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Soliloquy 2
Losing a Fight, a Job, a Friend
Losing fights was how my little social life began, beaten up on my way to school ten paces short of the school yard. I found that the worst part of being beaten was the helplessness and humiliation, with the last part galling. The people standing around laughing at me being beaten was the worst. I resolved to conduct all violence possible in private once I achieved man size, and I did. This served me well when hunted and threatened, as I found that my hunters and tormentors were empowered by public violence and faded in a dark and lonely place, especially my kangly foes, who ranked as my dominant enemies through adulthood.
If not for those boyhood humiliations, I may not have survived adult economic failure as a pallid pedestrian in a Reparations Recovery Zone, patrolled by the fleetest-footed light infantry in history, and might instead have ended up on the receiving end of a Nike sandal or a 9-mm asagi.
Another lesson from youth that was reinforced the one time I did not fight back to save my job, and was judged by my employer as having fought back and fired anyhow, was the conviction that I must always fight,. This idea—a belief, my one Faith—that I will cease to remain me if I fail to resist physical attack, became elevated to psychopathy, a state I regard as 100% good and God-given—my final place on this wicked and hateful earth. This may seem an odd way to achieve peace-of-mind. It has not only saved me from attack after foes have noted that I was at ease with their approach—because I was hopefully dying and would finally be able to achieve a long desire to escape this sickening place—and ironically extended my stay. The point is, since that time in life when I self-killed in preparation not to give up my wallet or suck an ebon phallus or a kiss a blue ring on the hand of my master, insults and daily failures and wrecked plans—even being ghosted in a far off place by men who had offered me hospitality—none of these things bothered me.
I imagine killing and dying as my daily observation when waking, walking and returning to rest. It is how I go home within. It is why having no external home among people can be borne. That peace of mind came from being a weak and slow fighter who did not surrender his soul.
Losing the job is a reconviction of my outsider status, of my taboo nature. When my Father fired me based on lies told to him by my jealous coworkers and I lost that $2.35 an hour job at Mancuso Printing a mere 6 months after dropping out of school, I was reminded of the wisdom of dropping out, that quitting something rotten is better than hanging on until it casts you out, better for your soul, worse for your Mammon Rating. I have only ever felt joy when quitting a job. A girlfriend, the day after I quit my management job looked up at me and said, “The sex has always been good—but this is great! What did you do?”
I told her, “Baby, I walked away.”
She rejoined with a hungry little smile and a prancing of little feet that for once she was keeping company with a free man, “I wish you could quit a job every day!”
Losing friends in adolescence was always dislocating, as another seeking soul was snatched from our ever-dwindling band of anti-heroic punks to practice the drear fate of Dad. In 1970s suburbia, everybody knew that their Dad was a sell-out, that he believed in nothing or something other than himself, that he slaved away for Mom and kissed the asses of the unseen bosses and cringed forever in servile fear of the System, whose face were the police.
How did you know that one of your friends was about to suffer a prequel of the fate of Dad, of the seduction of Enkidu by the wicked whore Shamahat?
When he got a girlfriend, who would use him for money, a car, drugs and status, practicing the art of Mom, of driving her mate to the soul slaughterhouse of work where another piece of Dad’ soul was eaten by the machine one bite at a time until there was nothing left. Basically, the only difference between the godless dads and the religious dads was that the churchmen beat the shit out of boys and the other dads cared even less about us and got lost in the TV or newspaper.
How not to become Dad and the continual reduction of our punk ranks comprised the looming tragedy of our brief youthful phase of seeking, to terminate in manhood, in finding only the careless thing that eats you and its hateful hangers-on who mock you.
So, it seemed that I developed a capacity for the life of lost friends early on, as I was the only boy of my punk circle not selected by a bitch to serve her and thence drifted into isolation within.
My life lesson, having so few friends until very recently being introduced to readers of my misbehavior, was to let no woman—not mine, not his—and no job—not mine and not his—come between a friend and I. I have failed some of my friends in this and hope to never do so again. My record is in the 90-percentile and I aim for a perfect score from here on out.
Fights and Jobs lost are happy stories to me. But the loss of a friend haunts this skulking soul with sadness. I strive to use the lessons taught by the lesser losses to deal with the greater.
A lost fight is training for the next fight.
A lost job is a reprieve from daily debasement.
A lost friend is another wound in our procession into death, a reminder that the world does not want us to have company. So I thank the world for reminding me that it is my enemy and I am its prey.
To this mind, the best myth about friendship and loss in the face of a monstrous world, is that of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
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Add a new comment below:
GooseDecember 23, 2020 11:11 PM UTC

JL: "A lost friend is another wound in our procession into death"

I remember from reading a book on the Plains Indians, one of them quoted as saying "All my friends are gone, it's time for me to die too".

Your attitude is remarkably similar, I'd say. But what's your take on developing new friendships mid-life? In today's congested world the one meets more people... or is there an age beyond which a new branch can not be grafted?
responds:December 24, 2020 3:36 AM UTC

Will write this is an article—thanks!
MannyDecember 23, 2020 11:11 PM UTC

I often feel that fighting is the only thing I’m good at. It is not a good feeling. Thanks for the writing James. Vaya con dios brother.
responds:December 24, 2020 3:36 AM UTC

Thanks for reading, Brother.
New LedfordDecember 23, 2020 7:30 AM UTC

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Merry Christmas!

From an internet friend
responds:December 23, 2020 12:07 PM UTC

Merry Christmas to you too, Sir.