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Sometimes, Experience is a Cruel Teacher

June 25, 2008
My life, my experiences, losing people around me, seeing things happen to people I love is causing me to practice less and less reverence, feel less and less reverence. Reports say George Carlin died at 71. So. What has Carlin ever done for me. Carlin lived 41 more years than my childhood friend, someone who I can never, ever eat ice cream or cookies or honey buns without thinking of. Carlin lived 41 more years than my first boyfriend, who later became a very good friend. Carlin lived 35 years longer than Guy did, the kindest person I have ever met. Carlin lived five years longer than my father did. Carlin lived 26 years longer than my oldest brother did. Carlin lived 8 years longer than my ex-step-mother-in-law (died a few months ago), an absolute saint. Carlin lived 21 years longer than my sister-in-law (another brother’s first wife) and 16 years longer than that same brother’s second wife (who just died two weeks ago from cancer). Carlin probably will have had more years on earth than me too if my heart keeps breaking at this pace.

My ex-husband keeps threatening to die but he never does. Instead, he torments his first born, our daughter by disappointing her again and again. She spent the past weekend with him because his girlfriend (common law wife really) is out of town. At 1:30 am she had to take a drive, away from him because she could not take his paternalistic, patriarchal, women should submit to men bullshit one second longer. Then she had to hear about how much of a horrible mother she is because she took her baby out in the middle of the night to drive around town. Of course she could not have left the child with him, no way, no how. Actually it was his “nerves” that started the argument. Earlier in the day on their way back from the beach he could not tolerate the child (his grandson) fussing in the car seat. Duh, a two hour drive, of course the child is going to fuss. But he could not pull over, he thinks the child should just shut up instead. I’m just glad she is seeing what a prig he is without me having to do the honor.

Then there is another friend, or I should say ex-friend, because when he comes weaseling back and he will, because he always has since we were young teenagers, but this time I will not accept him into my life. I will not play along and pretend that I do not know what I am talking about, that he never said such a thing because this time I kept the email. I will not forgive and forget as I have done for the last thirty years. No. He is not my friend. He is no longer my friend. No friend would be so cruel to lie about dying especially knowing that we all have people around us dying, him too, his brother killed himself in 1995. No, no friend would continually subject his friends and family to histrionic death bed confessions. Good grief. Please give me a quid for each time he asked me to forgive all that he has done, which has been nothing unforgivable other than his hyperbole about dying. Yes, when he came back from Liberia he was sick but he was never in any real danger. I know because I get mailings from our old class reunion organizer. I asked her if he was on her mailing list because I did not see his email on the group distribution. His address is normally included. But that is just how conniving he is and has always been. He thinks nothing of dropping off lists and changing addresses and phone numbers in order to aide in his deception. She said that he asked to be mailed privately. She said he told her he had been sick but was doing okay. It’s not like anyone bothers him. Whenever he pops back in it is because he pops back in not because anyone sent a search party out for him. Poor thing. I know I should have some compassion. There is something there that is begging for compassion, I just can’t seem to muster much up anymore when new drums are constantly introduced but many choose the same beat over and over.

2 Comments
  1. Anna permalink
    June 25, 2008 10:01 pm

    It’s hard, isn’t it? Our accumulated heartache as we get older. Baggage upon baggage. It’s hard not to be bitter sometimes. Very hard. Compassion also comes at a higher price as well as we live more, see more of life.

    Such an honest post, Kitty. I am so sorry that you have experienced so much loss in your life. I can not claim to understand how that must feel. To tell you so would be dishonest. I have been fortunate in that particular regard. I have lost but few friends & family to death.

    How nice that your daughter’s eyes are opening on their own. Perhaps a sign of genuine understanding about her father? I wish her well.

    And you.

  2. Deb permalink
    June 26, 2008 4:34 am

    kitty…*a totally enveloping, tight, warm, tears-and-snot-running-down-my-face, sister-friend hug* from across the way to you!

    No need for a “your blues ain’t like mine” comment here. It’s all blues when we feel it isn’t it? I feel it, kitty – for you and for me. Keep your head up.

    anna…“It’s hard, isn’t it? Our accumulated heartache as we get older. Baggage upon baggage. It’s hard not to be bitter sometimes. Very hard. Compassion also comes at a higher price as well as we live more, see more of life.”

    Your words are perfect. And the answer is a resounding YES!

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