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In Good Conscience

I cannot, in good conscience, stand idly by any longer.

I have chosen as a career to do battle, every day, against the awesome and mighty power of the state. To speak for those who society doesn’t want to listen to. To stand in the way of the gears of a machine that doesn’t care for the lives of the people it grinds up.

This line of work is hard. It eats at the inner workings of your soul in a way that I don’t think any other line of work quite does. I know doctors and surgeons see the ravages of nature (and stupidity) do terrible things to people – that is horrifying, and draining. Soldiers go to war to kill the enemies of their state, and that is horrifying too. But there is a special kind of horror in watching the carelessness in which our government treats its most vulnerable, our most needy. It chews you up inside, and changes you, in a way that I can’t quite explain. You know more, you trust less, and yet… you love. I think you love because you have to, because if your capacity to love despite the darkness does not grow… then, well, I fear there would be no point.

But it drains you. To love means that you can get your heart broken. I get mine broken every day. And I can tell you it never stops hurting.

But you also learn to stand up, somehow, despite the heartache. Not always. I’ve seen so many people – good, honest, well-intentioned people – be chewed up and spit out by this machine. I don’t think that this type of work is meant to be kept long term… But I digress.

Today I stand up. I’ve been in tears this entire morning, since I saw the headlines. And I’m trying hard not to despair. I’m trying hard to love.

I cannot, in good conscience, allow for anything less.

The World is Hurting

America is hurting. It is less than a month now until the election. I think the next few months – regardless of who wins – are going to be critical. While at this point it seems unlikely that Donald Trump will defeat Hillary, the rhetoric and tactics of the right have massively changed the landscape. It is important to us, as citizens of a representative democracy, to remember that there are better ways than appealing to the common lowest denominator. The challenges the world is facing are matters of a global scale. We must keep a clean house before we are able to tackle these issues. And we need to fight back against the increasing wave of lies and denouncement of facts from the right.

Those of us with the ability to say something must speak.

I can no longer remain silent.

Dream Girl

I dreamed a dream, but now that dream is gone from me.

I had a dream last night. The details don’t exactly matter. There was a hotel, it was a New Year’s type celebration, beds were involved. And women. A woman, in fact – the girl in question. (The Questionable Girl?) I don’t know what the dream means, although I have some notion. (Primary extrapolation of the data suggests it surrounds my fear of intimacy and general dissatisfaction with myself physically. The two are linked. I am not proud of this, I merely state it as fact.) The meaning of the dream is secondary to my purpose here.

She was in the dream, again.

I have dreamed, and my dreams have sometimes contained women that I am interested in.  I would say for any one girl that I have had a crush on, I have had on average about three such dreams. At least, that I can remember when I awaken, enough so that they have made a deep impact on my psyche.

I have dreamed of this girl perhaps a dozen times over the last few years. Such presence in my subconscious is impressively unprecedented. Every dream is vivid, making ripples in my thoughts throughout the day. The echoes of the dream accost me, accusing me. That I am unworthy. That I am not good enough. That I tried, and I failed. The echo of the dream, every echo of every dream that she has been a part of, is all that I have left, of my last vestige of baser humanity. All desire, all of my wants are tied up around the ripples of her echoes.

(Before you ask, there is no future there. Yes, she is real. Yes, I have asked.)

The girl is everything that I would have wanted. Strong. Smart. Beautiful. Sexy. In my dream she’s a goddess, a warrior, a princess. In my mind’s eye she is dancing, but I cannot approach her. She is the ur-feminine, everything that I admire made manifest. And she is unattainable. Even in my dreams, there is always something. Most of the time it is me. As last night taught me, I am simply inadequate.

But pieces in a dream that might be memory still haunt me
Though I know that you should never trust a dream

Carry On My Wayward Son

I cannot understand why I am feeling so incredibly lonely tonight.

I am alone most of my daily life. I wake up alone. I go to work where I am surrounded by people but seek the quiet moments of solitude whenever I can get them. I come home and I am alone. I go to bed alone. This has been the case, with rare exception, for the past fourteen years.

So it should stand to reason that I am used to being alone. That when I go to bed at night I do not wander why the other half of my bed isn’t full. That when I come home from work I do not decry not having someone to unload my burdens to. That when I sit in my apartment at night I do not really yearn for someone to have dinner with me. All of these things are true, most of the time, for most nights.

But tonight is not that night.

Tonight I feel a distance between myself and everyone. Tonight I feel the cold hollow of despair creeping upon me. Tonight I am not just alone – I am lonely.

I do not know why I feel this way. It came upon me suddenly, but I think it has been building inside of me for a while now. Tonight, once more, I hope.

I cannot allow myself to feel hope.

 

The Mad Journey

I used to write about my personal life a lot more often, and a lot more publicly, than I do now. A part of that I think is because my personal life was far more interesting before. There was some form of drama there, something propelling it forward. Now it’s just repetition. Wake up, shower, go to work, deal with work, come home, eat dinner, watch television, sleep. I go on an average of three dates a year with an average of three women a year (I can count the second dates I’ve had in the last six years on exactly two fingers.) They don’t excite me. Certainly, they do not instill within me the same and usual passions that I’m used to.

I haven’t gone out on a date with a woman to whom I would write poetry in a while. And all of the women that I would write poetry to have no interest in dating me. Hm, problem.

I am a serious man. Except I’m quick to laugh and quicker to point out the farcical idiocy of any given situation and quicker still to crack a joke to relieve unnecessary tension.  But I’m self serious to the point of detriment; somehow holding myself accountable for my own actions and scrutinizing every time detail for error. I walk with a swagger and a confidence, but in the end I am terrified of failure.

And to think someone thought it a good idea to give me people to look after? Not just clients – though, yes, how am I responsible for the freedom and lives of so many people? – but now I get to teach and train and bring up others in my vain. I get to mold new lawyers, new criminal defense litigators, new public defenders. Who thought that was a good idea?

Then I come home and I am alone and I eat dinner quietly and I watch television and I pray that I can forget the days’ tragedies so I can sleep soundly at night.

And then you wake up in the morning and do it again.