Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living Backwards

"Ka-blam, elimination! Lack of education!" - Big Mama, The Fox and the Hound, 1981

She's heard the term, "a child going older," but she never realized that most were applying it to her. A false halo filled with the pride of a false independence hung gently and comfortingly over her head. She'd only paid rent at one place in her entire life, and that was at a discounted rate a brother had secured for her. Her first time away from home ended in disaster. Her second time, too. Still, she tried everything to fake growing up and out. After all, living off of parents is the only thing that signifies remaining a child, right? Living with a grandparent, a sister, a boyfriend, a co-worker, and a husband of convenience was simply part of the plan to make independence less expensive.

When your dirty clothes are piled to the ceiling is not the time to learn how to do laundry. When your footprints let you know where you've tread is not the time to learn how to use the vacuum. That your hand was held so tightly is only killing you now. That your eyes only ever looked to the shadows of your parents is why the world seems so strange. Hear no, see no, speak no does not apply to knowledge, but you revel in your ignorance and call it innocence.

She's loathe to accept cautions for what they are, preferring instead to interpret them as criticisms, never stopping to realize that people are trying to help. False halos from those who do not believe in her god will not affect her, regardless of their benevolence. Her Tower of Babylon is already built and those who love her watch in futility as she tumbles down its steps. She adores the descent, though, ignoring the bruises and convincing herself that no flight is accomplished without pain. Without the stern prodding of a parent toward the edge of the nest, she remains afraid to truly fly. Adults only learn to glide on the wind by flapping their wings and this one refuses to flap.

When you finally hit the ground, expect no womb to return to. When you finally accept that your wings are too old to learn to fly, expect no sympathy. Convince yourself that your god fated this life for you as you wonder why happiness is so elusive. Convince yourself that independent thought is dependent on constellations and Tarot cards. Hear no, see no, speak no does not apply to wisdom, but you revel in your eradication and call it experience.


  1. ack. nicely played jeff...from sheltered life to pompous independence..there is a happy middle though wonder how many find it...

  2. Interesting. I have a cousin who has never grown up, even though she now has a child of her own. Sad. Depressing and sad.

  3. Nobody needed to scoot me to the edge of the nest! LOL! I was so ready to fly! Still, I do know someone like this. Co-dependency comes to mind.

  4. So much for finding false independence in others as judged by supposing oneself actually independent of the system they defend and the accused infuriatingly ignores.

    How many males in western society have actually fed themselves? Western society is based on the battle for who will eat and who will serve. There are no superior dependencies.

  5. I know people who haven't ever grown up. Sad but happens for no good reason sometimes...

  6. A sad piece...I wonder how many people actually exist like this???

  7. Growing up is a hard and difficult road, made even more difficult if both the parents and the child resist the change. Shoving them from the nest is often the hardest thing we'll ever have to do.

  8. I hate you. I haven't even got a post this week but this one's damn powerful. The saddest thing is 'Her Tower of Babylon is already built and those who love her watch in futility as she tumbles down its steps' Sometimes no matter what encouragement we have, it's hard to fledge.

  9. Yeah but Peter Pan could fly, man. FLY!

    Sorry. This is just so heavy.
    Good for the theme, though. Very good.

  10. Huh. I think I may be only one who read this as a description of a mildly mentally retarded adult woman being granted the luxury of (pseudo-) independence.

    And to her and those who love her, I would say "Bravo!"

    Powerful, Jeff.

  11. Well written, insightful take on the theme. Nicely done. Mine is


  12. Those who helped build that tower can't prevent the fall. Powerful Jeff.

    smiles from the moon

  13. "Hear no, see no, speak no does not apply to wisdom, but you revel in your eradication and call it experience."

    I liked this lines and the halo one too.

    Catching up.


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