na foine ting

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Since I got my cast off, I've been having quite a bit of pain in my foot.

I've been frustrated by it, and a little bit flummoxed, since there's been no real pain putting weight on it, and I'm keeping it elevated.

It's been frustrating to have something hurt and not be able to get at the reason, deal with the source.


I'm getting older.

I know this because I get less worked up about people being upset with who I am.

I've realized even if I want to, I really can't change that much. I'm a selfish, volatile, arrogant, moody, often reclusive often social, person. I am ridiculously bad at maintaining things -- relationships, the state of the interior of my car, correspondence -- and I think over the course of my life my lack of constancy... and I do think it's that, that sense of constant reliability... has cost me friendships.

At some level, I'm sad about that.

At another, I'm not.

There's a certain Darwinism of honesty of self, you know? I can promise to call, to write, and the fact is sometimes I do and when I do it's very intense and good, but more often I don't.

In the last few years, I most often say, instead of "I'll call," which is usually not the case, something like "I'm bad at calling people. I ignore the phone a lot. If you really need to get ahold of me, call my cell and explain it's important." I'll even say "Be persistent."

I suppose it's a reasonable reaction to compare me to a baseline sort of friend and say "that's ridiculous. Why should I do all the work?"

Quite right.

But you see, it doesn't change the fact of who I am. I can try to call more often, but I was crappy at it twenty years ago, and chances are I'll be that way now. If I do call, or write, or whatever it is I'm supposed to do, then swell.

And what I mean by Darwinism is this: I am lucky to have, in my life, a rather large, reasonably diverse group of friends who are aware of who I am, what I am, and in fact how I am, and they deal with it. Not only deal with it, but seem to like me just fine and love me a lot and in some cases (or at least I hope) get a fair amount out of our friendship, however sort of on again off again it might be.

I think the thing is, that when people do finally get my attention (which I admit sometimes includes marching straight into my line of sight with the emotional equivalent of a brass band), I am quite a good friend. I do very much care, maybe in intense ways that are even too intense for people who are used to, as these things go, the sort of more constant, less intense, more normal way of interacting.

The folks who put up with me... or I'm assuming this anyway... get enough out of those moments of trained focus and intensity that they're willing to put up with the rest.

I like that.

It feels... safe to me.

Trying to be something I'm inherently not, no matter how much I try, is very anxious-making. If I can be, very simply, as I am, and have that be OK with people, it's a great gift.

And those of you reading this know who you are, I think.

And to you, cymbals and whistles and snare drums and all, thank you.


It took me a few days to figure out where the pain was coming from.

I'd been tensing my foot since the cast came off.

Without the protection, I was sure I was going to bump it and hurt it, or step on it wrong and it was going to hurt.

It's funny; we can hurt ourselves more bracing for hurt than we would just taking the hurt when it comes.

You know?

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