petty frictions


If you come here for the happy, you'd better leave now.

What follows is the latest in a pattern of occasional eruptions of bile, a little shudder up the spine I get every few months when I'm sick and tired of remembering all the crap I've put up with during my measley four decades at this jolly circus...

The holiday cards are coming in now, messages from around the country wishing us well during this season of goodwill. I'm having a hard time mustering that holiday cheer today. I've been trying to summon my good side, working to evoke the calm that comes from letting go of life's petty frictions. We are all reminded this time of year of our need to see past our imperfections and embrace the positive aspects of our humanity. I'm stretching my arms waaay out, see? Looking to embrace. Forgive. Accept.

I hold out my arms to embrace my last living uncle and his wife who sent us the first Christmas card to arrive this year. They are on a campaign to get my mother to read the Bible, their version of it anyway, in one year, cover to cover, and they've given her a written program to that end. Taken on its face, this doesn't seem to be a bad thing, and I could even get past my aversion to evangelism, which is essentially spiritual violence and bigotry, if it weren't for my uncle's position that he loves everyone, in the Christian sense, "except for niggers and fags." Oh what I'd give to be a fly on the Pearly Gates when he arrives for his brief conference, peeks past St. Peter's kiosk, and finds that heaven ain't all big hair and pinky rings.

I told you I was having a hard time mustering good will.

* * * * * * *

There's a lot happening in my extended family right now. After a long period of homeostatic bliss, the pollos are coming home to roost. The old folks are getting sick and the young folks are hitting the wall of reality, whether it's drugs & booze or the curse of wealth or both.

For each generation, the legacy of addiction that lingers in this family has rubbed its children raw. I've seen its youth spoiled by anger and fear, and its faith in sobriety lost to shallow longings and needs unmet. When petty frictions build and draw blood, the wounds get covered up by pretty fictions. It's the nature of addiction, and my family is very natural. Nowadays, the only big gatherings we have are the funerals. Old habits are dying hard, and taking their hosts with them.

This would all be really sad if it didn't piss me off so much.

Don't get me wrong here. I have nothing against partying. I've done it myself. Way lots. So g'head, knock yourself out. Just don't mix chemical dependency with child rearing. I'm serious. Don't make me come over there.

Dang, but I'm in a good mood today, eh kids? Keep those cards and letters...


* * * * * * *

Thanks for indulging me. I am not stuck. This is not a crisis. This happens from time to time, part of LRP*, so let's just keep it moving here, okay? Shows over... nothing more to see, folks... we'll just hose down the pavement here and it'll be like nothing happened... thanks for your cooperation...


*Life's Rich Pageant


Today's Music:

"Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You" -- John Prine -- GREAT DAYS


Wisdom of the Day:

"Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."

- Herman Melville, Moby Dick