For several weeks, I’ve been distracted, consumed by some drama that lives far from the subject(s) of this blog. While that’s been happening, I’ve been interacting with Charlotte daily. Multiple times a day. We’re close, she and I. As I was with Marina, 18 months ago, I’m intensely engaged with Charlotte. With Marina, it was heaven, and it was torture. With Charlotte? It’s fun. It hasn’t been hard (for me). Except for my cock. In fact, it’s been pretty close to effortless. I just, naturally, easily, seem to accommodate Charlotte’s humanity, her imperfections. Marina’s imperfections sent me around the bend. I needed her to be perfect. Charlotte? I don’t need her to be perfect. She’s pretty damned good, she’s never bad, and that’s great for me.
But I haven’t been writing so much, and the reason has had nothing to do with Charlotte. Rather, I’ve had some shit happening in a portion of my life that is, to this blog, where Australia is to the United States on a globe.
I’ve written before about my arrogance, about how those who don’t know me tend to think I’m arrogant. About how those who do know me tend to see how that all happens, to understand it.
Well, recently, I’ve found myself in a kerfuffle. And by recently, I mean over the last two years, with it all coming to a head in the last few weeks. It’s hard for me to describe the details here, but I’ll try:
- I have a pathological need to prove myself valuable, competent, helpful, useful, desirable.
- Throughout my life, this has, mostly, been a boon. It works at a cost to me – it requires time, effort, energy. But it serves me well in my relations with others. The vast majority of people who know me appreciate me for something I’ve done for them.
- I’m not unaware of my aggression, my hostility, my anger. Some use their caretaking, their kindness, as a mask for their rage. That’s not me. My rage is evident, front and center.
Just today, I was walking with a friend, another Jew, and a Lubavitcher – an observant Jew from a sect that thinks it’s a mitzvah (a righteous deed), that it hastens the coming of moshiach (the messiah) to get Jews to engage in acts of worship – approached us. “Are you Jewish?” he said. Any brunet/te living in a big city is familiar with this approach. “I’m sorry, sir,” I said. “We’re talking. Please leave us alone.” We were walking, at a clip. We both had places we needed to be. And soon. He accelerated, keeping up with us. “Are you Jewish?” he asked. “Sir,” I said. “We’re talking. We’re having a conversation. You’re interrupting us. Please leave us alone.” At this point, I thought I’d been clear. But he persisted. “Are you Jewish? Shabbos is coming.” I fucking hate this shit. I am Jewish. On my parents’ side, as a friend of mine once said. The presumptuousness, the arrogance, the intrusiveness, the aggression, of those who think they know better than I how I should worship, what I should believe, what I should do, irritates me something fierce. This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate the Lubavitchers: on more than one occasion, I’ve taken advantage of their mitzvah tanks – collecting a mezuzah, some Chanukah candles. Even laying tefillin a couple of times. The thing is: I want to engage on my terms. At times of my choosing. This dude was pissing me off. “Sir,” I said. “You’re harassing us. Please. Leave us alone.” He looked at me, inquisitively. “Are you Jewish?” he asked. For a third, or maybe a fourth time. “Sir?” I said. “Please. Fuck off.”
I express anger, aggression. Often. Readily. At those I love. At those I care about. At those I don’t know. I don’t think my kindness, my utility to others, is a defense against my rage. If I’m defending against anything, it’s a defense against the possibility that I’m useless, undesirable, worthless.
- Recently – and not just recently, but over the last two years – I have found myself repeatedly (like, five times) accused of malevolent, unethical actions, that I didn’t commit. The accusations have come from a single corner of my life, a small gathering of people who, evidently, are threatened by me. Ironically, this group of people has considerable power over me. So their accusations land heavily. They consume my time. My energy. My spirit. This all happens in a universe constrained by reality, so…. each false accusation has, over time, been revealed to have been false. I’ve been vindicated. Five times.
But it doesn’t matter. Because the truth is, there’s clearly something about me that’s provoking these people. They’re trying to take me down by attacking me. They’ve been ineffectual thus far, but they’ve hurt me. There’s something masochistic about the whole situation: I’m trying to help these people, and they’re trying to mount a case that I’m bad.
A more sensible person might… exit the community. I don’t need these people; their power, their authority over me, resides in a series of choices I’ve made, in a series of choices I continue to make. I could leave, tomorrow, and my life honestly would be better. But still, I stick around, hoping to win them over….