Thomas Wictor

Unsolicited advice for those in crisis

Unsolicited advice for those in crisis

Today I got the message I was expecting. It completed the metamorphosis that began January 16, 2013, the day both my parents were diagnosed with cancer. What I was told today was that my twelve-year friendship with someone was no longer “productive.” It’s not a word I’ve ever applied to friendship, but it turns out that what we had was only an extended conversation. My unsolicited advice to those in crisis is to keep it to yourself, unless you don’t mind being alone.

Henry David Thoreau understood the human condition.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.

Walden; or, Life in the Woods

Since 2013 I’ve lost every friend I had before Mom and Dad died. They’re all gone. The reality, of course, is that they weren’t genuine friends, so—as the message today said—”No big.”

It all depends on what we consider “bigs.” Friendship is a “big” for me. In that sense I’m unusual.

What happens is that when you talk about your misfortune, it makes others think unpleasant thoughts and feel emotions they’d rather avoid. So they have to dump you. Everyone I’ve known who experienced the deaths of family members told me that they lost all their friends. In my case I also lost my career. It was simply too much for people to handle. They had to flee.

Death will find them anyway. Their reaction to my problems tells me that their own demises will be awful, but there’s nothing I can do to help them. They want nothing to do with me.

Sometimes it’s hard to be true to myself. My life seems like this.

Feeling

The only alternative is to pretend. I can’t do that. There’s no way for me to fool me. Yesterday I found a quote by George Washington, of all people.

It is better to be alone than in bad company.

In a very important sense, my former acquaintances were bad company. Not only did I have to somehow avoid tragedy in order for our relationships to exist, every single one of these people tried incessantly to pick political fights with me.

Friends don’t do that to each other. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t agree politically with my friends, but it apparently bothered them. What a bizarre set of priorities! When you experience a death in the family, are you going to call up this guy and talk to him about it?

Peter_King

Or how about this guy?

Joe_Biden

It’s utterly weird to me that otherwise intelligent human beings are taken in by faces that tell the whole story. But as my lawyer said the other day, the hardest lesson to learn is to not look for rationality where there is none.

When I went shopping for cat food today, I heard a song that I’d never really listened to before. It has an incredibly profound observation.

And isn’t it a mystery
If it’s nobody’s business
It’s everybody’s game

The problem is that most people can’t stand individuals. I don’t know why individualism is so threatening, but it is, and it becomes everybody’s game to try and change you. If you won’t change, they say goodbye. That’s not my problem, and it won’t embitter me the way it did Stephen Crane.

Behold, from the land of the farther suns
I returned.
And I was in a reptile-swarming place,
Peopled, otherwise, with grimaces,
Shrouded above in black impenetrableness.
I shrank, loathing,
Sick with it.
And I said to him,
“What is this?”
He made answer slowly,
“Spirit, this is a world;
This was your home.”

I like the world, and I like people. The reason I can continue—even completely alone, if necessary—is that what I know, what I understand, and what I see is of value. On this earth and in this life, my clarity suffices.

Mr. Loggins, you nailed it. I’m all right, and I listen to my own heart beating. Every day I know who I’m going to be. And I might even be a Cinderella kid! Who knows?

The possibilities are infinite.

I’m alright
Nobody worry about me
Why you got to gimme a fight
Can’t you just let it be

I’m alright
Don’t nobody worry about me
You got to gimme a fight
Why don’t you just let me be

Do what you like
Doing it naturally
But if it’s too easy
They’re gonna disagree

It’s your life
And isn’t it a mystery
If it’s nobody’s business
It’s everybody’s game

Got to catch you later
Go now, get it for you right away
Some Cinderella kid
Get it up and get you a job

I’m alright
Nobody worry about me
Why you got to gimme a fight
Can’t you just let it be

I’m alright
Don’t nobody worry about me
You got to gimme a fight
Why don’t you just let me be

Who do you want
Who you gonna be today
And who is it really
Making up your mind

You gonna listen to the man
Pay attention to the magistrate
And while I got you in the mood
Listen to your own heart beating
Own heart beating
Own heart beating
Own heart

Don’t it get you moving
M-m-m-m-m-m-man
It make me feel good
Some Cinderella kid
Then give it up and give it the job

I’m alright
Nobody worry about me
Why you got to gimme a fight
Can’t you just let it be

I’m alright
Don’t nobody worry about me
You got to gimme a fight
Why don’t you just let me be

I’m alright
Nobody worry about me
Why you got to gimme a fight
Can’t you just let it be

I’m alright
I’m alright
Just let me be

Thomas_Wictor_all_right


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