Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Secret Of My Contentment

I love Asia, and I love the tropics, and the South East Asian tropics are my home, and in the best way that my miswired, aberrant, crossly attempted personality can manage it I am contented.

God knows that I complain, I complain to God, I complain to my friends, I complain to my family, I complain to anybody who will listen, and, in turn, I complain about all of them, but God also knows that I am lucky, and whoever or whatever is responsible for that luck, they know it, because I am deeply grateful for my luck, and not afraid to express my gratitude.

Part of my genetic inheritance was a predisposition to deep, immediate, chemically driven emotional responses to any and all stimuli. When experience reared its mixed-blessing head, I adapted as best I could, as we all do, and, like most of us, I developed patterns of response that no doubt served some immediate purpose but also left me later in life with inappropriate responses to relatively innocuous events. This hurt my chances at many of life’s opportunities, and always, always, there were the frenetic, sudden chemical reactions to everything that happened. Not a road to success, that.

It’s not only instant confrontations or unexpected happenings that bring on this indelicate reaction. Still today, any one of life’s challenges that requires evaluation and planning brings out in me only a cloud shaped and totally enveloping storm of conflicting emotions that prevents me not only from solving the problem at hand, but also from dealing with it effectively at all. Health insurance? Retirement? Suitable employment? Personal relationships? Sorry, Charlie, working those things out is far beyond my abilities.

This scientific disaster was not entirely infelicitous. In the realm of sexual activity, immediate and powerful emotional and chemical reactions can be a good thing. This phenomenon has been observed by the psych’s: deeply depressed people often have great sex lives.

I am facing the end game with some powerful pieces left on the board and in a position that is somewhat defensible. No plan to win presents itself, but luck may again come to my rescue. It could be much worse, I sigh, as I lift my glass to toast those who have preceded me into the next world. God speed, fellows, or at least God’s rest upon you.

So as I gaze back at the wreckage of my life I no longer wonder how it could have been otherwise. Very simply, it could not have been, otherwise that is. But there have been good things with the bad, and on balance things have worked out ok. Icarus may have crashed and burned eventually, but before that he flew quite successfully and had a wonderful time.


Anonymous said...

I played handball the other night at Moore park with the Chicanos. At least two of them were in there mid to upper 60's drinking and smoking their little hearts out while talking trash and running around smackin the ball (as vigorously as one that age could be expected to smack it) which is only half the game. These guys rely on stealth, strategy, placement. I also must inform you that Ruben's grandfather still rolls his gardening business. Adapt a different set of standards is my philosophy. Tell your brain to keep up or give up all it's worth right now. Purpose. YOU fatalist fuck. You can't see the light at the end of the tunnel because there are still turns twists dips and offshoots. Don't you Jim Thompson on me Pa.

Anonymous said...

You should be content, Fred. You've outlived any number of high-profile 50-year-olds who are being consumed by worms and bacterium and are turning into stinking goo even as you enjoy your cocktail tonight. They would give anything, give up all their former wealth and fame, to be where you are, right now, you lucky bastard.