Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Curse of the Unsaid

What if all the things I had left unsaid were released like wolves in the night, traversing the land in search of their intended victims? Would I then have to be tracked down and shot with the silver bullet of shame, for daring to utter the unutterable? Civilization is balanced on the precipice of good manners, and as my mom always said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Moms always offer sage advice.

Some of us have decent self-control, while others blurt out inappropriate comments like a sailor with Tourette syndrome. Some of us never get the courage to tell that girl sitting in the front of us on the bus how pretty she looks in natural light; and most of us don’t have the nerve to ask the boss for that well-deserved and overdue raise, while we’re on our knees. It’s an important human skill to know what and when to say it. Like that great philosopher Kenneth Ray Rogers said, “You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run” You’ve got to shit or get off the pot.

This is one of those weeks, where all of my thoughts just seem to be begging to be withheld. I could post a painfully truthful post, but redact all the nasty stuff. A page of redactions is very in these days. And besides. Sometimes it’s not what one says, but what doesn’t say, reading between the lines and so forth. Maybe this should be my John Cage piece. I could entitle it 4 Paragraphs, 33 Words and just leave that space there for you to imagine my wonderful prose.

All those things I want to say, but are better left unsaid. Words and sentences can cause libel lawsuits, strain relationships, and ruin careers (Jimmy the Greek, Michael Richards.) We don’t want to needlessly offend our family or loved ones. (Oops! Too late!) We don’t want to lose our job, because of some rant we made on Facebook. I have taken down a half dozen posts that I later determined were too personal for public viewing.

This blog is quite personal as it is, but I try to keep my criticism of people I know to a minimum. I try not to air dirty laundry. It’s not a scratch and sniff page. I’ve written honestly about my depression and its cousins angst and frustration. (They’re always sleeping on my couch.) I’ve talked about my past marriages to some extent, but I try to keep my personal criticism of others to a minimum. I’d rather castigate society as a whole, and the other holes can figure out if I’m talking about them or not.

We creative types are always looking for recognition. I want to be recognized. ("The chair recognizes the crusty old guy with mood issues.") Fifty-five years of wandering around on this planet and I’m still yearning to be understood by others. I write to assuage my feelings of loneliness and frustration. I want to feel free and brave enough to share my feelings, without fear of repercussion. I figure I’ve got about twenty years left to perfect this art.