ON a walk with my dog, I kept thinking about certain people from my work life. These are folks that are quick to tear down others and generally be nasty for the sake of their damn bonuses. Now, I do like money, but for goodness’ sake. What is the purpose of being so rude, so abrasive just for the promise of a check once a year? What does that say about a person that they are willing to just be a colossal asshole just for the promise of money – not even cash in hand!! I really, really resent that we are put in a position where we have to chase the check, the bonus, the reward. Nothing wrong with a (living) wage for work, but I’d prefer something else. However, this is where we are and what we must operate in .
But this expectation that we’ll claw each other to grab at someone’s table scraps really chaps my ass. Where is this coming from? It’s not a recognition of a job well done, it’s not a gift, it’s already paid for, extracted from too long days and emotionally abusive environments. It’s like competing for the regard of a cold, emotionally unavailable parent who you love anyway the one someone loves a cold and dying star. Or maybe it’s more like a partner that doesn’t really like you but sure likes having someone on his arm, someone who’ll do the dishes and get on her knees and won’t bother him. Maybe she’ll get a kiss once in a while, maybe she’ll get a nice family in the Christmas pictures. But what is she really getting?
Then it occurred to me – the difference between those people and myself (not that I’m some saint, or above enjoying a fat check) is that I know daddy will never love me. God Jesus that’s freeing. The way the average office is set up, one will never be good enough, one will never win, one will never get that advantage. But one will tear others down. One will be temporarily, superficially rewarded for spiting your partners in work. But that reward won’t make your rent, it won’t make you more secure in the world, it won’t guarantee shit.
It does hurt sometimes, but bastardy is the most freeing thing. I know there’s no chance I’ll get love from my father – he’s a nonentity in my life. I know I’ll never heal certain things with my mother – she’s dead and (in a sense) gone. I know I’ll never have the warmth I want from the family I actually have – I have made my own and it’s better, It may not seem like it but I have spent a lot of time on the outside, listening from another room. I know I’ll never impress some blank avatar of a perfect man, so I don’t chase him. I know I’ll never be regarded well in a workplace, so I don’t put my hopes in that pot. I know I’ll never be given security and humanity by the state, by the flow of money, by the waves of law and whims of the ruling class. So I don’t try. I keep to myself.
Maybe I’m just bullshitting, just projecting, but when I see people chase the father, the priest, the king – I see them trying to fill some space inside, tying to close some wound that will never fully knit together. I have that wound. But I have sat with it. Sometimes I pick and fret at it and I am small and pathetic and I cry about it. Sometimes it hurts, but I sit with it and let it speak. I have spent years, and will probably spend the rest of my life mourning for an ideal. But I accept that. I see no need to sink my nails like claws into the souls of others because I am in pain. I see no reason to rend their hearts open because mine is bleeding.
What could be so powerful to make us act like this? It’s a symbol: money. Money here stands for the parental love, for the warmth, attention, and passion we are promised under patriarchy. But if you think for a minute, you know it will never come from where it’s supposed to come from – if you wait to be served from that table you will starve. If you try to drink from that stone, you will die of thirst, burning and bitter. Why live like that?