They tell us not to compare ourselves to others; that the economy of the past died thanks to 40 years of conservative economic policy and voodoo economics.
They tell us not to compare ourselves to our peers – even though these are the people who usually make up our core social dynamic.
Most of all, they tell us to let go of the Past.
But it’s hard not to compare myself to my father…who at 50 had a house, two cars, three kids and a wife who stayed with him until he died – whether he deserved any of it, or not.
Most of the people I used to know have homes or cars, and families…their lives more active and seemingly fulfilling than my own. And when I used to work in auto financing, I would watch as kids half my fucking age put twenty grand down of fucking high-end luxury cars I could never dream of driving.
I’ve spent my entire life pursuing one single dream…to write, to be read, to create a fantastic and engrossing, successful story. Along the way my life has been ruined by a chain of events that I can trace back to a single day in 2011…and I would give everything I have now just to go back and stop it from happening, because I might still then be happily married, and a regular father to my beautiful children.
But, I fucked up my life badly enough that didn’t happen.
I chose to not date anymore after my marriage fell apart; the idea of being that close to another human being, to breaking someone else’s heart, alienating someone else that I’ve invested the emotional energy into loving…
As to friends? The last of my so-called “friends” deserted me years ago; all of them bailing because they just couldn’t deal with the emotional crisis my divorce compounded with a cancer scare and being allowed to see my children only sporadically…people that I loved like brothers and sisters…people I loved more than myself…called me toxic instead of helping me clear the poison out of my system.
Today, the first day of my sixth decade on this planet, I can’t help but reflect on the fact that I live in a literal rat-hole apartment, surviving of subsistance wages, and that I am completely alone. The last person I’d ever allow back into my life was vain enough to believe my last screed was about them, and that they could take advantage of my vulnerability for their own gain once more…and the people whom I truly believe loved me have been driven so far away from me as to not even be able to care…
Today, I’m less than 150 pages from finishing my review of the galley for They Came in Peace, a book I’ve been working on, writing and struggling with for nearly seven years.
Writing this book is about the only thing that’s kept me alive as one by one, people have left my life – the worst, most gutting blow the death of my mother last year.
It looks like it’s getting both a limited trade paperback run and an ebook rollout, but as I reread the words one last time…I realize just how much of my grief and anguish has bled onto these pages, despite it being just another highly stylistic sci-fi parable.
I’m almost finished working on the galley before it goes to press. After that, I will truly be alone for the first time in years.
As to the past? It stretches on far longer than my future, and in the past, I knew things I don’t know now; namely joy, companionship, and love. If I let go of my past, I let go to the only things that make me Human. I have let go of the people, but the past is a place of consolation and torment, and sometimes, the only escape I have. To let go of it would be to let go of my own future.