The day started too early – 5a as Trooper spun up the motorcycle to head in to his part time gig on his off day. I made a fast fried egg sandwich for him before I was even awake, the entire time hoping that Kota wouldn’t wake. And I was lucky as hell right up until Trooper yanked the front door shut in his own stupor. KA-BAM! And then…”Rah-ruhhh??…ooo-RAH-rooo!”
I snatched at the belt on my robe as though girding my loins for the day. “Coffee…” I muttered angrily. I furrowed my brow as I waited for it to brew before fetching the wolfpup from her den. Compromises, you see…compromises…I went through the usual morning routine, managing to sneak in some Hulu to stave off my snit. And I found something interesting.
As I watched those two young people experience their first thrills of flight and grimaced at the sight of those Tomcats in the sky, history already, that same slow burn lit…
Where were my parents? Where was anyone when I was wasting time and intellect? I was a little genius, hiding in the library at school and reading about 5 levels above my age. Where were they while I slipped from there to the tops of brownstones for other educational endeavors? How I have always tried…tried to forgive them both for that benign neglect. I cannot help but watch those scenes and petulantly whisper, “That could have been me…” – no matter how hard I force logic to it that immature anger still rises over all, demanding an answer. The only answer is an echoing silence. No one and nothing there to rail against. It Just Was. I just took a different route and all that came from it was my own choice.
I have fought for decades to come to peace with it, that absolute dereliction of their responsibilities. I am far too old to be weeping over a life missed. But these are hard days and I want so much to have a Do Over. Just let me go back and I promise to be good – I’ll fix it and never stray from that path. I’ll learn to set goals. I’ll change…
But that aching petition of the soul is a powerless thing. Reality stands mute against it with an understanding tilt of the head but a resigned lift of the brow. This is your life, I hear it say. This is it and you are doing what you want to do even if it feels otherwise, even if you regret all that has brought you to this place. I get so sick of the “no regrets” platitude that is the emotional touchstone in modern life – as if saying so unties all those errors and they go blowing down the road like a stale helium balloon. I’ve a goddamned boatload of regrets, thank you, and they are anchored to my heel.
I’ve tried hard to it go. I try hard to work within the daily constraints of my life, to find a beauty in all this madness, a peace in the chaos of collapse…but it gets harder every day. Colder inside, careless…the letting go gets easier when the compassion moves on. It leaves more room for anger, after all. But every piece of territory I surrender makes the battle that I waged to get there more meaningless…that time spent even more futile.
And then the big “Why bother?” sign comes over the horizon. Indeed…press the gas pedal and hurtle down that road. There’s nothing left back there anyway. Nothing but regret trailing along on their strings of Could Have Beens.