09 September, 2010

Dysthymic Vacation And Abandoned Beauty

Dysthymic Vacation And Abandoned Beauty

9.7.10


This is the witty and nonsensical opening paragraph to this week’s blog. You kids know that I usually write something funny and observational in the first paragraph. Something about women’s shoes (like those awful flat ballet things that this broad near me is wearing), or something about some awkward interaction I had with a stranger this week. There’s none of that today because I’m in a shit mood, and I don’t feel like being funny. Funny takes a certain effort that I can’t do right now. Instead, I’m going to try to write myself out of this sense of collapse. Here. We. Go.

There are always things that appear to be one thing and then magically become something else. There are perceptions that seem to be absolute and then they become questionable. There are lustrous and fine metals that create the things around us and then they become corroded. This happens to everyone, and that isn’t terribly interesting. This happens to me, this happens to my friends, this happens to the girl I pour my heart into. What those corrosions, those transformations, are isn’t important. What is important is how it affects us.

To me, awkward tragedy in the form of things that are very much not within the definition of tragic, robs my sense of purpose and beauty. What types of things. Here’s an example. This summer, I was the temp bass player for my buddy’s cover band. Every Wednesday we played a gig down the shore (and it’s called ‘down the shore’ because I’m from South Jersey). In the three months of summer driving to these gigs, my alternator on my car went, my four oxygen sensors, my PATS Security Control Module, and a climate control valve under my dash. All of the money I earned for playing this summer went right into my car. I wouldn’t be too terribly concerned, except the situation births other ideas. I’m handicapped and dependent on my folks. I’m thirty years old and live with my parents because my legs prevent me from working. I contribute nothing. This sense of burden isn’t very much related to my car, to my alternator, to my oxygen sensors (all fucking FOUR of them. Stupid Fords.). But the burden and the worthlessness and the guilt for being the albatross around my parents’ necks comes from it. The question is, how do I recapture (however so briefly) my beauty from that burden, that worthlessness, that guilt?

We do different things. I tend to modify, and that is a wonderful yet temporary butterfly net around beauty and purpose. But the rest of this isn’t going to be about me. The rest of this is going to be about recapturing beauty.

Each of us faces strife in forms that are unique to the individual. Certain things don’t set my anger on fire as much as they may others. It’s the residual. But after that residual has shown itself, after the tangent emotions and thoughts come, there is an abandoned beauty that is waiting for us to retrieve. How do we go get it?

Here’s a story of beauty. I have a pair of friends who live on my street. A young and beautiful married couple who are beginning to raise a family. They are a pregnant couple, and they will soon invite a new person into their marriage. This oughtn’t sound like an interesting story. People have been making more people for thousands of years. It really isn’t an event worth shouting from the tops of whatever. What makes this story interesting is that the couple is two women. A pregnant lesbian couple starting a family. Whatever your stance is on gay marriage or gay parenting, I really don’t care. This isn’t about politics. This is about a loving and beautiful couple experiencing something that ought to be viewed as nothing less that beautiful and magical. Talking to my beautiful friends, I’ve learned about their strife and struggle with social acceptance, but this soon coming event validates and legitimizes an honest and beautiful love in a why not exclusive to straights. There is an abandoned beauty reclaimed.

I have another friend. A special person whose life has been vexed and manipulated by the simple romantic interest of another person. She has arrived at a point where the stress and woe of ‘what if’ is outweighing the beauty that the other person has brought. There is the abandoned beauty. There it lay, waiting for her return, if she so chooses. The beauty will stay there until she returns to it. It won’t be taken by someone else. That’s what makes our own individual beauties wonderful things. They are keys that fit only one lock; my concept of beauty cannot fill the void of another’s absence. This special person will retrieve her beauty when she is ready, and her beauty will not expire no matter how long it lies waiting. Funny thing about time; there’s always more of it. And the person that caused the abandoned beauty? If he’s wise, he’ll wait beside the beauty. I think he’s wise.

What am I talking about? I don’t know either. I have experienced several things in the passed week that have turned my reality into a confusing interpretation of what it ought to be. The hope is that our concepts of beauty can fit within that bent reality. But if it doesn’t, what then? Is it the beauty’s responsibility to adapt to the new reality, or is it the reality’s responsibility to adjust to the beauty?

One could argue that we don’t have control over our reality. That it winds and spins and moves ever forward, so our beauty needs to fit within that. So the beauty ought to change. One could also argue that reality is an amorphous thing that bends to what is within it, so the beauty is the concrete, and the reality is there to give the beauty a vehicle to be. I’m not sure which I think is true. I do think, however, that the beauty that keeps us content is a thing that is there to have always. I think there are those who don’t have it, but only because they choose to not. People whose eyes see more woe that peace, people whose eyes see more waste than possibility.

When these things happen, the feelings of guilt, the unconventional family, the fear of possibility, how do we hold onto our beauty? How do we hold onto that which makes us a unique thing? What are the things we do to regain that abandoned beauty? Beauty doesn’t have a mind of its own, after all; it does what we tell it to do. So when we tell it to go away now, disappear for a spell, take a break, how do we invite it back? Do we please ourselves with things we enjoy? Booze or drugs or modifications or expensive shoes. Do we try to see the beauty in other things, hoping that beauty attracts beauty? At the lake with the trees and the ducks and the sounds of the cicadas. Do we indulge what is replacing the beauty, face it head on and see what it feels like? The fear, the uncertainty, the guilt. Or do we quit and decide that beauty isn’t inalienable, that it is a something (much like love) that is built for some, but doesn’t fit neatly in everyone. And if I do cast it away, is it the fault of me and my myopia, or is it the fault of the beauty for not opening the lock I asked it to open? Am I taking for granted that the beauty will be waiting for me when I return from this dysthymic vacation? Possibility is a teasing whore who promises a maybe of one thing with the guarantee of another. When I return to my beauty, will I treat it better as to not lose it again, or is losing it a part of living with it? How do you regain your beauty? Stay beautiful, kids.







Talk to A. Robert Basile on AIM at Basilephone
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