Friday May 18. 2001

things are not fair

This is the first thing you are taught. This is the first reality check you are given as an impressionable child. Things are not fair. Life isn't fair, your parents tell you if a pet dies or a friend moves away. But I really secretly believed that if you worked hard, if you are honest, if you have good intentions, life will be on your side. You will be rewarded, maybe not right away, but your due will come, someday.

So you watch your boyfriend, the man you love, go into work, the same place he's worked at for 15 years. He has to work almost every Saturday now. Either it's assinine training classes, or he's on call to go fix something or train someone or make sure everything is okay. He works third shift at some major financial corporation in lower Manhattan, a place that doesn't respect him and treats him like he's stupid. They look at him and they don't see the wonderful person he is, they see a cog in some giant, anonymous machine. A disposable cog.

You talk to him every night before he goes to work, you see how frustrated he is. You look at him and think he deserves so much more than this. You see him get more and more sad, and you're convinced you're either the cause or the cure, but in fact, you're neither. And that's the hardest part.

Things are not fair when you finally decide to distance yourself from a once close friend in your life. A person who you know is hurting in some way but refuses to even acknowledge it or let you try to help. A person who you give your time and love and energy to but they never seem to give back. You gave them too many chances already, but even now you think that you would give them another, if they gave you the opportunity.

Things are not fair when your father keeps getting turned down for jobs he's more than qualified to have. You watch him crumple, like a wadded up piece of paper, a little more each day. You can tolerate no more than a two minute conversation with him and he can tolerate no more than a stiff hug from you.

Yes, things are not fair. It's not fair when you call your house every night and listen to your family fall apart via phone. Far removed from the turmoil and carnage, like recieving dispatches from the battle front. You try to be the golden mean, like a thread corralling so many shooting stars together. You reach out instinctively but you know you can't fix their problems.

And this is the most unkindest part of it all. You are powerless. You look at all the people in your life that hurt and you know there's nothing you can really do. Nothing except sit on your hands and just be there.

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One Year Ago:
"The porch was not large, but packed with many chairs, toys and an ancient aluminum chaise lounge that pinched me whenever I sat on it."