fragments of thoughts

It happened again. Early this morning around 4AM I was awakened by a torrent of streaming thoughts. I open my eyes and it’s as if I’m –

As the thoughts roll, I’m summarizing and assessing their direction. And this is my conclusion: I’m finished with them. My mother. My father. My step-father. My sister. I’m finished with them. All of them. I’m struggling to grasp how the ill consequences of detrimental behavior can eclipse the fruits of a noble pursuit. I hate uttering such a trite and overused cliché, but it’s true: life is about choices. The seemingly never-ending turmoil my sister finds herself in is a direct result of wrong choices (drugs). My mother’s declining health is largely the result of self-destructive choices (drinking and smoking). My step-father’s bullheaded decision to not seek medical care when he began experiencing chest pains several months is now complicating his treatment for newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

Last month the brilliant comedian Louis C.K. was interviewed by Terry Gross on the NPR program Fresh Air. In it, he expressed sadness and frustration over the death of his friend and fellow comedian Patrice O’Neal. O’Neal died of a diabetic coma – the tragic result of making poor choices. “There’s part of me that’s upset with him for not taking good care of himself, because he took himself away from us,” C.K. reflects. This comment struck me because I’ve seen firsthand the consequences of loved ones –

Last month I became the first person in my family to graduate from college. Considering the difficulties my sister has put our family through over the past six years, one would think this achievement would be met with pageantry and celebration. But it wasn’t. A phone call from mother. Several obligatory “congratulations” comments on Facebook from friends and distant family. Nothing from my father as he is and always has been aloof and out of touch. And that was it.

I’m aware this post is jumbled and probably incomplete, but I’m not changing anything. The fact is I’m so disgusted with the present state of things I can’t properly formulate my thoughts and feelings. When the thoughts awoke me this morning, they seemed so coherent and uncongested. But I’m hurt. Just as my mother, step-father and sister made the wrong choices, I made a proper decision and three years later I have my degree. But we don’t have time to ponder the positive. No, let us lick our self-inflicted wounds. Let us forget the poisonous choices we made and instead focus on these grievous lesions. Fuck all of you. And mother, please don’t trouble me with your complaints of being the primary guardian of your grandson; perhaps the grandson’s mother would have made better choices had you not been such a wretched drunk when she, then being your adolescent daughter, lived under your roof. And sister, please don’t write me with your apologies and declarations of prayer and god and church and bullshit. Perhaps someday your god will elucidate to your son the circumstances behind your constant absence.

I’m not seeking a reward for my accomplishment. I simply want to be recognized for what I have done. Instead, I’m made to feel like a self-centered egomaniac because I wish to commemorate this high mark. The unwise and shortsighted must be pitied and lauded for the sad yet inescapable consequences that have befallen them. And please, I understand one should not expect praise for “doing the right thing”; however, considering my familial disposition, I do not think it is unreasonable to expect a modicum of acknowledgement. What life is it if one accentuates pain and sadness while shorting joy and achievement?

Am I wrong? Is my sentiment unwarranted?



~ by the coordinates of memories on 14 January 2012.

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