Friday, April 25, 2008

On The Painted Desert


Today's story was a son interviewing his Mother.  It was a really touching story as he asked her some very penetrating questions.  He has a brother, and she is divorced from her husband, who was physically violent with her.  The son asked her about his father, and he in turn was asked how her decision not to let his father see him affected him.  The little boy said how it affected him, and that he expected to be a better man than his father.

When I think about why I didn't hang in with my first wife, things like this were part of my decision process.  BJ, Skye, did NOT need to see us yelling and screaming ... and though it was mostly the Mom, more often than not, that bond between Mother and child is going to be stronger than that with their Father ... there were other issues as well that contributed to Skye's antipathy (now, THAT is a good and accurate word right there!) towards me, but I still feel that both her and BJ stood a better shot if I stepped aside.  BJ is now old enough to understand, though it doesn't change her heart.  I will take that.  Skye ...

... oh, my cloudy Skye ...  that is a top, top, priority.


I called my father.  Next week is fine, maybe the week after would be better.  We will see, we will see.

This is hard writing today, but I need to do it. Mookie and I had time alone to talk, and we did.  We spoke of a love that once was, and how it has come to this ...

I explained to her that I have been operating under the principle that I have been the party that needed to 'correction'.  My 'life experience', though volumious, does not include a lot of what is going on here, to not be wanted.  I explained that after I got over myself in high school, I haven't been insecure about talking to people.  To find out how to approach someone was something I could just 'see', the same way my amateur trainer said my talent was 'hitting someone'.  He meant that I could take my strongest or most effective punch and place it EXACTLY where I wanted it.  Same thing with talking to people.  I can still observe and find out what it is to 'say' to them.

Just like with you.

But I always made sure that I had more legitimate reasons other than 'scoring' to want to talk to them.  I know my numbers don't reflect that, but that was what drove me.  I want to make someone feel special, and I feel that is what I do.  "I make you feel special, or did, didn't I?"

She nodded.

I wish that I could say she had more in the way of conversation to offer, but she doesn't.  Part of it is her natural reticence (that sounds smart, admit it!), another part is what I feel is folks not knowing what is going on inside of themselves, and they are not able to say what it is they feel.  That isn't my problem. 

My Army sister, when were we kids used to be able to understand me straight away, and she was the one who said, "When Mark is mad, it is easy to know because HE WILL TELL YOU", which is to say I will speak straight away and direct.  If I say I am not pleased, it doesn't mean that you can do something again, to hear me say 'I am not pleased'.  It means the next time, YOU won't be pleased, because I have already told you that I was about to do something.

I did tell Mookie that I was leaving, didn't I?


Today is the first time that I have cried over this.  And when I say, "Today", I am saying, "now".  I have to find a way to talk with lil' Mook before I take off, but I don't know how, or when.  Even KNOWING that I am going to have a better chance, to look forward for a better opportunity, where the worst case scenario is one of me living with my Dad and Step Mom, trying vainly to repair a relationship with my oldest girl.

I mean, that IS the worst thing for me to expect as a 'bad' outcome.  And if that is the worst thing, it CAN'T be that bad.

It is just getting there, now that is the rub.

Can't remember how much I can share about my military experience, but I think I can tell you that I was an Air Assault qualified soldier.  The Airborne Paratroopers trained at Ft. Bragg, NC and at Ft. Benning, Ga I believe.  Anyway, I went to school at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Before I went to the Army, I was leery of heights.  Would barely ride a ride at a big amusment partk, and as to a street fair, FORGET IT.  Not to get off on a tangent, I have known from the start of puberty, that folks saw me as what is politely considered, 'sweet'.  I knew that I wasn't, but hey, I gave myself manicures and I LOVE cooking and pretty flowers!  I played me some hockey, which then wasn't where you expected to see a brother.  When I did began to box, it just meant that folks then knew that they COULDN'T mess with me.

