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Browsing Posts in Life and Pain

Esther Beausoleil

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My mother died this morning (though my mom passed a few years back – I have an unusual family tree). I just received the call I knew was coming. She had been in the hospital for a number of weeks, her liver began failing a few days ago, and she hadn’t regained consciousness for nearly 5 days. I’m glad to say she didn’t seem to be in great pain or suffering, and had family by her side.

There’s no point in pretending we had much of a relationship, because sadly we didn’t. We had, maybe, twenty brief “hellos” in as many years; I don’t believe I have even a single photograph of her, and I deserved more from her than what I got.

She also deserved a lot more from me than I ever gave. Though she didn’t raise me, I was still her firstborn, her only son. Instead of honoring her as my mother, instead of reaching out more actively to build a bridge between us, I too chose the easy way out of just assuming she would come to me, that there would always be a “someday” when we would have a normal relationship. It was shameful and childish.

There are no more somedays now, and I wish I had known her better. She was, after all, the reason I exist, my link to the human chain, and her passing leaves a hole in me. Just a couple weeks before she went into the hospital for the last time, I started an email conversation with her that seemed like a great beginning to our first real conversation ever. I will always regret that we’ll never see where that would take us. But that was a conversation I should have begun decades ago, as a young man fresh out of high school, not as a middle-aged man seeking selfish truth and answers.

If you still have parents in your life – call them today, now. You may not have as many somedays left as you’d like.

I love you mother. I’m sure you’re more aware of that now in death than you ever were in life, and for that I’m truly sorry. I know that in your own way you did try to do right by me, even when that meant letting someone else raise me. Give mom a hug and a kiss from me.

Ah, apathy my old friend – still with me after all these years.

So 2008 is upon us, and as I muse on the years gone by I see that, still, nothing has changed. Perhaps nothing ever will, I don’t know. As more and more time passes, it becomes more and more difficult to remember those days when I was happy, when I was normal, when I was alive.

It’s one thing to be depressed, distraught, but struggling against the darkness. Fighting to keep going, to overcome, to somehow reconnect with the great human family and rejoin life. I’ve had a few periods of that, over the years (15 years now since things fell apart). But since I’ve moved, probably since well before that, the fight is simply gone out of me.

I sleep. I wake. I eat. I sleep again. I think there might be the occasional tv show or video game in there somewhere, but everything tends to blur.

I have no shortage of ways to improve my life, to fight back: Pray. Write. Read. Exercise. Volunteer. Find a new hobby. Get back into karate. Join a club. Get a job. Really, pretty much anything. What I do have a shortage of is the will to do any of those things, the energy to actually lift a finger in my own defense. I simply – don’t care.

I’m like a man on fire, only inches from a swimming pool full of water, but I just can’t be bothered to move even as my flesh bubbles and pops.

Maybe someday I’ll find the energy. Maybe I won’t. Somehow, it just doesn’t matter.

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My mother would have been 81 years old today. It’s hard to believe she’s already been gone for a year’s worth of phone calls and cards – time really flies when you’re numb.

How to even put into words what she meant to me? When I was a baby, she protected me, fiercely; when I was a child, she loved me, unconditionally; when I was a man, she was proud of me, blindly. Every single day of my life she did nothing but want the best for me, see things in me that I still don’t see, ignored every failure and celebrated every strength. She was hope when I was in pain, she was comfort when I was afraid, and she was love when I was alone.

Never once did she ask a single thing in return. Not once. She deserved a better son than me, but she never complained. She just loved me. The happiest I ever saw her was at my wedding – she was beaming, I mean almost literally glowing. My joy was her joy. And when the traditional dance of the groom and his mother came, despite my being six feet tall and having to bend over almost in half to reach her, I still felt like her little boy. That’s the way she always made me feel.

I miss you Mom. We all do, every day. In the quiet of the night I can still hear your voice, and you’re still always telling me that everything will be okay.

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Someday

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Someday, my heart will explode from all the poison I eat and drink, or a merciful aneurysm will pop while I’m sleeping, or an airline toilet will fall out of the sky and squash me, and the trainwreck I’ve endured so long will finally be done.

And my Christian friends will ask themselves, “Why couldn’t he just talk to God again, pray for strength and peace and purpose, rediscover his place in the universe as a beloved son of God?”

And my hedonist friends will ask themselves, “Why couldn’t he just learn to live again, enjoy himself, let go, have some fun, stop thinking so much and just laugh and play and love?”

