Why does it bother me when I see them not living up to their potential? Otherwise I treat them hostilely, coldly; as strangers. So why should it burn me to see them settle? Who are they to me, after all. A nuisance, mostly. At least that's how I tend to cast them in my head. But why, then? I'm somehow expecting better of them at the same time as I expect the worst. How is this true? Why does it work inside me this way?

Do I care for them? The soft ones would like that. They'd like to reinforce their fluffy, pink, cotton candy ideals by pushing it all back to empathy and love. I'm not saying different but I'm not bringing it to bed just because it's pretty either. It has to justify. It has to prove.

It's a world that could, but doesn't full of people who would like to, but won't. How is that? How can fear be so much. How can cowardice rule entire nations like this? How can men - red-blooded, living, breathing, thick with sinew and muscle, men - men with minds and hearts and souls be so dominated by dead things; by objects, and institutions, pavement and glass. How can it be, and better why should it bother me?

If it dominates them and not me, and I hate them, what is it to me? Am I dominated by those things? Yes. But I'm not. But you are. Every other day is a private hell inside - a war, hating and fighting what the rest seem to lay upon you. Sometimes you win and do what you think is right. Sometimes you lose and fold to the perceived external imperative. It doesn't seem that way always, but it is. It doesn't look that way from the outside, but it is.

Then it isn't love and empathy. It's self loathing. I see in them what I harbor in myself and hate them for the mirror's image. I hurt for their compromises as I hurt for my own. To see them lessened is to witness the lessening of myself. Yes. Maybe. Probably. But then it sort of is empathy. I am a part of mankinde; a peece of the Continent; any mans death diminishes me. If you say so.

Anyway, if that's right what can you do? All your life's been spent fighting it. Your head's bled with the fighting of it since the 8th grade, at least. It's a twenty-years war and a stalemate at that. Where is there any winning it? How, if not before now, after now? I don't know. You could go again. You could go again and this time, say "I'm not coming back," and then don't. That would be something. That would really be something! But is that what you want? There's very little holding me. Most of what is stopping me is among them who've hurt me most. But is that what you want? Do you want to live like that? On the road? Maybe. For a little while, I should think. And maybe it's not about the wanderlust. Maybe I just have to go build something of my own, without a net; without a bunch of friends and family looking on in judgment, telling me how they'd do it better, when the record shows just how much they got it wrong themselves.

Sounds arrogant. I know. It probably is. That doesn't make it wrong. Maybe not but I'm not letting it in bed just 'cause it's pretty. It'll have to prove.


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