This is dedicated to the people I hurt. I will never stop being sorry. Your forgiveness was a beautiful expression of your true nature. I appreciate it. Will I ever forgive myself? Read on, True Believer.
Also, get ready cuz shit’s about to get heavy. And I’m probably going to unabashedly abuse analogies, metaphors and maybe even similes, oh my!
And it’s gonna be pretty, pretty weird.
So without further ado…
I feel like I was born with the soul of a friendly golden retriever. My inclination was to do good and be nice. I was a being – in my core nature – of the light. Sure, I shit the rug now and then. I wasn’t a perfect being like Malala or The Rock. But in the end analysis I was a good being who sometimes I did bad things.
But then I did something (non-violent) to someone I loved. I didn’t have bad intentions. I thought I would have been able to fix everything before the person even noticed. But I wasn’t able to. I’m not sure I could have once things began to unravel but I really didn’ even try. Not out of malevolence but because I was mired in one of my severe depression valleys and just didn’t care about doing anything. That’s NOT AN EXCUSE. I take full responsibility for my choices. But I just wanted to add a bit of context. And by the time I was wide awake enough in America, the end result, a lot of undeserved and unjust consequences for that person I loved, was already in the mail, both literally and figuratively.
That person has since forgiven me. If I had to put money on it, I would predict that I will never forgive myself. I know that’s unhealthy. But it’s true.
After the nuclear winds had died down, I felt changed. You know how caterpillars change into butterflies? I think I was a pretty average caterpillar but I turned into a shadowy figure.
My soul no longer resembled that friendly golden retriever. Instead it morphed into the look and feel of a Canis dirus. But this particular Dire Wolf had been recently domesticated by some theoretical crazy wolf whisperer wizard ranger.
This wolf was broken , like they do with horses, so that it knew to behave like a domesticated animal or there would be consequences. On the surface, both the golden retriever and the wolf sat down when their master stood in front of them with a bowl of food. But while the benevolent retriever was probably excited and happy to sit to please his beloved master, the wolf was something altogether different.
At a glance they both comported themselves the exact same way: seated and politely waiting for their bowl of food. But unlike the golden, as the master bent down to place the bowl of food on the floor, the wolf’s mind wasn’t filled with joy and gratitude. What would go through that wolf’s mind, was “I want to tear your fucking throat out.”
I was transformed, with regard to my self perception, into the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.
You see, making my terrible choice changed how I saw myself. I feel it changed the very nature of myself. This is not hyperbole. Maybe it’s a warning? But I truly believe I am a creature of the dark now. I have been domesticated and I am choosing to follow the rules of polite society, for the most part.
It’s not hard. I’ve been towing the civilized line for 43 years. I’m generally and historically a giant pussy so I’m not known to cause much trouble. But I feel false and out of place and like the proverbial stranger in a strange land. I wish I could turn back time and stop myself. But I know I cannot. So I’ve resolved to be the best domesticated wolf I can be. I will probably feel a pang of regret and self-loathing whenever I’m tempted to judge another asshole or even when I give into that temptation. To paraphrase Pope Francis, who in the literal fuck am I to judge?
I’ll take the easy way out and finish this post by stealing from a movie I really loved: American History X. At the end, (spoiler alert), the protagonist advises the audience that it’s always better and easier to finish a paper with a quote from some long gone genius because they probably said what you’re trying to say already and they said it in a much better way.
To wit: I’m going to try and follow the better angels of my nature.