November 25, 2009

The joker

So, the joke's on me. There have been a few constants in my life since I was young. The first being that I wanted to be older. Or to be perceived as older. I wanted respect that matched my intellect. I guess I never realized that respect is earned and my attitude turned most people off. Cocky, arrogant, aloof. All good descriptors for who I was. I remember reading a story when I was a kid and the key phrase - perhaps the title was, "Pride goeth before a fall". Pride makes us do all kinds of non-wondrous things. Things we'll regret later, but feel right at the time. Too often, pride means not asking for help. We walk around trying to make things match our dreams and forget we can reach out to others and get assistance.

The second constant in my life has to be the desire to be less intelligent that I was/am. I failed most of my classes in Jr. High, yet scored in 94+ percentile on standardized tests. I didn't have an ego about it. I instinctively hid it. Smart kids were not popular in school. I was neither an athlete or popular for any reason, but my teachers knew what was going on. Especially once I got to high school. The facade of stupid no longer met with indifference or studied ignorance. It was met head on with deliberate, swift action to rectify my place in the world. The brilliant idea spread that I should be placed in the honors classes. The kid with all the D's and F's should be moved to the exceptional classes where he would surely only meet geeks and freaks. Pure genius.

I was never gifted enough to be a rocket scientist, or a quantum mechanics guru. Never quite able to get past the present and really see the future. My future. Grandiose ideas died a swift death on the pedestal of my imagination. Lopped off with an ax of haughty bravado that kept most away and a small few enthralled, I lacked the true imagination to take me to distant realms of idea and foment. So after my accident, I lost a good portion of who I once was. Gone are most of the tricks of language I pursued to make the day more interesting. Much like the stalemates I engineered when playing chess with lesser opponents. Every once in a while, I find a turn of phrase that tickles my fancy and delights my spirit. I move with every intention of writing these down, but invariably, I forget before I can turn and type or find a loose scrap to make them permanent.

Yes, the joke is on me. Not cruel, not punishing, nor ribald or crude. A fragile joke without cause or purpose. To get what the heart desires is perhaps the worst. If there is feeling beyond that, I don't know how to identify it. He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.