Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pissed Off

He is an angry man. He is angry at me, angry with me. When I showed up at his door, peace offerings in hand, he told me that I was no longer welcome in his home. I knew it would be pointless to argue with him. So I left.

He is a depressed man. He has switched medications for depression as many times as he has switched therapists. My suspicion is that he is not willing to listen to what he does not want to hear.

And it feels like a nightmare, the deterioration of our relationship. Obviously I had crossed a line by speaking my mind to him if our relationship of forty years can be so easily disposed of by him. I am sure that he thinks that it was none of my business and that I should have kept my mouth shut. And I think to myself, That is a phrase for people with whom you have no emotional relationship. Or so I thought. I must be wrong if I've caused him to be so angry and closed off.

Or perhaps we never had much of an emotional relationship in the first place, even after forty years, if things were already that precarious between us? Maybe it was only a matter of time.

She was right to move out. His response of anger to me only seems to prove that she was right to escape such a negative and emotionally unhealthy atmosphere. No matter how hurt his feelings may be, she had enough sense of self-preservation to leave, at least, and to no longer be subjected to such an emotionally destructive environment.

Just my opinion, an unwelcome one, apparently.

"You piss me off!" I want to scream at him. Ironically, I wish he would have yelled the same to me when I had spoken my mind, instead of shutting me out. One of the ways we are similar is that we rarely express our anger to others. We both hold our anger in, letting resentment build up like toxic pus with no outlet or chance for being expelled.

After being told that I am no longer welcome in his home I wasted about three days wondering if I am bad person. After the third day, I decided to no longer let his negativity waste any more of my life. I have too many blessings to focus on and be grateful for. Too bad for him.

I am sad for his unhappy and angry life. I am sad that I cannot be more effective in helping him. He does not want my help and I should have never tried to help.

He hangs onto his anger, stubbornly clenching it with both fists until the day he dies, perhaps. He is like an injured, frightened dog who snarls and snaps at any human who tries to approach and offer help.

I will stay out of harm's way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Oh my God, ohmygod, ohmigawd! The new television show "GLEE" was just the bestest ever. The vocals were fantastic, the characters were funny, and the choreographed numbers were fulfilling. Did'ja catch that show choir performance of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab?" (a much better version, I might add). Astounding!

My niece's mother had just posted a question on facebook this week, wondering if we ever truly get out of high school. I think this new program reinforces the idea that high school is eternal, both the good and the bad.

At first, I was disappointed that there was so much focus on the teacher/new choir director's story line, since he is one of the main characters. "Get back to the kids!" I wanted to yell at the idiot box.

But I can't deny that the adult characters' story lines are part of what makes high school so perpetual. Much of the appeal of a show like this may be due to some grownups' desire - grownups like me - to recapture their youth. Later in the premiere episode, viewers learn that the teacher was once part of the school's show choir when he was a student.

"It made me want to perform again!" my friend Deb told me. I knew how she felt. And I knew that she would know that I knew that. Too bad we're "too old" now. But how satisfying to see a new show that will once again bond band geeks and choir nerds alike, as well as any other high school underdog stereotypes.

Is "GLEE" the newest version of 'High School Musical' on television? Perhaps. And it's just as delicious as a guilty pleasure.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Could Be Your Daddy

I am 43 years old now. In the past year, I've found myself looking at 18-year-old and 19-year-old boys more.

No, not like that.

I am now the same age my father was when I was a freshman in college. Holy crap! I could have a college-age kid by now!

Last year I met someone who could very well be like my son. He was the grandson of my aunt's friends and, yes, he was 18. Like me, he had a Japanese mother and a Caucasian father. Conversation with him was easy as we talked about our respective times in Japan and our mutual interest in creative writing.

And I felt protective toward this young man, even if it was more in a brotherly way than in a parental way. Perhaps it was just a temporary transference of feeling protective over my own inner youth? How much more parenting am I going to feel I need to do for myself?

For the rest of my life?

My paternal grandmother was 43 when I was a 1-year-old baby. I could be a grandfather by now. HOLY CRAP!

(the photo above is me at about 18 years old, summer of 1984)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

If I Could Rock With the Animals

It's funny to think about how I envisioned my future while I was growing up, and comparing it to how differently my reality actually turned out. As I kid, all I wanted to do was work with animals when I grew up. I thought I might be a zoo keeper some day. After reading the Henry Reed books, I thought seriously about becoming a naturalist, vague as that profession sounded (and still does).

I thought a lot about conservation and preserving endangered species. I wrote a fictional essay my freshman year, in the early 80's, about the earth being overwhelmed by toxic pollution in the far off year of 2001. In my imaginary future, humans could not go outdoors without wearing plastic bubble helmets and protective sealants. Most of the animal population had died out in their natural habitats the world over. The few animals that managed to be saved all lived underneath a giant plexi-glass dome called "The Last Kingdom," in various artificially recreated environments. In my pretend-future I was the Head Veterinarian in Charge of this indoor sanctuary.

That story stayed in its fictional state as I reached adulthood and beyond. Instead of saving the planet from further species extinction, I joyfully veered off into the selfish and sometimes rewarding pathway of dance and live performance. Now, I work in admissions for a vocational school and mostly like it.

I should have at least joined Greenpeace.