And my online and gamer friends will ask themselves, “Why couldn’t he find solace and community with us, throw himself into the virtual world, let all that creativity of writing and imagining and socializing pour over him again?”

I wish I knew.

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Esther Kingsley

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I will be offline for a day, a week, who knows. I wanted to mention so those few of you who notice me in the corners of various message boards, games, or other online communities will understand my sudden absence.

My mother died.

Her 80th birthday was this week (biologically she was my grandmother), but she had to spend it in an ICU, and then at 10:30am AZ time yesterday she passed away, painlessly, with my sister and father near her.

She will be missed beyond the telling of it. I loved her very much.

Mom and Dad

Greetings all and sundry, my cyberfriends (and enemies) and well-wishers, those who make their home amongst TheMook.Net pixels and bytes, and those who are just passing through in a blink – Hello.

As some of you noticed, if my overflowing email Inbox is any indication, I was offline against my will for about 3 weeks there, as that miraculous little cable that spews data to my home was shut off by The Man, trying to Keep Me Down.

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I just wasn’t prepared for how much it would suck.

Things are at critical ’round these parts – I haven’t found any work, all the bills are heading to collection, the car is going to get repo-ed … you know, pretty much the usual you would expect to happen to someone out of work for 3 months. Because things are so bad, I had decided to finally suck it up and ask my dad for a “loan”. My folks don’t even know I lost my job yet (nor do they spend anytime online), since it’s much less humiliating to say “I lost my job in February but now I’m working Someplace Else” than to just say “I got fired in February and haven’t done shit since”. So last night I waded through my debt to see what might help, and this afternoon I took a deep breath and dialed the number.

Except Dad isn’t at home, he’s in the hospital.

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Well it’s been a blogless month or so since last I poked my head in here. External circumstances have not changed at all – I am still what they call “in between jobs”, still for the most part rudderless, and still trying to somehow backhand my soul into waking up from it’s long cowardly nap.

Internally however, all is not lost – I continue to ruminate, introspect, analyze, and ponder with the best of them. I’m sure I have more internal dialogues and debates before 9am than most people do all day – it’s what I do (quite literally, it is what I do, nearly all that I do). The topic for these past few months, from before my unfortunate “letting go” but nicely appropriate to it, has been work. Not work specifically in the sense of “What job should I do?”, though that’s a part, but more in the sense of “What do I do with my life?”.

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So I got fired last week.

It kind of took me by surprise, as I’ve never been fired from a job before – I don’t recommend it to anyone, it sucks and makes you feel stupid. Three years ago, when I was moving back here to Massachusetts from Georgia, this company I was sacked from was kind enough to offer (it was their idea, not mine) to let me work from home…so in total I was with them for about 5 years. Overall, they were fantastic to me.

Unfortunately, for the past few months I’ve been in Heavy Funk Mode (as separate from my Chronic Funk Mode). I knew it was affecting my work, but I was hoping I was keeping it together and that things would eventually turn around.

Nope.

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This question has been my enemy now for the last 12 years (no, that’s not a typo – TWELVE YEARS); it comes, it goes, but I can never get rid of it completely. And since right now, at this moment, I’m in the throes of one of my frequent bouts of melancholy, let me indulge and spew it here before it’s lost again.

The weekend is drawing to a close, tomorrow I’ll be forced to once again endure a week of numbness, and my soul is feeling restless –

I could write – but what’s the point?
I could read – but what’s the point?
I could catch up on email – but what’s the point?
I could work on the website – but what’s the point?
I could make some calls – but what’s the point?
I could go out somewhere – but what’s the point?
I could play some video games – but what’s the point?
I could watch tv – but what’s the point?

You get the idea. This is my prison; this is my dilemma. I have so many projects, so many things that briefly seem worthwhile in the bright light of day. But when the shadows come, when I become lost in my thoughts, they all fall away and I am once again left to ponder the question, What Is The Point?

I have some answers to the question – things that comfort me and help me through the day. But they are all intellectual answers, cold and sterile; they answer the question factually, but they don’t spark my heart, they don’t fill that hollow place that cries for meaning.

So, this will pass – in a few hours I’ll be lost in some vapid television show or twitching my fingers over an Xbox controller, and then it will be time to sleep, and then it will be time to work, and then I’ll forget all about this question I just can’t seem to answer for myself.

Until the next quiet time, when I have moments alone with my thoughts and the question returns. I’ll never get out of this rut until I can answer the damned question…

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