I don't know how much of it was to show the world at large, but since I had scored so high on the ASVAB test, I could just about write up my enlistment.  So I asked my recruiter, 'were their secretaries in the special forces?', or something similar, being young and ignorant.  He laughed and explained to me the things you had to do, and one of them was to be able to do the Airborne school or the Air Assault training.

Still 'kid thinking', I opted for the latter, as it was in helicopters as opposed to being in an air plane.  Silly me!  Don't know which school is actually 'tougher', but even cats who have both tabs, says it is Air Assault!

But I did it, and I have never questioned if I was 'tough' or if I am 'man' I was again.  Still, I have to find out how tough and how much of both ...


Just like I know how to 'hit' someone, I know how to 'reach' people.  I think that my Mother tried to warn me, as she told me to 'not leave so much of myself' with people.  And like most lessons of our parents, we don't understand until much later.  One of the things that I have accepted and believe is that, whatever lessons that were taught, that when they blossom into consciousness, is when it is time, not to think about 'what if I knew then'.  Because the answer is, you DID know it then, but you just flew past it.

Because my pride has always rested in my ablity to learn, I still feel comfortable talking about going to school.  With whatever I may not be able to access, I still feel like when you close one wing of the Lovre, you STILL have a lot to see!  Yeah, I am a little vain when it comes to the 'smarts' part of me.  If I don't know it, I will get to it, and take past where someone else did!  NYAAHH!

But I am really going to have to let the lessons that others have taught me about life, the lessons that I have learned myself, to really start to guide me.  I don't think that this is karma, because I use it as a point of reference, not as a concept.  The world is mine, the world is yours, it is there for everyone ...

... I have to get me some of what is there for me.


That I was immune?  Of course not.  Part of why I have decided to keep my reference points as my Family (as turbulent as that relationship is, the lessons learned still are effective), my brief military career (4 year stint) and my boxing career (bittersweet at best ... at worst, kept me off the streets of Detroit) have all prepared me for this moment.  In fact, our lives prepare us for each moment, EVERY moment.

The Thomas Dolby song, "The Flat Earth" as a profound question, where he asks " if love is all you're missing ... to look into your heart, is anybody home?" as the background vocals compell you to "remember, baby ... love me, darling ... believe me, honey ..."


... but I am crying, not weeping, not the painful, stressful tears of fruitless effort, but just crying.  I am sad, hurt, confused and lost at this moment.  Time to get up, take a shower, and get into my day ...

Today's soundtrack, were songs by the above groups, titles in red.  Cool songs, and only the one by GLU, I think of as a 'Mark song', full of that weird esoteric that is make me unique (like about 8.5 billion others!)


csandhollow said...

First of all, congrats on being a pick by guest editor.
Second, Air Assault is tough! I watched people get pushed off that platform, I saw legs break. being afraid of heights making that jump was the hardest thing I ever did. No I was not in Army, my ex was. I went thru a weekend training section that was designed for spouses. the jump was volunteer.

I do hope that Detroit turns out to be better than you ever dreamed of.

I like how you straight talk.

buggieboo1 said...

congrats on being a pick by guest editor.

~~~Make It A Great Day~~~

lv2trnscrb said...

I'm glad you and Mookie had a chance to talk; I'm like Mookie, sometimes its hard for me to get the words in my head into intelligent words that make sense; you described it so well when you said "I feel folks not knowing what is going on inside of themselves adn they are not able to say what it is they feel" that describes me a lot of times; it frustrates my husband at times too, I do much better writing than talking; maybe Mookie is like that?

so it is sooner than June you think you'll be going?

that was interesting to read about what you shared about your time in the military; since I've been following your journal; you haven't written much about it other than the fact you did serve


lisa41076 said...

Awwwwww Mark, it makes me sad to know you are crying, sending hugs your way ((((((((((((((( Mark ))))))))))))))))))))))))) Hugs Lisa