I didn't go to that rock-n-roll party a couple of weekends ago that Matt and Olivia and Stephen invited me to. The car needs to be inspected, and I didn't want to drive it all the way to Argyle and risk getting pulled over. They offered to come get me, but I didn't want anyone to have to hassle with driving me home later. I hear there was a lot of drinking, so that worked out for the best.
Plus, I'm a homebody now. I think that my party days pretty much happened all throughout my 20's. It's funny though, I don't feel 'old'... I look at other people who are my age, and they seem like grown ups to me. Middle aged. Like my dad when I was a kid. When I look at myself, both in the mirror and when I'm reflecting on my life, I still see a 20 year old kid who doesn't know jack shit and who never really grew up. It's weird how I'm constantly comparing myself to everyone... it seems like they all have done more with their lives than I have. That gets me down sometimes, that I don't have a lot to show for almost half a century of existence; according to the standards and norms set by society, anyway. But then I think about how corporeal life on Earth is so short and fleeting - and compared to eternity, it's practically nonexistent - and I wonder why I place any importance at all in what is expected of me in western society. Still, it's hard to avoid recognizing the standards of success we were brought up believing to be important. For instance - in order to support a family in this day and age, certain things are required - such as a degree, a high paying job, good credit, a permanent place to live, reliable transportation, etc. Otherwise, it's just kind of impossible to be a provider for a family. Take transportation, for instance. The concept of the car. I don't want it. It's expensive and risky and just another thing to worry about that makes my head and stomach hurt and it sucks. Walking is much healthier, and there's so much more time to read. And if it's too far to walk, there's the bus. You can read on the bus too, you know. A book makes getting from point A to point B so much more pleasant. The car is more of a status symbol than a necessity, I think, but even so... for some reason it matters a lot to just about everybody that a means for transporting the family from point A to point B in a mechanical and expensive fashion, which negates the possility of reading at the same time, should be provided. Oh, and the idea that a woman could provide any or all of these necessities is just out of the question, retard. Why? I don't frikin know why! That's just the way it is. Don't ask stupid questions.
So here's the gist. In this society, starting a family is most likely out of the question. That kind of sucks; that money and social status are the prerequisites for propogating your genes responsibly. Since there isn't enough intrinsic value in the things I do have to offer, the whole enterprise would be destined to end in tears for everybody. It is funny, though... how at one time it had seemed as if none of that mattered, and that love was the only thing that was needed for anything to be possible. I wonder. I actually think that might be true, but it's hard to get people to believe in that kind of truth. Kind of like... it's hard to get people to believe in God. So even though a thing might be true, the truth isn't always enough.
And think of the kids I'm so dead set on bringing into this world if I had my way. Think of the kids, man! The tears of the children. My own tears as a child... huh. I remember now why I never cared about starting a family before. When I think back on my childhood, I remember a drunken father, a crying mother, a broken home and a shattered life. Granted, there isn't a lot of life to shatter when you're only eleven years old, but to an eleven year old, not a lot of life happens to be all the life you've ever lived, ever. I remember always being scared and uncertain and unhappy when I was a child. I remember feeling like I would never see my mother again simply because she had gone to work. I remember being afraid to make any noise when I peed because it might wake my dad and rouse his wrath. I remember the constant threat of getting the shit slapped out of me, and as a result, growing up thinking that 'slap' was a cuss word. I remember freezing in bed because we lived in such a ramshackle house with just the one wood burning stove in the living room, and my mom layering me with coats on top of my covers so that I would be warm. I remember lying awake with insomnia when I was eleven because of my constant state of anxiety and fear and uncertainty, and taking aspirin, hoping and praying that it would put me to sleep. I remember being so shy that I felt I was unable to know anybody, ever. I remember thinking that I was sick and defective, and that I needed a cure for being me. Finally, I remember realizing one day that an injustice had occurred, and that I'd been robbed of a normal childhood, and that I would be a good father some day, and that I would never put my kids through what I'd been through.
And finally, I remember considering all of those things and thinking to myself, 'Why would I want to even risk creating a new life and putting it through all of that, and damaging it and hurting it and ruining it?' And I realize now that it's not just an accident that my life happens to be what it is. Growing up after my mom and dad divorced, I swore that I would never be responsible for putting another round of innocent children through the meat grinder. As a result of that pledge, I've been following a subconscious directive ever since then. I now realize that I've set myself up for all of this so that I could make damn sure that a wife and kids would never be a possibility for me, thus sparing the innocent.
