Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Session of Punishment

My adversaries make me doubt. I watch them attack those weak strands of my philosophical and emotional fabric; they tear and gnaw, like all consuming rats let loose in the basement of my soul. They chip away at the cement which holds my pillars of assurance together, threatening to tip over and make rubble my happy self-delusional self.

Who are 'they'? They are my former and present friends, once amiable, sudden adversarial now. What happened? Yesterday, today, tomorrow, they were/are let loose from their comfortable psychic cages; the careful doors were/are thrown ajar by my forceful carelessness.

I have stumbled--remnants of my existential rage--and have hurt them. I have stirred their frenzy with an insignificant slight, a said nothing, an expressed this-or-that inanity; but, once uttered and set free, my foes are monumentally stirred. They are hit too personally, my words pointedly hurling them back across familial landscapes; it drives them back to their mother's cruelty or their father's indifference.

They rise on hind legs, eyes whirling, teeth sharpened by their years of experience and knowledge of me; they bite and tear...while I sit, tortured, immobile, no longer angry, my rage reduced to the size of a pin-point, turned inward, aimed at the center of my body. While they speak coldly, cruelly and analytically toward me, I feel the tightness in my flesh, right there,above the belt, and I worry about ulcers, stress, cancer, and soon, as a protective cover, I feel my own rat-like reactive rage re-mounting. I tactically stuff it.

I stare to and fro, only occasionally look at the frenzied rat before me, avoiding the sparks of stimuli. I choose to be beaten, choose to accept, silently, accede to the pain, viscera churning. My mind chants: 'I am not wrong in any larger sense but I know I am wrong in the smaller sense. I did initiate the the whirlwind; I deserve their contempt. I opened the cage. I tore at their bruise. I fell against their unhealed past. My sin against them is ultimately a sin against myself.'

Their droning punishment continues, I am consumed with a new overwhelming thought, beyond self-recrimination: Will their attack break my skin? Will their verbal chomping of my heart pass on to me, on pointed teeth, some unknown disease, a cancerous kind of terminal self-hate?

Time passes; the pain continues. I sigh from my toes. Will they ever return to their cage? Tears want to flow to my eyes, perhaps as antidote to the venom truth (about myself) being spat at me. I tilt my head a little upward. 'I will heal', I silently chant. 'In days, weeks, I will forget. Soothing, numbing self-deception, come to the balm of my existential worth, return, my dear, ever-loyal, renewable and formidable defense against cruel rodents.'

It comes.

They leave,. I cry.

But...later, long after the rats have moved on to other concerns, food, love, pleasure, and the hole in my soul is boarded up, I follow them; to exterminate them.


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