Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sunday Night Snap

On Sunday night September 4, I totally snapped.

It's a combination of things really. I'm having some serious issues as a result of being separated from my little boy, and the ensuing break up with my girlfriend.

People's suggestions to me about the situation are well-meaning but usually misguided or completely out-of-whack. My dad, for instance, suggested that I prorate my child support payment this month "because you'll have Sam for a week to yourself, so why send up the full amount?" My mother suggested I get involved with fathers' rights groups; she has no idea that most of these fathers' rights groups are total fucking lunatics, a bunch of angry losers who made out poorly in the divorce settlement and think all women are evil. My ex the other night told me that we'll have to hang out together when she comes to the US later this month with Sam, because "he probably doesn't know you anymore," and then got mad at me when I said "whose fault is that," a reference to her abrupt, last-minute decision to stay in canada. "It's all about you" she said, and well yeah it is: because my fucking heart is fucking broken maybe, and you're holding all the cards??

And no one seems to understand anything. Musicians wonder why I don't want to play for free until 2:30 in the morning and then make fun of me when I tell them "I have to get up at 7:30 AM for work." Emotionally needy people who don't seem to grasp that for once in my life, I don't have the energy or time to deal with their neediness, say things like "Yeah, I'm feeling down too. I just broke up with this guy Ive been seeing for two weeks." Or another friend who told me that he felt exactly like I did when his girlfriend walked out on him, saying "And man, she took the DOG. I loved that dog..." Well hey now, I guess that's the equivalent of being an involuntarily absent parent. And I hate to criticize these people, especially the last guy who is my oldest and one of my dearest friends; besides, i know they mean well.

None of these people mean to be cruel or insensitive or stupid. And I don't take it that way. But it adds up, the not understanding. Only one guy here in Philly, who I'm not even really friends with, understands because he's in the middle of a similar situation.

And I've taken it, I've taken it as best I could, and kept my mouth shut when I could, and sucked it up and sucked it up some more. I've eaten so much shit in the past month, nevermind the past year, that my eyes have turned brown. And I'm sure my ex feels the same way: she's not an evil person and none of this is easy on her. As I've said before: her decision to stay in Montreal was a good one. Both of her options were good. The cognitive dissonance is simply just too much for me to handle sometimes.

Yet, it is the sheer human carnage of Katrina that has really, finally thrown me; the failure to provide for these people and the craven response by the government and its apologists has been the tipping point at which I have turned into Howard Beale.

I was at the White Dog happy hour here in Philly with my friend Ken. We were talking about the toll of Katrina, the political/economic/social ramifications, etc.

This older fella who must have been in his late 40s, dressed like Tom Wolfe in seersucker, interjected in our conversation.

He started making these overly academic points about all sorts of stuff, about how it's not Bush's fault (which is parsing the meaning of "fault" to a degree that can only be described as immoral), how this couldn't have been expected, how no one's to blame, how it's not as bad as it seems, the whole "you're living in the reality based community" attitude. Each academic hair he split brought a smirk to his face.

And guess what? I just had it. I started to get a bit sharp at him. Some guy on the other side of me told me to calm down, and I just got up and left. "I am not going to sit here and listen to this kind of garbage," I said and I walked out of the bar, seething.

Ken came running up the street. "That guy was an asshole," he said. "Just calm down."

The thing is that really, I was fine. I just couldn't take it anymore. I have had it up to here with this administration and its apologists, and I will not break bread with them, I will not drink beer or wine or water with them, and I will not be in the presence of their disgusting stink. Call me self-righteous, but I would rather be self-righteous than an immoral, wheezing gasbag of an apologist for a political party that has no saving graces whatsoever.

We walked past the White Dog on the way to the car, and i just had to have one more word.

"Ken," I said, "I am going back in there to throw a beer in that man's face."

"No you're not," he said, but it was too late. i was already running up the steps to the bar.

The beers had already been cleared away, so I went in and got directly in that man's smirking face. My nose was inches from his nose.

My voice was ragged from a weekend of singing at a bluegrass festival. "If I ever see you on the street, I'm gonna kick your motherfucking ass," I croaked. "You goddamn son of a bitch, there are people dying down there, it's a complete failure of government, of leadership, and you have the nerve, the sheer nerve, to make lousy little academic arguments? What the hell is wrong with you?"

I turned and walked to the door, turning around pointing to yell at him, "People like you make me sick. There are people dying down there and all you can think about is the political fallout and the damage control." The whole restaurant was staring at me. I was apoplectic, my face must have been purple with rage and my whole body was shaking.

Then I left. I doubt I'll be welcome at the White Dog anymore, but I am just sick of it. I am so sick sick sick of it. The aftermath of Katrina is a complete failure of leadership, in so many ways. And everybody's rushing to clean up after the Boy King's latest failure.
What in god's name is wrong with people?

In closing, I have to report that my bullshit meter can take no more. I have no patience with anyone anymore.


Blogger somegirl said...

i'm sorry brendan! i wish i was a better friend and could relieve your pain.

i feel exactly the same as you.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Brendan said...

If you were there, you could have put sat on him while I administered kicks to his soft parts

9:51 AM  

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