Why I Stopped Liking People Today Or …#First World Problems

Since I no longer expect anything from mankind except madness, meanness, and mendacity; egotism, cowardice, and self-delusion, I have stopped being a misanthrope. -Irving Layton

Hell is other people. Truly.

Am I walking around with a ‘be rude to me sign on my forehead?’

Today I saw a man walking in the middle of a busy 4 lane street.

His black jacket waving in a frigid April wind like a winged creature whipping its arms against his heels.

Maybe the creature in his brain told him today he would die, maybe it was the alcohol.

As he sauntered confidently toward oncoming traffic, I was hurtling forward in a minivan in the outermost lane.

To my right, a red mazda 6 sped up, aimed like an arrow at its target, a flesh and bone human and the motorist driving his foot deeper into the floor, gas peddle revving the engine, stopped short of the man to swerve in front of us at the last second.

He narrowly avoided hitting the person, clearly disturbed to be walking in the street in the first place and then proceeded to put me, my co-worker and our 2 clients in danger.

I was ready to jump out at the red light, open his car door and beat him to a bloody pulp for thinking because he was behind the wheel of a 2000 lb projectile that he was entitled to kill me and several other perfect strangers.

Was that to be the worst part? No dear reader, sadly it was not.

Why?

This should have been my answer to incident #2

“If you’re looking for sympathy you’ll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.”

Upon arriving home safely, my coworker brings client #1 into the house while I collect the belongings of client #2 and wait for the coworker to come back and help me with the wheelchair of client #2.

Cue psycho hose beast…

Her hair is a mix of black and grey, dried from over processing and her make up appears to be layered on with a trowel.

She approaches the fence separating her property line from our group home’s driveway and calls,

“Hey, are you staff at this group home?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Do you see a mat down the walk way there,” she points in the direction of the walkway and grassy area between the two houses.

“No, I’m sorry, I don’t.” The gate to the fence is closed, I have no clue what she is talking about and I can’t see past a six foot closed gate.

“Really? Are you blind? You don’t see a mat sitting in front of your door?”

“I’m sorry what?” This come out in the tone of, no bitch, you did not just take that tone with me

“It’s my mat! It’s been missing for 3 years and there it is outside this group home!”

I’m dumbfounded, struck into speechlessness for a second while this woman mouths off to me.

“Were your legs broken? Is that why you didn’t go get it?”

“How dare you!” she hissed.

“Are you shitting me?” I think I said, though it might’ve been in my brain, I lost all sense of time and composure at this point.

“They told me when this group home went here we wouldn’t have any trouble and all there’s been is trouble.”

For the record, I have no clue what she’s talking about. Both my clients are non-verbal, one is in a wheelchair and the other is concerned only with rides in the car and cartoons. I can’t imagine what she means by trouble.

“Have you ever lived next door to clients with mental illness who destroy property?” I ask her.

I say this because I’ve worked at houses that look like a warzone, where holes are made in drywall faster than they can be patched, where I’ve safety restrained people in rotating 4 hour shifts because they were a danger to staff and themselves.

This house she lives next door to is decorated with flowers and shrubs it has a lovely natural wood fence and trees all around that are all maintained by staff.

“My issue isn’t with the clients.”

“Well it isn’t with the staff either,”

“It’s not very neighbourly to put up a fence without consulting me.”

“What?”

“Everything about this house is a problem, stealing other people’s property, my house is the most expensive thing I own,”

“Congratulations,” I say, turning to open the van door to my client who is waiting patiently to go inside.

“Listen bitch, I got more important shit to worry about…so go fuck yourself.”

“Excuse me?” she said, before walking away.

“Oh you heard me.”

My coworker has come back by this time, he’s wide eyed and helps me with client #2.

He whispers, “Did you just say that?”

“Yeah I did,” I replied, “fucking psychopath.”

Yep, I was unprofessional.

Nope, I don’t care.

I don’t know what happened before I arrived here over a year ago.

If you can’t have the civility to come knock on the door and clear up a misunderstanding while I help my clients get through day to day life with a disability, then you will have no respect and no patience from me.

Tell someone who actually cares.

I know what her fundamental problem is: like most people who live next door to a group home, she’s pissed because she thinks her property values are going down, she feels like her ‘tax dollars’ are paying for it so she can accost me and yell at me like I’m ‘the help’, that people with disabilities should live in the ghetto where she doesn’t have to deal with them, this is what her snotty obnoxious mouth is really saying.

And I’m replying with an unapologetic, FUCK you.

