Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Some cheese (with that whine)

Here's what I've learned thus far from my recent -- albeit fleeting, and as of yet unmanifest -- brush with modest success:

It doesn't matter what you've done in your life. It doesn't matter how fucked up things have been for you, or how many piece of shit jobs you've worked, or how much you've struggled to get where you are. It doesn't matter that you had the shit kicked out of you, weekly, until you graduated high school and moved the fuck out. It doesn't even matter if every single person you know, even those who've hated your fucking guts for years, would say you've been through enough to have earned yourself a break. No. None of this matters.

You know why? Because somewhere, someone's going to hate you simply because you have something they don't. No other rationale needed. The fact that something good actually happened to you cancels out anything you've ever done in life, and you're back to square one because that something's been 'handed' to you. They deserve it, and you don't, simply because they're them, and you're you. Your scars? Your calluses? The fucked up, crackling, perpetually achy manual laborer's body that can predict the weather two days in advance? The fact that until a few short months ago you were resigned to the notion that yours was doomed to forever be a "life of quiet desperation?" Makes no fucking difference to them.

The people you've buried? That visit to the cemetery every last Sunday of the month? That's St. Raymond's in the Bronx if you ever want to see who I am. I'm usually there around noon to tend the area around the headstones, plural. I'm hard to miss, because I usually sit there for a while, rain or shine, talking to myself. Been doing that for fourteen years now, at least when I'm in New York. Haven't always been, though. Worked away from here for a while and lived somewhere else, and that was pretty fucking unpleasant, too. Doesn't matter, though. All some people see is that you've come across something good, or lucky, or even earned, and they'll be damned if you actually deserve it.

So, yeah, cubicle-cockring, I'm sorry I don't sit around waxing poetic about my toaster oven and my Blackberry and the line at Starbucks. I've been too busy out here, where the buildings grow in crooked, living my life. You think you've earned this spot? Wanna trade places? Fine, but you get the baggage, too.

Deal with it if you think book contracts erase memories.