Too bad Robin Williams did the thing that I can’t seem to quite get myself to do despite the constant swirling of said thoughts inside that head of mine. But he did it and I haven’t and now who’s going to be the one, fictional or real, to embrace me with their bushy paws and press me into their stocky chest, comically bushy underneath all that tenured liberal arts apparel: bruised corduroy sports coat with leather patched elbows and a checkered shirt at least one size too large. Who’s going to hammer me with the words that I don’t seem to be able to grasp on my own when I’m in my car or in a grocery store or even attending an AA meeting. Who’s going to be the person who nails me down and breaks my resistance at last, who’s going to be the person who believes in the goodness in me, in my purity, in my value and in the very fact that it’s not my fault. Who’s going to chip away at my false beliefs, the ones I’m mortally petrified to let go of. Who’s going to keep hammering the words “It’s not your fault!” into my ears until I let go and allow the tears to cleanse me of the lies. Who’s going to refuse to let go of me as I hurl insults at them for having the audacity to question all that I know and continue to assure me that none of it is and ever has been my fault. Who’s going to love me despite the guilt stemming from actions, words, and thoughts that is melting my soul with a relentless trickle of battery acid? Who’s going to see past the shame that eats me alive from the inside, a parasitic body snatcher instilled in me who knows when, one that will never ever let me be until I do what Robin Williams did.
I get it, I am romanticizing a scene in a movie a half a life time ago, shot on 35mm film, written by a couple of green dreamers one of the two who is tearing down the iconic Batman just like he failed to live up to a certain Daredevil from a different cinematic universe. But I’m getting any from my point.
I am forty one, soon another digit will be added to my age and all I am dreaming about is absolution from a dead actor from a middling nineties movie who ended up succumbing to the very shit that I fear will eventually drag me down.
At forty one, soon forty two, I am allowing my life to drive far away from past relationships, love, joy, happiness, abundance, creativity, integrity, excitement, and the will to continue like this. I’ve been here before, all throughout adolescence and young adulthood and I am flabbergasted to have ended up here once more. This time as a father, a husband, but really only a person who merely exists instead of living his live.
I have been too scared to work and be someone’s colleague after a couple of traumatizing experiences. I am too scared to follow my dream and ambition to be a writer. I am scared of facing my friend who I started a blog with because I disappeared one day without notice because I was scared. I am too scared to reach out to my best friend in Slovenia who is my son’s namesake because I’m too scared of what criticism he might throw at me for whatever I did or didn’t do to him. I am too scared to enter a room , any room, filled with people because I’m scared of them and convinced that they can smell the decay on me. I’m scared to be forgotten, a fading memory of past acquaintances, a face on a fading photograph that nobody can quite identify. But I’m clueless as to how I can reman in your periphery. I’m clueless as to how to build and maintain meaningful, intimate, relationships without then burning them to the ground, preempting you from doing so because I have once again convinced myself that I’m not worth your while, that I’m wasting your time, and that I’m just a run of the mill piece of roadkill junk.
But it’s not my fault. I have to keep telling myself that. I wasn’t born a parasite. I know that because my son’s picture is printed in the dictionary under the word joy. I’ve exerted myself to get help and get better for decades. With mixed results, temporary results, negligible results, fast fading results. My wife has been the victim throughout my nebulous journey. I have hijacked her dream of having married a prince a long time ago and I’ve been shattering the idea of what’s acceptable ever since.
I had been broken over time when I was extremely susceptible to believing the hype of being guilty and at fault. Before pubes began to sprout. I just never learned to get over the hump and call bullshit on all of that and now here we are. Again. So for now convincing myself that it’s not my fault is the best I can do. That, and stay off drugs and smile at my son and play catch with him and give him whatever I missed when I was his age. Because it sure as shit ain’t his fault either.
—Bad Papa West
P.S: Robin Williams is wearing a bruised cardigan in the scene, not the bruised corduroy jacket I remembered.