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General BS forum I guess anything is fair game in here. Just watch the subject matter doesn't get carried away too much.

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Old 03-19-2015, 01:10 AM   #1
Envy, Jealousy and Longing

I still occasionally try to string a word or three into something worth reading.
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Envy, jealousy and longing.

Talking just about me for me, there isn’t much I want, that I find lacking in my life. However, sometimes… sometimes I wish things were other than they are.

Many years ago I met a guy. We were young, we were single, we both worked as drivers for the YMCA and we both dug The Dead. That sparked a friendship that lasted over 30 years.

Yup. Lasted. As in no longer ongoing, ceasing to continue, no longer progressing. Shit happens and people die. Nothing cares if for THIRTY F'ing YEARS the two of you dreamed of the day when you would be the old geezers on the porch, one drinking beer, the other abstaining as always, both pretending to be mad at the kids, grandkids, great grandkids even, playing in the yard. Three decades of shared victories and defeats, always the family bond though, through thick and thin, always the bond; brothers from another Mother as we used to say, nobody gives a right shit about that. Sometimes life is a real Bitch. Capital B.

That’s longing. Having divorced long ago this was my longest friendship, closest friendship, Uncle and Godfather to my children friendship. Snuffed out early. Bad heart, nothing to be done about it.

I know longing. No porches. No shared memories of the kids from the time they were born. No burdens spoken of and thereby lessoned, no hopes told in confidence, no recriminations shared with one who would be straight in reply no matter what. It’s hard to lose a brother.

Envy is easier. Her visits are fleeting if painful. I’ve both loved and been loved and in that I consider myself both lucky and cursed. I envy the old couple I met the other night, he using his walker behind her as she shuffled with her cane. My son was with me and I asked him how long he thought they had been married. It was that obvious they had been together for a very long time. Over sixty years he said and we went back to our meal, watching them shuffle and hobble down the way. A bit later I saw them again and asked the old man how long they had been married. After a few second’s pause he said sixty-eight years. I then asked him if they met and married in their twenties and the nice cherry-cheeked old woman piped up cheerfully and said they had known each other since they were about five years old. Over eighty years. That I envy. It will never be mine. No matter how hard I wish it, it is simply impossible. I am too old, too jaded and too old. But just think of how cool or wonderful even, that that must be. To have had someone to love and be loved by, someone in your corner, having your back, birthing your children, helping raise them, sharing your secrets and hers, knowing, really, truly knowing what it takes to make that one single person in the entire universe that matters happy and doing it because that makes me happy.

I see the two old men in their 80s walking around the lake. I see the two old ladies with their umbrellas and gloves, speaking languages from around the world, telling all the world that here, in these two, lives a friendship that nothing ever stopped, nothing ever compromised. I’ll never have that. It’s too late. Ain’t gonna happen.

I know envy.

If I have been blessed with anything, and I debate endlessly with myself the meaning of the word ‘blessed’, it is my lack of desire for what others have because I don’t. Stuff doesn’t make happy. I was very lucky to learn that early. Doubly lucky as I am inherently a lazy man. I don’t like to work. I’d prefer not to given the choice. But I’ve never based my value on what I possessed or my lack of value based on what I did not possess. Materialistically speaking that is. Mentally speaking is a whole other novel.

Jealousy though, it and I are not well acquainted and for that I am thankful. It’s a nasty beast to be burdened by. Its vileness, its ability to drive one beyond all reason, its absolute disregard for those who subscribe to it are more than ample reasons to be always on guard against it. Vigilance. Just don’t go there.

Really cool things, whatever they are, and having them, don’t make you a really cool person. Whatever that is. I suppose in the big picture there actually are those who are more cool because of the really cool things they have, but they, and those who deem them really cool, are not using the same criteria as am I, which begs the question, are they really cool?

Here’s a Philosophical dilemma: which one, if either, is right? Why?

Looking at it as hard as I can, from both sides as well as I am able, I do not know. I don’t even know if it matters. Another man’s measure is not my own. Nor is mine his. I think these two little sentences are really important. Summing it up, I decide what is right, good, mine in spite of or because of or in concert with but totally independent of what anyone else thinks or says or does in regard to that determination. Independent of all else, the decision stands as made by me by myself its agreement or dissent with any other opinion not withstanding.

Still though, I long. I long, not often, to be the pair that makes the couple that share the bond that only decades of commitment can bring. I’ve tasted it, sampled it, been made sufficiently aware of its importance that I am acutely aware of what I do not have, what I am missing, what I lack.

That poignant longing is painful, though thankfully, brief. Still though, if I could have made it work even thirty years ago I could have something that is now only a dream. It was in my hands, within my grasp. Gone.

But underneath the longing and jealousy and envy is a seed. A seed that no matter how many time rain fails to fall or the sun refuses to shine or any other barrier to happiness is erected it overcomes, germinates, grows, strong and tall and maybe, probably, slightly bent, to bear fruit. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, but always a bonus, a gift, something extra and special.

Hope. Eternal hope.

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