The emptiness. The hopelessness. Dreams unfulfilled. People never met. Such a sweet young thing. So precious. So vulnerable. That bastard that started her down the road to ruin. Hell would be too good for him.
You’ll never know the abuse I endure. I answer your phone. I get your coffee. I smile for clients because I need this job so badly. Only to go home and face the gauntlet. The onslaught of brute strength that I used to crave. The vitriol of his drunken stupor has replaced words of love. You’ll never know.
You’ll never know the ache in my heart as I drive down the street of dreams. That love nest that we worked so hard for. Room to grow. The papering. The painting. The place of joy. Now it is all gone as we look forward to nothing but despair and unknown. You’ll never know.
You’ll never know this stranglehold of depression. The world is so bright on the outside and bleak on the inside. I crave sleep to let this horror go. I just want so bad to be so normal. I want to stop crying. I want to be me again. You’ll never know.
You’ll never know the vise of dependency. The booze. The drugs. The wandering of the streets looking for sex. The refrigerator and pantry that beckon like a siren. You call me weak. You tell me to shape up. You want to step on me when I need so much for you to just hold me. You’ll never know.
You’ll never know how cold it gets. The tricks of the trade. What keeps you warmer. Metal or cardboard. I can sleep with one eye open so I don’t get my last worldly possession ripped off. Alcohol can be found in everything from cough syrup to anti freeze. Tomorrow? Maybe. But if it never comes, no one will ever know.
You are so flip. So glib. You have all the answers or so you think. You don’t know how to even ask the right questions. You have grown cold. Aloof. It’s all about you. You are right I need to get a life. My own. But maybe you need one too. You’ll never know .
You couldn’t know because you never look beyond your own world. It’s not about rich. It’s not about poor. No matter your lot in life. You are so brazen to think the world rises and sets on your doorstep. It’s so easy being you. So horrible to be me. You’ll never know.
Life is a spread sheet to you. An algorithm. Solve for X. Prove for Y. There are assets and liabilities. Return on investment and equity. There are no poets or musicians or teachers in your life. Just bottom lines and basis not basses and soulful lines. You think you have so much. You really have so little.
It’s a tough world you say and yes it is. You are quick to convict the murderer unless it’s your own son or daughter doing the crime. You curse the thief but are free to practice white collar crime. You want everyone to get a life but you have none. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps you say, although you know they are worn and frayed. No pity. No compassion. No soul. Just leave it and go to bed. The cleaning lady will be in here in the morning to clean up this mess.
But if I ever find an end, it will taste so good. I will drink from just the simplest of things. A warm bed. A tender touch. A meal so simple yet so exquisite. Maybe it is when God welcomes me home. The pain over. The joy eternal. I tell you of this though I think you will not hear it. You won’t realize that I will pray for you. You are too busy and I understand. You are so smart but then again you’ll never know.
Ted The Great
Estimates are that 3-3.5 million people are homeless every night in our country. There could be up to 1.5 million of those who are children. Home might be a car or a tent but they are homeless.
There are currently 1.5 million homes in foreclosure as of this moment with millions already having been adjudicated. Many overstretched but so many lost their dream due to illness, loss of jobs or broken families.
Addiction definition: noun
The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Think hard. You may be addicted to something.
If you have gotten this far you do know. A little empathy could go a long way in this man’s world. I can’t hope to feel your pain but I am going to work on it. Hope you can too.
I have pushed a different envelope with this one. Let me know.