Thursday, August 16, 2007

Something's missing.

I don't know what, but I can feel it down inside me, around the center of my thorax, a bit to the right of my sternum. There's a hole there, I can feel it, like a tongue feels the empty socket where a tooth used to be.

What's missing?

Things have changed since a few weeks ago.

My cardiologist has put me on a no-added sodium diet. That means no foods with salt added to them in any way.

Do you realize how much salt is in our everyday food? I'm not saying this as a crusader, I'm saying this as someone who feels like he just whacked in the face by a brick. It means most all my favorite foods are now off-limits to me if I want to adhere to this regime and live. It means I have to spend lots and LOTS of time reading food container labels for sodium levels, it means it takes longer to buy groceries now, it means my food tastes funky to me and now not really very good, it means this is one more plateau I get to stand on that makes me yet more different from other people.

It also means it's a way for me to live, live longer, probably even live better. It means it's an avenue to maturity for me if I choose to take it and not limp around in a circle whining about how goddamn tough it is to be me.

This is a an avenue for me to put a fucking steel-jacketed bullet into the black, flabby heart of that bullshit tape that's been running in my head, courtesy of my parents: "You're not as good as your sibs nor are you what we want or understand. You don't deserve to live. Kill yourself before your wife and friends leave pitiful you."

Mom and Dad, fuck you. Fuck you and the goddamn horses you rode in on. And of you rode in on the train, a car or a bicycle, then fuck that, too. Both of you. All the way with a rusty farm implement. Dad, up yours with all that macho "strength in isolation" bilious spew. Mom, stuff your "What would the neighbors think?" up your lily-white puckered ass.

I someways wish both of you were frying in Hell. I think I could set out a lawn chair and watch that and eat some popcorn.

I also know you both had incredibly fucked-up parents if that's the message you got from them. Grandpma and Grandpa? All four of you? Stick your faces into this wood chipper, okay? Thanks everso.

I'll likely return reasoned and compassionate again soon, take back what I said, perhaps. But for now I'm going to wallow in my anger, my rage, let it seep into my bones and make me feel warm and alive for one of the few times in my life when I don't feel like a 'droid.

I'm serious about this hole thing. I think what's happening is with the stress of this new diet, the stress of my poor cardiac health forcing me to confront my imminent mortality, the stress of realizing suicide is a fantasy--a bullshit answer for my life, the stress of trying to be a good step-parent to a step-son who wishes I weren't around and mostly treats me like furniture, the stress of trying to throw off all the bullshit I was taught or presumed as a child, the stress of getting back into an exercise program, the stress of trying to be an adult instead of the far more comfortable role of being 40+ yr old and dreadfully self-centered and immature....

Perhaps I'm finally coming awake.

Perhaps the hole is the pit where I kept my bullshit, or at least one of the pits.

Either way, this feels scary. I'm terrified I'll do what I always do and slough off, fall back into my unawareness and complacency and false beliefs and distorted perspective.

Know what's scarier, though?

That I won't.


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