Monday, December 22, 2008

I Broke My Hand.

On the night of my twenty-third birthday, I drank a fifth of vodka and punched a wall, breaking my hand. I was in a cast all summer, and am now permanently disfigured and disabled in my right hand, and I thank Gawd daily that I can still play music. There was no catalyst for this, I was just drunk and ignorant. I have no excuse, no apology. It happened, I suffered and learned.

I feel this is a perfect metaphor for so much of my life, unfortunately. Rash decisions, total disregard for consequence. Attention-seeking self-destruction. And then, after it happens, denial. Playing innocent. Cracking jokes. No, it was foolish. It was awful. I was a jackass, and I deserved what happened. I am not going to apologize now for things I've done in the past, but I am coming clean about them. I have been a piece of shit for far too long, and now it's time I projected truth and humility.

I have been selfish and childish for years, playing it off as roguish wanderlust or some sort of "drunken artist" stereotype. Enough. I got drunk, punched a wall, and I broke my hand. I have a hard time with meeting people. As any who know me well can attest, there's a lot of horseshit under the surface, a lot of baggage that I try to keep stuffed in a closet. I have an awful temper, fierce jealousy, mood swings, tendencies towards addiction and destruction, and I easily let frustration and self-pity ferment into hate and resentment. But I do an excellent job at hiding all of this. Anxiety enables me to keep my faults and imbalances hidden, panic that I'll be found out for the over-sensitive self-pitying loser I truly am.

In the past, I can imagine how I must have appeared to interested parties. A tattooed paladin, blowing back from the desert like a dervish, or up from the South like a hurricane, throwing any prudence to the wind, living on couches and in bus stations. I appeared well-read, sentimental, a true self-styled romantic individualist. Or at least, that's what I tried to come across as. All too soon, a young lady gets to know me and realizes it's all bullshit. Some of it may be true, as there's always a thread of truth in most fiction, but that little spark was buried beneath my faults that become evident as soon as I feel that an outburst won't jeopardize a burgeoning relationship.

No longer. It's time to put my money where my mouth is and "be myself", something stupidly obvious, though I'm not surprised that it took me drying out and losing out on a meaningful relationship, and the subsequent re-appraisal of priorities, to realize it.

There's only so much patting myself on the back I can do before I nullify my claim towards humility, but I feel that now, at this point, I can finally present an honest portrayal of who I am. My priorities and passions are hand-in-hand at last. I've worked through so much shit that I finally have the room and the time for the things that I feel accurately represent who I want to be as an adult. No more seething beast under the surface. It's just me, now. I broke my hand, but it wasn't enough to remind me that I'm only human. Not until now.

I'm trying. It's getting better. It's been a long year, and it's gonna be a long winter. Come over and listen to records with me. I'll show you my busted hand.

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