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Monday, July 30, 2007
 

Betrayal


We all know it; it’s probably even a prerequisite for being human.

And some of us know it more than others. But let me tell you—any of you other outcasts out there—I do know what it’s like to carry nothing but an occasional smile or sentence from some stranger on the street. And everything else in your life is betrayal. I just want to say one thing if you’re feeling that way or have ever felt that way: You are not alone. (I tell myself—true or not—that I go through all these difficult things in my life so that I can better understand “my people.” And my people have always, always been the social outcasts; that’s just how I identify.)

I know that feeling like you’re the only one whose orbit doesn’t jive with the solar system. And it’s OK. It’s really OK. Maybe it’s more than OK. Because they say all the geniuses and artists and saints behave in that random kind of pattern. And seriously, when I look around me, the so-called “normal” patterns look pretty friggin’ crazy to me. Actually, I mean “FUCKIN’ CRAZY.”

Just today I spoke with a supposedly “spiritual” person about something important and she couldn’t hear anything I was saying after I used a swear word, a human sound that some have determined is “bad.” It was quite obvious, in fact, that I myself became immediately “bad” in her mind for using a certain sound, one that I frequently make when upset (as I was). So how is it that breaking some stupid, innocuous social rule like that so frequently turns into a matter of utmost importance, while we neglect to acknowledge the people dying around us? That's why I think most religion is, at bottom, all about power and hypocrisy. But it's also about turning the sacred profane, and the profane sacred.

I grew up with nothing but betrayal, and I don’t say that lightly. What most people think of as “family” has always been totally foreign to me, still is. So sometimes, like so many other people, I have looked for trustworthiness in others as some kind of cosmic sign that there are good people in the world, that life has meaning, that there is somewhere, somehow, some reigning principle in the universe that makes more sense than human beings do. (And I've learned well that such things are rarely found in institutional religions.)

So why am I writing this now? Because I was stupid enough to trust a human, and I need to confess that? Because we live in such a disgustingly false and shallow world that I need to distract myself so I don’t vomit? Perhaps something has occurred that’s important to me, but to nobody and nothing else in the world? All of the above? Does it matter?

I should be cynical. I’ve seen enough in my life. I’ve seen too much to be anything but cynical. I guess I’m just a stubborn person, that’s all. The world that others are busy building up quite simply makes me want to retch. And even if I’m doing it totally alone, I am stubborn enough to continue trying to build another or die trying. What is life for after all?

And you who betrayed, I see your rationalizations, I do. And, as usual for me, I even stupidly sympathize, empathize. But truth stubbornly remains. You caused another person—who did not deserve it—great pain over years. Pain that you might have so easily spared her. So easily. You chose the path you did because you wanted to remain "safe." And then you even compounded the betrayal by implicitly deceiving her for a year, raping her very soul with what you did, and turning the sacred profane.

Consider this a failed spiritual test perhaps. But I don’t need to tell you that; your own soul does.

As for me, lesson finally taken: it's not wise to trust human beings.



Think and Be Dangerous




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