“I’m killing time while I wait for life to shower me with meaning and happiness.”

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Fathers & Pseudo-Sons

When I speak to my father it’s much like ‘going through the motions’ of what society expects us both to do. As a father he’s supposed to keep in touch with me and know what I’m doing.

As a thirty-something child, I’m supposed to have ‘gotten over’ childhood hurts and adulthood hurts, matured and accepted my father for what he is.

Were I in possession of the right genitalia, I would’ve been the perfect son, hell, I was the perfect son:

I excelled in highschool varsity sports, helped with renovations, brought home nice girls and got a job and started paying my way when I was 15 years old. I went to university, kept in reasonable touch with the home front and drove my brother to hockey practices.

This difference between who I am and social constructs created a divide of epic proportions between my father and me.

It didn’t have to be if he wasn’t, in his words, “old-fashioned”. This is supposed to be the words that make me accept that he is uncomfortable when I hold my wife’s hand or shave my head or talk about ‘male’ things that I like.

Over the years, since his secret understanding that this is who I am, he has stopped asking about my life and has limited our conversations to the weather and his household projects.

I have to say that this is fine now because I’m sick and tired of “don’t talk about your personal life” or the sudden and not so subtle subject change signalling his clear discomfort.

This is just a part of life, I can wear myself out and fight him every step of the way, every ignorant comment and every awkward silence. Or I can attempt the Buddhist practice of acceptance and compassion of this man.

Again, cultivating patience is always my downfall.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. ~Kahlil Gibran

Me, A Name, I Call Myself

“I have this idea that every time we discover that the names we’re being called are somehow keeping us less than free, we need to come up with new names for ourselves, and that the names we give ourselves must no longer reflect a fear of being labeled outsiders, must no longer bind us to a system that would rather see us dead.”    ―      Kate Bornstein,       

Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a renaissance butch. I figure its something like being ok with the possible dissonance between my body and my mind, sometimes.

Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it gets really complicated.

I don’t know what else to call it. All I know is that Kate Bornstein is the closest thing to perfect I can think of respecting.

I’ve read everything Kate has ever published and own most of everything.

Check her out if you don’t already think she’s the best thing since Ben & Jerry’s caramel hat trick icecream! 😀

 

 

Do You Trust Me?

“Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

Who do you trust? Why do you trust them?

I went back to a conversation a family member had with someone else close to me. Let’s call the one who told me the story B and the second person G.

Well B told me their conversation went something like this:

G: What can I say to her to make her trust me, that I won’t hurt her?
B: I think she knows.

B did her best to make G feel good about the situation but the short answer to the question is this: nothing.
Not a god damned thing. B and G are wonderful human beings, closer to me than a lot of people in my life; they’re more worthy of that trust than most people. Yet I cannot give them my trust as much as I should.

I can’t trust anyone at all, with anything. B can attest to this because she’s known me a very long time.

Control of myself, my life and everything in it is something I demand every second, every minute of every day and when I’m not in control, I am very unhappy.

G is a loving and giving human being and hasn’t once, in the years we’ve known each other given me any reason to be distrustful of her, in fact, it’s been the opposite.

However, when you come from a certain background, trust goes out the window early and completely. For all intents and purposes, I’ve been self-sufficient since age 9 or 10 and realised after many terrible misdeeds, trust wasn’t worth giving up anymore.

So to ask me now, at 33, to lean on someone else for anything I need, no, not without a fight and it’s in no way intentional. With some more time and perhaps some more healing, I may be able to get to a point where I feel like I can trust B and G implicitly.

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough.”

Indeed it is a torment, since human beings are designed, socialised and have evolved to be interdependent creatures, we are to trust and be trusted to ensure survival and proliferation of the species.

At some point I have to stop white knuckling my autonomy and allow myself to rely on someone else for safety or the holding of secrets. Just not today.

Watch Your Language

Hey folks,

I’m planning a new blog! I like monkiss as unfocussed as it is from day-to-day, with art, personal stories and soap box stuff, the next one is devoted to a nerdy love of mine:

words!

I’m going to do a word a day with some photography to go with it…I think; photos from around my city.

Submit a blog title recommendation if you like. So far I’m using my wife’s feedback and we don’t seem to like each other’s suggestions – so far.

misanthrope

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. –Albert Einstein

I think these things about as much as I think of showing compassion for the human race.

Intelligence leaves me, with some kind of woe at least, for the human race.

“I have found little that is good about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think.” –Sigmund Freud

Yet at the end of the day people fascinate me as much as they disgust me…so what to do?

What to do indeed.