Everyday, I get to relive the betrayal of my fellow human beings. Every. Damn. Day.
But I've worked hard to overlook the obvious. I've worked hard to be able to get up in the morning. I've worked hard to keep continuity in my relationships with friends and family. I've worked hard at living each day without breaking down in grief and misery at the losses suffered from that one event. And it's worse than cancer, or disability--even the loss of people we love--because the loss I endured, and continue to, is not one that time can heal. Or anything else. This particular loss created a negative and permanent conundrum of a whirlpool in not only my existence, but the existence of all those connected to me.
And I hate that fact. Hate it because I fear it. Fear it because I'm powerless to change it. Completely powerless.
This is why the Buddhists encourage acceptance of impermanence. If you accept impemanence, you are no longer vulnerable. If you understand impermanence, you increase your capacity for compassion. It's win-win, without the inclusion of any tiger-blood whatsoever.
No one understands or accepts impermanence better--I used to be a runner, a fencer, a dancer. No more. Not because I'm lazy or undisciplined, but because my left leg essentially no longer works. I still use it, of course--kind of like peg-legged Ahab out of Melville's Moby Dick. I snowshoe. I hike. I bike. I canoe. I swim. I will even walk a half-marathon this year. But I can't run. I can't fence. And though I attempt to dance, when you can't move one of your two legs, let's just say even Elaine on Seinfeld can do better....
But none of that impermanence saddens me. I wasn't struck down by some drunken idiot. Or even by God. Cancer happens. A lot. Approximately one-third of the American population is diagnosed with various forms of cancer each year. And there's no one to blame. Disease, disability and death--along with taxes--are simply part of the human condition. You can get over such impermanence with a hearty constitution. It won't break you. No, that kind of irreparable act takes the careful consideration of our fellow man...and woman.
The saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger sounds inspiring, an exclamation of the human spirit even. But a person with that kind of strength and integrity is consistently eaten alive by their own kind. And when we're excreted on the other side, we're treated with as much respect as any other excrement.
Kind of tough to "bounce back" from something like that....
Meanwhile, those still loyal to us--before we were turned into shite, that is--those who aren't intimidated by our new stink, sit around wondering how long it will take before we disintegrate. Because truly, there is no hope. Even with cancer, there's hope. Not so much with this level of man-made condition.
You can eat well. You can exercise. You can floss. You can meditate. But none of it will make you healthy again. There is no medicine, no magic pill, either. You get to rot, like disgarded feces on the side of the road. And after a while, even you begin to hate yourself. Because you can't change anything. You can't fix it. And no one else can either.
That's what being broken means.
And by God, as I sit here today, the words of my good friend sticking to the roof of my still-open mouth, those who did this to me will understand that there is no one and no thing on this great planet that will stop me from telling the world who you are and what you did.
You may not believe in God. You may not believe in anything. But you will.
And unfortunately for those cruel (yet sadly not unusual) individuals--unlike my frail human psyche--my integrity remains fully intact. Would that I could say the same for all of us....
For the thing about shite is, it easily sticks to the bottom of your shoe. And even after you scrape it off, it lingers.