It's actually kind of funny, in a morbid, ironic way. For most of my adolescent and adult life, the idea of family - mom, dad, kids, brothers, sisters - was an ugly, painful, cancerous thing, and my childhood was it's abortion. I spent most of my time as an adult just not giving a shit at all about anything regarding myself. I was resigned to, if not exactly content with, the fact that I would never be anything that mattered to anyone, other than my immediate family. And we all share a certain dysfunction, so we can't really do any damage to each other that hasn't already been done. But to introduce a new life into the mix? An innocent life? The idea was unacceptable. It was too risky, and I couldn't be responsible for infecting a new round of helpless children with the virus of my unhappy childhood. So, I resigned myself to simply continuing to exist until my body ran out of life, and I had accepted that, and I never really thought about it overly much, until recently.
So why would I want things to be different now? Just because I became Orthodox? Why should that matter, considering my original reasons for not wanting to start a family? Do I not care now if I bring children into the world, and that they would be made to suffer? Somehow, by becoming Orthodox, I must have also become more selfish. I'm only thinking of myself and my own loneliness. Who's gonna take care of Ash when he's a lonely old drooling retard? No, that's not the reason why I want a family. I deserve to be a lonely old drooling retard, and that's just fine with me. So maybe continuity has something to do with it? The Davis line will end if I don't continue it. It's up to me, and me alone, to provide the progeny. My brother had his chance when he was married, and he didn't do it then. My sister? No... I think she's not able to have kids. Something got damaged in her when she was fifteen. I don't know what, but I remember her being in agony because of it, so I don't think she's able to have kids anyway... and besides, her kids wouldn't be named Davis. So, is that it? the continuity of the Davis line? Hmmm... well, that's part of it, admittedly, but it doesn't seem like the entire thing. I think that it probably just comes down to plain old selfishness. I want to be normal. I want to fit in at church. I want something in my life that matters. I want, I want, I want! Me me me! But why? Why do I want? What is it about becoming Orthodox that makes me want anything more in my life now than the bare minimum required for sustained existence? Why do I want more now? What do I get out of starting a family? What reason is there for wanting this thing now, when I never did before, and at the possible expense of and detriment to others, which is what I was trying to avoid to begin with by NOT wanting it? There are so many possible reasons...
Maybe it's not as complicated as I'm making it. Maybe it's not so much about being just a selfish bastard. Maybe it's simply because now I actually care about things in a way that I don't quite understand yet. All in all, I think whatever the outcome happens to be, that the ongoing process of all this leans more towards hope than despair.
Wow, I really digressed there. I think my original intent when I started writing was merely to say that last Saturday evening I went to The Main Event in Lewisville with Matt and Olivia. It's an arcade/bowling alley/pool hall/bar/restaurant. We had a couple of beers and played video games, and the thing where you roll the ball up the slope to land it in a hole, and the basketball thing where you try to make hoops, and target shooting, and air hockey, and pool. At one point I had set my phone down on a drink table to play Galaga, and when I was finished, I turned around to pick it up and the damn thing was gone and that was that. Since then I'd pretty much given it up on any possibility of ever getting it back, but then I found out yesterday that someone had turned it in to the front desk. Yeesh... why won't people just leave other peoples' shit alone? Why does everybody feel compelled to pick up stuff that doesn't belong to them in public places, regardless of whether it's to turn it in to a central location or something, or to just flat out muck it? If Mr. Rogers had just kept his grubby little do-gooder hands off of my phone, I would have picked it up from the same place I'd set it down ten minutes before, and as a result I would have my phone right now. Instead, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Schmoe felt it was their personal responsibility as good citizens to insert themselves into my life and create a situation which thusly formed a royal pain in my ass. Olivia did point out that if whoever-the-heck hadn't picked up my phone and turned it in, that somebody might have actually stolen it. Ok, she has a point, and I suppose I should take that into account as their motivation... however, unless somebody just wanted to be randomly vicious for the thrill of it, nobody in their right mind would want to steal my phone, because it's a turd. However, it's my turd, and I'd appreciate it if people would just let my turds be and leave them lie where they lay.
Anyway. Then we came back to Denton, and on the way back, I found a bottle of Sky Vodka in the back seat. I announced this find to Olivia and Matt, and they were befuddled as to where it came from. This surprised me. How was it that there was a bottle of Sky Vodka in the back seat, but nobody knew about it? I don't know, and neither did they. So, I took a giant swig out of it.