13

            They didn’t think it could be done.  They couldn’t believe it.  Too many men had died.  Died already.  And it’s hard to believe in something if you think you’re going to die believing it.

            It’s kind of like that saying: Kill you with kindness.  Hard to believe.  Doesn’t seem possible.  And so you’re tempted even after being warned.   The secret telling you the secret.  Then it just takes time.  Time and faith.  What time does to faith, and what you come to hope for.  How this form of forgiveness kills you, over time.  It kills you if that seed is planted, and you remember…  It takes the love out of love.  And it’s still pointed out, the things you should hate about yourself, the things you do and have done that you should be ashamed of—things not really forgiven—it’s just people being kind.  They’re being kind to you, like you’re a little child that doesn’t know any better—bad and willful, spoiled.  The thing is, spoiled children aren’t kind—they can’t be—because even they know it—they do know better, and they’ve been made useless, disarmed by the very kindness that should make them do something about it…  What kills kindness is kindness.  Because you don’t want people to just tolerate you—who you are and what you do—you want to be loved for it and scolded at the same time.  You want to be chastened, disciplined.  Because then you believe you’re becoming something better.  That somebody wants you to become something better.  Somebody’s paying attention to you.  And not just fans to all your impulses, telling you it’s alright to be bad when you want to.  Because you know, even as a child.  You know it’s a lie.  You know because you’ve already been told.  And it’s hard to be kind when you’re living a lie…  Something rots.  Something dies.  And even though you’re surrounded by all these things telling you you are loved you don’t feel loved.  You just feel empty inside, and it kills it.  It kills your capability to love.  Simply from the fact you don’t know what love is.  What you know of it warped and something missing, something that brings resentment rather that contriteness…  And that’s the secret.  The secret telling you the secret.  Because you can go through your whole life unharmed from this.  A life native, tranquil, and happy from worries on all these moral misgivings.  Because you don’t feel good or bad all by yourself.  It’s only in that moment when someone else enters, and tells you.  They tell you they are being kind, more so even significant when they tell you in deed, in not so many words but in how they treat you.  And you feel patronized, not loved…  You can’t feel good about yourself after this—not anymore—because of what someone else showed you, and it gives you a low feeling of self-worth, which opens you up to doing all kinds of things almost because you feel it’s expected of you, and you shouldn’t even try, try to be something else.  That is unless you ignore it, you ignore your pride and realize no one but you decides if you feel bad or not, that your morality isn’t based on what other people think of what you do, but how you feel about it.  Kindness doesn’t kill you then.  You just become like your parents…  And spoiled children don’t stay spoiled children.  They become adults.  Then it’s really hard to believe.  It hard to believe people are really kind because you’re still around.  It’s hard to believe in something if you think you’re going to die believing it.  And so people really aren’t kind.  And it doesn’t pay to be nice—people just walk all over you and you’d rather be the one doing the walking.  You find you even get more respect when you aren’t nice, almost like people don’t want you to be nice to them.  Because it kills them.  And you have children—telling them the lie—you’re kind to them because they’re your children and you want them to believe even if it kills them.  And so it goes—on and on, the nativity lost…  Our nature is at war.  It’s at war with what has to die in order for something else to live, and war is not kind.  This what soldiers know.  It’s what David Threnody knew—he knew it after—after coming home.  Coming home after the war.  The kindness he was shown for the things he had done.  The hardest thing—the hardest thing about it finding something to believe in again.  Something to believe in that didn’t kill him.

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