The house was exactly the way I left it last night. Dishes piled high in the sink, clothing scattered helter-skelter on the floor, unopened mail mixed with piles of empty pretzel bags, diet coke bottles strewn amongst discarded peanut butter cracker wrappers. Throwing myself onto the single mattress tucked into the corner of the cool, dark room on the far side of my house, I could hear the air whoosh out of the springs as they compressed under the force of my weight.
“Shit, shit, shit”, I thought to myself. “What have I done? How could I have been so stupid?” Rolled into the fetal position, I began to cry. And as I sobbed, I became lost in a self-indulgent reverie of self-pity, my mind replaying all the failures of my past, each of them seeming as real as if they had happened only yesterday.
In this state, I could see myself from above, bounding enthusiastically into a succession of self-destructive follies, each one of them consuming larger and larger pieces of my soul. Disappointments and failures parading by in my mind’s eye, I reach out to caress them individually, unwrapping and examining, luxuriating in their completeness, deriving a pleasure in the pain that feeds my desire for martyrdom, playing myself as the victim.
Exultant at last! See what you have done to me? Finally, the immensity of my incompetence lives up to my potential for underachievement. At long last, all the voices can be silenced when they speak of me and my accomplishments. Alone and broken, I embrace the sadness and loss, comforted as if with a long forgotten lover. Disgraced, humiliated, despised and despicable, intoxicated with the knowledge that my ruination was so thorough and unmitigated, leaving me without possibility of resurrection.
Realizing more than ever that my life had been lived in the image of the perceived expectation of others. Living in my own shadow, I was without identity, bewildered by the struggle to succeed in things that held no meaning.
Confused and out of place, uncomfortable in my skin, I looked to others as a compass of my destiny. Submitting myself to the lathe of conformity, I would hope to spin away the not so right edges of my spirit, eager to be delivered true and straight, forged in the image of a humanized gerbil, scampering to suckle on the water bottle of ordinariness..
©mordechai zoltan 2010