Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AND ALL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN


It looks as though I will have to repeat Accelerated Algebra again.  Though it will not reflect on my G.P.A, I do feel a small shiver when I think about the possible long-term significance of what my inability to recall formulas may indicate.  Before anyone goes all Vanilla Wafer™-in-milk on me, note what I am NOT saying, and let that mean more than what I have about this class and my academic career.

On the super-positive side of things, looks as though a cat has found a job!  I think that I will be the weekend lobby picker-upper at a Burger King not far from the school.  The only thing about getting the job is that it means I won’t be spending that time around KT, but it is all good.  I do plan on suffocating her, and the one get-a-way that I did hope for while she was here, a trip to Adventureland in Des Moines, I wanted to do during the week anyway.  Speaking of which…

While it was a nameless place that I had told said to myself was just a short ways over the river in Iowa, it was Nebraska who sent me an e-mail with the name of the park and a link to some other activities there and in Omaha as well.  It was bittersweet, with her providing the information so that KT and I won’t have to look at ourselves while she was here, and that WE were not planning to do anything together with our daughters.  Do I look back and wonder what I could have done differently that would have altered the outcome of our relationship?  I do, but in my mind, they don’t measure greater than the sum of the things that I did do in the name of the progression of a relationship between us.

There is so much about our approach to love that makes me wonder if we were compatible or not.  Sometimes she loved me and at other times she was unsure.  One of the things at the very end that she clarified for me was that we weren’t ever a couple and we barely were friends.  Ouch.

I am not repeating those words to make her “look bad”, but to point out how sometimes you can say the most incendiary things off-handedly.  And here is where our approaches differ… I would not say anything of that nature unless I either wanted to provoke or intended to end a relationship with a person.  And to be perfectly honest, the former is an indicator of the latter, meaning, if someone asks me if I wanted to be done with them, then I do.  Otherwise, I would not have said something so inflammatory.  Women, particularly African-American women, have a tendency to “shoot off at the mouth”, speaking out of emotion, and using their words as weapons.

Who knows how hurtful she planned on being when she made that statement?  I guess that she had said things of that nature, if not made the exact same comment before, and I did not take them to mean what they mean to me at this stage of our knowing each other, isn’t a trick I played.  I did not purposely appear to be docile and understanding because I wanted to sabotage our relationship and avoid the lion’s share of the blame.  It is more that I claim to own my feelings and emotions reservedly, and I don’t have to justify “why” something struck me the way that it does, only acknowledge the feelings that they draw from me and live with whatever consequence that my reaction demands.

Though unpredictability seems to reign in life, there are still constants that until proven otherwise, must be upheld.  The LHC and quantum theory is coming closer and closer to undoing Einstein’s physics, but for small sectors of science, Einstein is enough.  Nothing can go faster than the speed of light.  Period, end of story.

In human relations, there are similar rules that are near-immutable truths, with maybe some quibbling on the details.  For instance, I don’t know if you are a friend to a person with a limit on your patience.  For some reason that always has rubbed me the wrong way, as I think it allows for “cliques within cliques” to form, a group of friends who has an inner circle of friends, even as they are all supposedly “equal”.  I think that is really a female thing, as male hierarchy tends to run along lines of merit and ability.  I know for me, I use what I call, “the first among equals”, to justify to myself how I determine the order of those close to me.

For over four years, Nebraska held the spot of “first among equals”, relinquishing it briefly but gaining it back.  Our not being able to reach a mutual understanding of how important we were to each other was definitely part of our fail.  My interpretation of what constituted the “grit in the gears” of that problem stemmed on perception, how we both looked at the same situation and saw something completely different.  Pondering what did and did not happen between us is what made the poem relevant to me on this day.

As I once self-described myself as “Ferdinand”, as I felt that my character bore more than a slight resemblance that of “Ferdinand the Bull”, I do make a point to appreciate the small joys in my life.  That is part of why I have been nonchalant about keepsakes and memories.  To me, it is like trying to keep time in a bottle, or animals in a zoo.  No matter what you actually have in the glass or behind cages is only a point of perception, and not the perception itself.  Though sometimes I am wistful because others seem like they would have benefited from such things (only Skye ever seen me box… and the Carolina girls know of my feats from their Mom’s first-hand experience), it never meant as much to me.  I don’t know if I would have inspired anyone much more than I did my darling brother and our younger twin sisters, but perhaps had things gone a bit differently, I may have been a better guide for Skye, and who can say what I would have been to either KT or Lexxie?

As this term of school draws to a close and the weather has become post-card perfect, I wonder how things came to this way between Nebraska and me.  Dreaded hills or no, I rather enjoy pedaling around town and riding through the scenic neighborhoods near my apartment.  There is not a day that goes by that I am not seized with a sensation of either wonderment or discovery, sometimes both at once, as I pass a place that has not yet been catalogued in my mind because I have either not passed it before, or have not yet passed it enough for it to become a marker in my mind.  The steep hills here, which at one time would have been foreboding, are now just part of the scenery, and the panting that I do at the top of them a reminder that I am where I have always intended to be.  

I thought that I would have made this a personal letter to her and be done with it.  But, as this is my journal, and I do believe that the closure thing is overrated, figure to leave well enough alone.  But I somehow think that these last few entries could be used as an object lesson for someone who finds themselves twisting on the rack of love, at another’s mercies, writhing in pain and confused at how this person could hurt them so.  And while I should not say that Nebraska tortured me or anything like that, as I did not sense that my anguish rose above normal, but a lot of that owes a large part to my sense of self.  A person can only do what you allow them to do.  And I always would want to know “what’s my motivation?”  If I had been told “why”, then I would have found a “how”.  I simply never knew “why” I was feeling the way that I did when it came to Nebraska and mine relationship.

3 comments:

Mr.Mischief said...

I wouldn't worry about having to repeat the math class-the lab tech that helped me get through my Cisco class this last semester(who was also in the same class) had to repeat his algebra class three times...if it wasn't for my wife, I most likely would have had to repeat it more than a few times.

That corgi :) said...

Sorry about the class, Mark, but at least you get the opportunity to repeat it. Good for you for getting a job; its a start, right? I am sorry about your relationship with Nebraska; I'm not good about figuring out what went wrong, what went right, but I know there could be sadness in the realization when one realizes what they might want is not meant to be.

betty

Ken Riches said...

Glad to hear about the job. Just keep being you, nothing else matters :o)