The Slippery Slap

Lies, lying, liars.

People lie.

That’s what they tell you when you can’t seem to deal with being lied to. They want you to “move on” and “get past” it.

Good advice, but it’s all just pissing into the wind: it’s just going to come back to you, disgust you, and leave you no better off than you were before.

This is where I leave the rhetorical: so why does it stay, sometimes? The nagging, puling, dragging, aggravating, draining remaining whine remanding a part of you to remain?

I had a discussion with someone about the Folsom Street Fair, an event where facile language belies myriad distressing goings-on, where costumes of individual expression all look the same, where excuses are made by all for the infliction of pain, the endurance of pain, the spectacle of pain.

A whole streetfest, community and spectacle for one thing: Elective Pain.

Other cartoonish brandings (see what I did there) help to hide and variegate: slavery, ownership, pup, dom, sub, master, but they all ground out in violence: the physical violence of pain or the emotional violence of servitude.

That there may appear an election/non-compulsoriness at play (see what I did there) remains beside the point — or beside my point.

If someone elects to stay with someone who inflicts pain, enjoys inflicting it and believes the target of hand/belt/paddle/fist deep down really wants the violence done to them, shouldn’t that be the end of it, just between the two who choose to stay together?

Choice! and there’s an end.

Choose to “move on” or “get past” a breach of trust! and there’s an end.

The end?

Except that sometimes, sometimes repetition makes liars of us all: A choice repeated repeats a shallow lie and reverses a deeper truth.

The ‘sub’ human becomes subhuman. The ‘owner’ creates property out of personage.

And for me? I am a slow learner at some things. Years ago, I stopped repeating shallow lies to myself and avoided becoming the deeper liar, that one who lies to himself.

I only just realized this simple-shallow-deeper self-evident self-truth: I am the one who never wanted to be ok with hearing lies by those I care about.

I was starting down that road, but I got out by getting out and staying away. Most everyone around me seemed to abide the lies and stride on. Turns out, I hadn’t dwelled on the past because I couldn’t understand “get past” people lying to me, but rather I had real fear that I was capable of becoming ok with living amongst lies.

manhood is melted into curtsies, valor into
compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and
trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules
that only tells a lie and swears it.

Would they ever say that of me? Would I ever say that of myself? I can imagine it and it’s terrifying.

Schadenglück! and Goodbye to Jack Allen

Today my Uncle Jack Allen died.

He was married to my Aunt Toots for many years, up until she died back in 1995, just six weeks after Allen did.

I don’t think he ever quite got over losing her, even though he did of course eventually move on. Still, it was mainly a solitary existence in the house they’d shared.

You might think this was the basis for a sort of unspoken kinship between him and me (he was a man of few words), but the similarity of our lots wasn’t the majority factor.

No: he loved her and she loved him. Of course that’s true but that was between the two of them. For my part, he made her happy.

What else is there to feel for the one who makes someone you love so dearly so joyfully, obviously, ebulliently happy?

I had plenty of reasons to like Jack Allen. I loved Jack Allen, just for himself. I honored him every day for what he did for one of the most important people I ever had or will have in my life.

In a world of bread and circuses having become a cottage industry around other people’s pain and misfortune: institutionalized schadenfreude. It’s a German word that translates to “joy of harm” — others’ harm.

It’s never been my favorite fare. It only lands you in a group of people you wouldn’t want to spend your happier times around.

Me? I’m coining “schadenglück”, which translates to “joy of happiness”, schadenfreude’s long-needed antonym.

So here’s to Jack Allen. Thank you for having been part of our family, for having made my Aunt Toots so very very happy, and for understanding. You will be greatly missed by me and my whole family.