Monday, June 28, 2010

At the end of the rainbow

I mentioned to someone this evening that I had most of what I need and some of the things I want and that I was content. He said that was a perverse way of thinking and that it was sad that I didn't need anyone or anything. He didn't get what I said or what I meant.

I've spent most of my life traveling around looking for the place where I fit in. I didn't and don't fit in with my family; I'm too different: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. I don't have a lot of things and I don't own my own house. According to them, I'm a failure.

My brother spends his life on Second Life trying to find someone to marry because he is tired of living alone. He's been divorced for a year. He didn't realize he was living alone before. His wife led her life and he led his. She was gone most of the time, and so was he. He was working and she was chasing after bikers -- in the name of religious conversion, of course. When he was home, he was in his office in the basement on the computer playing Second Life. His life really hasn't changed. He's still paying his ex-wife's bills and doesn't see his children very often. The only difference is that it is quieter now.

Hoity Toity is into real estate these days. She has a big house she shares with my mother, but liked it better when she lived in it alone. That is, alone after four divorces. She has a sports car, a truck and a car she drives during the week. She owns two condos and just bought another little house for her daughter Shanna who hasn't held down a job longer than six months, hasn't worked in years, lives with a series of friends, has a drug dealer boyfriend who is the father of her unborn child, shoots up heroine, snorts cocaine and has a fondness for OxyContin and other narcotics. Her daughter is waiting for the renovations to be completed so she and another one of her friends can move into the house with her seven dogs. Her son is in prison again for drug dealing and breaking and entering. SWAT teams and the FBI had looked for him for months and even broke into Hoity Toity's house looking for him on several occasions. Her son was featured on Crime Stoppers in Central Ohio.

Hoity Toity retired from the state about two years ago and has spent the last two years working for the state as an outside contractor. She recently went back to work for the state in the same job for a huge salary and benefits.

Beanie has finally asked her husband for a divorce. Hubby responded by first threatening to kill himself and then kill whoever she was leaving him for. When neither of those tactics worked, he started whining to anyone who would listen about how Beanie is hurting him and how much he loves her while he slanders our father and whispers lies into their sons' ears. Yeah, he loves her. They have two homes, several horses and just got back from yet another cruise in the Caribbean.

I'm the odd man out with my rented cottage, fourteen-year-old car that still runs perfectly, working at home and making ends meet with book reviews, articles and published stories and novels. I don't have a lot, but I have enough. I still want a few things and I'll get them eventually, but my life doesn't revolve around what I want. I get paid for reading books. I don't have to fight traffic to go to work and spend my off hours writing and watching movies on DVD. I go out with friends, have a fairly considerable correspondence and keep in touch with friends and Beanie. I'm not married, having been divorced for nearly 20 years, and have a quiet life for the most part. I'm still working for my cabin in the mountains and living by my writing, and that will come in time.

The fellow who called me perverted didn't get what I mean. I'm not blissful, but there are blissful moments. I'm not ecstatically happy all the time, but I am sometimes. I don't think I could stand an extended state of bliss. It would keep me from writing or working. Yes, there are things I'd still liked to do and have. Yes, I sometimes miss having someone around all the time, but not enough to want to get married again. I'd have to get rid of too many books or move from my little cottage. My life isn't perfect, but I am contented most of the time. Isn't that what everyone keeps looking for -- how to be happy and contented? There's no secret to finding that particular pot of gold beneath the rainbow. It is, as Dorothy realizes when Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, asks her, in her own back yard, and she isn't missing anything if she doesn't already have it.

Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy with what I have. I didn't enjoy always feeling lost and alone and like I was missing something that was always just out of my reach. Wanting things I didn't have made me miserable and sometimes I almost felt envious, but I've had a close look at how other people live and they are miserable, too, even more miserable than I ever was. They're trying to find happiness in things and houses and illicit relationships or online when happiness has always been within their grasp. They're looking in the wrong places.

I know what the fellow's problem really is. He's still trying to convince me that I'm missing happiness because I'm not married or don't have a friends with benefits. He's shocked that I don't need someone to make me happy and that makes me perverted. I've always been different from most people, so maybe being content with what I have is perverted. That is the kind of perversion more people need. Don't you agree?

That is all. Disperse.

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