When I came back home from the Army I was married to a girl that I had known since I was fifteen. We were married before I went to Afghanistan. She was battling a lot of madness. Both of us were traumatic messes, only I believe she had given up on herself. She wasn't a wife or a companion. She took care of her pets, watched television and did a lot of drugs. I wasn't much better but I was trying much harder. I had found a good job running a kitchen downtown, and I made ice sculptures on the side. I would sit in a grimy room in the basement for hours chiseling and creating. She hated it and wouldn't leave me alone for a minute. She became very possessive and I was losing hope for life. She insisted that I had some girl at my job, when in reality I was having such a hard time just coming back to the world that I couldn't even consider adding more complexity to my emotional state. Also being alone in the world for those long months had tempered me, and made me much more used to being by myself. A lot of months not wanting to get killed, and a few nights where I came close to ending myself had changed me. I was becoming repulsed with my wife and my life. One day when I got off of work I knew that she was probably just getting up and I couldn't be a part of her life anymore. I went to a friends house and stayed on the couch. I turned my phone off and thought about the past few years of my life. I had no fear of cutting that connection, or any connection to anyone. I felt as though I may never love anyone ever again. It wasn't painful. It should have been but it wasn't. Almost every relationship I have had since then has been painful.
It is strange in retrospect how I could have been so courageous then, to go into the future with a large degree of uncertainty and face it with confidence in myself and my actions. I wish I could have bottled some of that energy and saved it for days like these. Days where your dreams seem to be all but gone, and the smell of reality is disheartening. Days when no one calls, or writes and your eyes are dry from staring at a screen, when your back hurts from sitting and doing nothing and being fine with it. Days when you want a drink but your stomach might bleed if you do. Days when you wake up to storms and rain, to a life you don't even seem to lead. In the same places doing the same things all over again. Days when your once strong patience is now dwindling. When you are afraid of the world because you owe it so many god damned things. Days when faith never seemed to exist anyway, that so many things are just words and the true meanings were lost when we all stopped thinking so deeply. Now our thoughts are wide and encompass everything, at least mine do. I can't help but contemplate our existence methodically. From quarks and bosons, to the taste of tea. I don't know if its my mind that needs to change, or the world around me.
I feel some nostalgia for America, I love it. I feel like it is being corrupted though. I feel we are all getting weak. What can we do without a phone, or a computer, a link or a tweet, without bicycles, cars, fast food, or tv? I'm too obsessed with information and technology, and I don't even have an i-phone or i-pad. I want to harness the heart of a revolutionary, and change the way we all think and believe. The first step is to make an attempt to be more compassionate, a more difficult thing than I initially believed. It's hard when you are bitter and disappointed with events and situations in your life. When you are unhappy scaling the ladders of social and career success. When all the food tastes bland and all those girls you loved are gone. When the wine tastes heavy and feels like spicy blood in your stomach but you drink your bitter drink to wash down the delights and disasters we each face every day.
Here is to compassion, may I acquire much more someday.