I’ve been thinking about vengeance. There’s a word that has it’s own sort of onamotapea. Venge has the same grunt of strain and force and motion as lunge, it’s the thrust of the blade, which comes up to smack hard on ge, as the hilt smacks on skin and bone, a moment of stillness before eance, a sibilant exhalation that comes after that act, that comes from either side of the knife.
It’s an idea that occasionally looks like justice, but from here the two don’t appear to have much in common. Vengeance sinks its roots in a reaction that can only be described as “how dare you.” A certain level of self-importance is required for such a reaction to occur, which enables anyone to take anything as a personal affront, and then seek to learn the offender of their mistakes, and learn them real good. It demands that the world respect or fear them, regardless of what the initial affront and its magnitude or triviality may have been. That self-importance is all that is needed to justify actions that are not always warranted, on either a personal, moral or social scale.
Suffice it to say, I don’t possess the required degree of self-importance.
I was thinking about forgiveness, a word that sounds nothing like what it is. Given my predilection for latching onto and holding long, entirely pointless and totally eventless grudges, it’s a habit I’ve been trying to cultivate. At first it seemed forgiveness should be indiscriminate, which is just what happens when you’re trying to find balance on new ground – you go too far in the wrong direction.
Forgiveness is no small thing (especially when you’re a grumpy old man), and is not doled out freely. I’ve found I don’t want to deal it out willy-nilly; forgiveness is like respect, it needs to be earned, not expected. Forgiveness means nothing when it isn’t met with an oncoming apology or acknowledgement of things past. If I’m not worth apologising to, then you’re not worth forgiving.
I was thinking about forgetting.
Which isn’t possible.
Finally, I was thinking about what was left for me to do.
The only course of action left is to run. It’s a familiar tactic. I have more practice at it than is strictly necessary and it's a dirty habit, but right now it’s the sensible thing to do. Saying nothing and doing nothing, I’ll flee through time, and every day without earthquakes and every day I see the end of is another day I’ve won, and I’ll put each of these days here, between then and now, until the distance is so great and old hurts are scarred over with new hurts and all history is no longer of any concern to me.
I know these are all just amusing stories in the making. Look at the past through the lens of so many days and nothing means anything anymore.