Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Surplus of One

I’m not as thankful for brutal honesty as I need to be.

I’m not as thankful that my taste buds still work as I need to be.

I’m not nearly thankful enough that people don’t see me as a flaming ass.

I’m not thankful enough or attentive enough to realize every orgasm is a communiqué to and with God.

I’m not thankful enough to slow down and live as opposed to acknowledging the hovering anxiety that stays by my head.

I will fuss about how crazy she drives me but I don’t often thank my wife for keeping me sane.

Thanksgiving as a verb is not merely for gods, it is for one another. Thanking that which you need is an ancient tradition. The hunter thanks the beast for the meat. The ant thanks the child for not stepping on it. The sleeping woman thanks the man for draping a throw over her chilly feet. I am thankful—-head bowed thankful—-that there are living, human beings sometimes reading whatever claptrap I throw out. The common thread is there is thanks without knowledge, thanks that carries itself through its actions and effects. Actions speak louder than words because for the most part we are stupid, mumbly, incoherent things. I can look a man in the face and fervently thank him while wishing I might push him in front of a bus without threat of criminal consequence. The handshake, though, might be a little tight, so he knows. Giving lip service to being thankful is a waste of everyone’s time.

I’m not thankful enough that my sisters-in-law are bright, attractive women. Not thankful enough that my boss doesn’t try to work out personality issues via his position. Not thankful enough that I can hold a child or a hundred pound machine with equal ease. I’m not thankful enough that the one time somebody tried to break into my house was a half-hearted effort at best; they moved a window screen then said forget it. I’m not thankful enough for me, myself and I, ‘cause, dammit, I’m a pretty cool dude. Falsity is a bitch. If you’re not thankful for who you are and what you’re giving, then who are you and what are you giving? Me, I wear lots of hats and I’m thankful that my head is malleable. I’m even able to stare God straight in the face and say “Thank you for my life.” Period. Not thanks for the awesome gift of life itself, but thanks for the particular bit of living I’m feeling right now. My life. Where I’ve kissed breasts, held hands, been punched, made babies smile, kept peace, shown errors, killed when necessary (bugs and beasties but no sapiens yet), eaten Pizzapapolis pizza, made women feel loved and my wife know love, held on at all costs, cried in vain, been bored to freaking tears, despised all of mankind, saw ‘Wings of Desire’ by Wim Wenders, marveled at Prince in concert, never have or will have an opportunity to discuss things with the Pope, watched the last breath of life dry in my father’s lungs, and I have walked, walked everywhere. By sinew and determination my legs have carried me.

But I can’t say thanks for everything, ‘cause some things in life just ain’t right. And that’s where Thanksgiving goes wrong. Thanksgiving doesn’t mean be thankful for everything in your life, but take the time to figure out what you need to be thankful for. I’ll never be thankful for harm coming to a child. For brutality. Intentional ignorance. All ignorance is intentional but some ignorance is lots worse than others. I’ll never thank god for suffering. The day I can’t appreciate a lovely moment for what it is without the precarious balancer of suffering behind it is the day I lather up in bacon grease and open my fly to the ice weasels.

I’m thankful that I don’t take entirely for granted why I’m here. Forgive the messianic complex but my name means ‘light bringer’—-no, I am not your god (yet) but I will take the time to look at things and tell you to come over here and see. By the time I'm done with life "mission accomplished" just might mean something again.

Enjoy Thanksgiving, and in utter sincerity, Thank You.

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