Total Loser

I’m such a loser.

Such a total loser.

I’m starting to feel really good about it.

I haven’t held on to much of anything down through . . .

no. Correct that.

I haven’t held on to anything in my life: people, places, things, memories, beliefs, hopes, dreams.  They’ve all disappeared, slid away into time like a snake sliding off across the water on a hot summer’s day.  

There’s my daily laundry list of Lost Incidentals, of course.  Keys and shopping lists, tie tack, wallet, name tag, left sock — but that’s not what I’m trying to talk about.  Nor my lost ideas — “Why am I in the kitchen? I came in here for something.”  

There were Lost Things That Seemed Really Significant At The Time. At work one afternoon back in 1998 a co-worker came up to my cubicle and said, “Hey.  I heard your apartment building’s on fire.”  There was that time in 1984 when I totalled my 1967 Plymouth Duster.  The afternoon when she sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “This marriage arrangement isn’t working for me anymore.”  When I got the letter that said, “you’re not our son any more.”  When Garrett said, “The test.  It’s positive.”  

There were Lost People.  I’m profoundly good at losing people.  There’s the Dead (Evil Bill, Melanie, Garrett, my mom and dad); the Geographically Departed (Jimbo, Teri, Samcat, Justin, Mark, Sara); the Failed Relationships (Good Bill the Second, the Asshole Shaman, Dan Who Looked Like Jesus, Jan the Man, Damon, Jamie and The Fabulous Pec Twins, St. Eric of the Pipes, Jerry Who Never Even Tried); and, of course and always, the We All Moved On category (everybody else — even my kindergarten teacher.)  Damn.  Loser.

I’ve lost Stuff I Tried To Keep Around, thinking that having that stuff would make people like me.  There was the whole “if I have dope, people keep calling” phase which involved a great mountain of very complicated stuff.  The whole ill-fated “just get good grades” notion. A “killer stereo will do the trick” obsession. The nice apartment [see above], the right haircut, more expensive clothes, bell-bottoms like everybody else, new glasses.  Cash.  Learning to dance.  Being straight. Being married.  Being faithful.  Being straight.  Being Christian . . . being . . . being not such a loser.

And there are Ideas About Myself that I’ve lost along the way.  In recollection, they get all jumbled together and defy chronology: I’m a basically good person, I’m a sinner, I wish I was dead, I’m lonely, I’m afraid, I’m doing better, I’m maintaining, I am the shit, I am nothing.  Tears and anguish and self-mutilation . . . but you don’t get style points in the game of life, asshole.  

Life was a struggle, a fight, a quest — and I always, always, ended up on the losing end.

You think I’d learn.

Amazingly, I did. I learned. I really did.

It only took losing everything over and over and over for half a century for me to figure it out.

I learned:

Time wins, I lose.

Doesn’t matter what I own, what I think, who I know, what I believe, what I leave undone, who I love, how sweet it tastes . . . time still wins.

It’s kind of liberating.

My failures don’t matter any more than my successes.  My beliefs matter no more than my lack of understanding.  And my hopes matter not at all.

I can’t reach into the past and hold you.  

I can’t reach into tomorrow.  

It’s just now. This moment.

Yeah, this one.

Right here.  


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  1. of the frou frou song, but i like the guitar..

    i so appreciate the way youve shared this.  its remarkable.

    it makes me wonder if you dont see the left-behind gifts that all the losses have afforded you.  

    • pfiore8 on February 7, 2008 at 18:35

    meaning in the cosmic or spiritual sense.

    it’s like you said, you would take time to decide what it means.

    and that’s the power you have. to decide. to define. even if, at the end, it means nothing because we all end up turning to dust.

    so why not be liberated in the positive … it won’t raise your taxes. and it hurts as much as being a loser… but in between the blows, it feels so much better

    and love. give it. give it. give it. the sensation is you…  that kaBOOM is another stimulated to feel giving love too…

    • RiaD on February 7, 2008 at 18:56

    It’s just now. This moment.

    Yeah, this one.

    Right here.  

    • OPOL on February 7, 2008 at 20:20

    thank you.

    • Edger on February 8, 2008 at 05:33

    You’re a loser. A total loser.

    Join the club. 🙂

    Just one question. On whose terms are you a loser?

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