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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In my life...

This piece is something that is deeply personal for me. It is not the usual tirade of explicatives and rage fueled rants you have come to know. I struggled with the idea of even posting this, but I decided to say fuck it and go for it. You may not want to read about a different side of my personality, if not, stop reading this and fuck off… That is your prerogative.

In my life…

In my opinion, the digital versions of literary work will never beat an actual book… for that matter, a magazine, or newspaper either.  I actually feel sad for today’s generation of kids. The connection with a book, or the feeling a book can give you is something they may never get to experience with their dependence on digital technology. For me, there is just something magical about holding book when you are in the depths of reading a good story. It just makes it seem like you are physically attached to the book as if it were one of your appendages, you don’t want to put the book down... Especially when you make a personal connection to the story you are reading. Fuck the tree huggers and the environmentalists, I’ll plant a few fucking trees to replace the ones that it takes to make the books that I read.

Recently, I finished reading ‘The Average American Marriage’ by Chad Kultgen, and I can honestly say that I felt a connection with this book, as I did with its predecessor, ‘The Average American Male: A Novel’. The words contained within these books, ‘Marriage’ especially, were all too familiar with me. It brought emotions out of me, described feelings that I had experienced and were written in a way as if I were the one putting them down on paper. The words that Kultgen wrote made me reflect on my life since they resonated with me. 

These two stories by Kultgen are told through the mind of an unnamed narrator, who could be construed as an anti-hero… An asshole. I believe that Kultgen left the narrator nameless so the “Average American” male can identify with the character and put themselves in these same scenarios as if they were in them or have already lived them out.  If my theory on the author’s intent is correct, mission accomplished!

(Spoiler Alert! Do not read any further if you do not want to know anything about the story) In ‘The Average American Marriage’, the narrator returns, but as an unhappily married man in his mid-thirties who ends up cheating on his wife with a younger, more attractive intern. His actions ruin his marriage, force him to reevaluate his life and he finds that after an initial euphoric feeling of reliving his youth, discovers that the normal life he had grown to know and loathe was something he had valued more than he realized. 

As I have written before, I am divorced, but that was not a result of me cheating on my now ex-wife. I had other demons I was battling which contributed to the demise of my marriage. I have grown to accept that as fact, there is nothing I can do to change that either. My marriage became complacent as our anti-hero’s had, but that was because of the psychological issues I neglected to deal with. I was dead inside.

The narrator was able to go back to his marriage after cheating on his wife; he was able to go back to some semblance of his version of normal even though it was not the same in the end. I was not so fortunate, and part of me regrets that while another part is thankful that I have found inner peace that has made me a better person, a responsible adult. I am not sure if I would have ever gotten to where I am right now without going through my divorce. 

My variation of “normal” was not enough for my then wife. I do not blame her, she deserved more, but I was not in any position to give it to her. I was content being a father, and a shitty, unmotivated husband. I was broken as a person, and even after the death of my first born son, found that rock bottom was even a few steps lower than I had previously imagined. My divorce showed me that there was a floor after all, it was rock bottom, and after all of that, I still was not at a point to get the help that I desperately needed.

In ‘Marriage’, the narrator talks about feeling alive again once he started fucking his 21 year old intern. Oddly enough, I am in my mid-thirties and had a relationship with an intern who happened to be that same age as the anti-hero’s mistress after my divorce. For a while, I felt that same euphoric feeling of “being alive” again when I was with her. It felt amazing to feel wanted, to be with someone new, someone who knew nothing of my horrific mental state and who was younger and out of my league. She was intelligent, understanding, compassionate, accommodating to a fault, humorous and beautiful… The total package. She was someone that I should have held on to, but could never commit to. With my past experiences and in my frail mental state, I believed that relationships were meant to fail. Friendships, in my mind, were much more valuable. I was temporarily happy with her, but she wanted a future that I could not give her. She deserved more, a better than the life I could offer her. It became evident to me, I was still broken. 

Since this realization, I have sought out help through counseling and my struggles have been aided with prescription medicine. After starting this new get well regiment, I feel like a completely “normal” person, with the exception of my twisted views and opinions on life. I do live with the regret of my marriage being a failure, but there is nothing I can do about that now. The feelings of love and lust for my ex-wife have dissipated. The feelings that I had once felt for her have now been replaced with tolerance. We have just become two separate people, who share the responsibility of raising a child. Yes, I hate not being with my son everyday, but I have grown to accept that. Just hear me out about why.

I respect my ex-wife for being the mother of my children, I will always be there to assist her and she will always have a place in my heart for that fact. But, there is nothing buried within my soul that would ever want to be with her in a relationship again. Things would never be the same as some things can never be repaired with hard work... No matter what some relationship “experts” may suggest. I could not picture living a life of depression and misery as our anti-hero in the book returned to after what you might call a reconciliation with his wife. I have battled depression, and I am winning. I would never want to return to that dark place I have emerged from. 

After all that has been said and done between my ex-wife and I, there is still a love that I have for her, but it not a describable love. I cannot really put it into words the feelings that have manifested within me. In a roundabout way, she changed me as a person, which indirectly saved my life. I am not a spiritual person, but fate may have intervened when I met her. Because of how she affected me, my life changed. I became a father, an adult… A better person. My life until the age of 30 had no purpose. I had no direction and was on a collision course with an early demise. Because of my life with my ex-wife, I found a path. I had gotten an education, found a career, and have become a damn good parent if I do say so myself.

The reflection that I just penned is all relative to the power of reading and the impact it can have on a person. And, because of the influence one person can have on someone, like what my ex-wife had done for me as a person, I will always have a love for her. I dedicate the following lyrics to her… I danced with my mother to this song at my wedding and I almost find it funny and ironic how I have found a new place for this song… in my life.

“In my life”
By: The Beatles

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more


Anonymous said...

Still a faggot.

M. said...

That's the best you have... Anonymously calling me a faggot? Homoerotic replies are for the simpleminded. You're pathetic!