Monday, April 1, 2013

oba and oya have it out

I've never talked about Oba, not in public anyway.  More, I whisper about her.  Whisper to her.  Whisper around her. Anything might offend. I try not to think about her too much.  Living with her can be pure hell.  But only sometimes.  Here's the problem:  her self-defeatism, if that is a word.

We had a conversation yesterday, 'conversation' being the polite word for it. She fucking cried, pouted, complained, and blamed (everybody else). Again.

"I'm all alone," she wailed, like I'm not right there next to her, as usual.

She then went on—you know the drill—nobody's helping her. Nobody's supporting her. Where's hers? I've heard this all before. Nobody's giving her a break, how 'bout a grant maybe, a really good job where you don't have to work.  How 'bout free rent? Or no rent at all. How 'bout sex? Where's mine?

She cut off her ear, they say, to feed it to Chango.

You know, I just don't have much sympathy.

Oba could use a really good therapist, as far as I'm concerned.

She counters saying I don't understand her. Don't understand her pain. Her sense of humor. Her struggles. Her ambitions.  How-hard-it-all-is for her in this world.  She's absolutely right. She struggles like mad, and everything's a struggle. 'The world' just isn't taking care of her, and she's furious about that.

She's got to do it herself, and that just pisses her off. And she's sick of people telling her to pull herself up by the bootstraps and do it the fuck herself.

She raises her voice. She yells when she's not being just plain morose. She cut off her ear and fed it to Chango. (I mean, it didn't work too well for van Gogh either as a coping mechanism, but hell, at least he didn't stop painting).

Do you think that kind of behavior makes her more attractive?  Do you think Chango was moved?

I'm not much of a supporter of woe-is-me strategies. I grew up hearing them, and I must say all it did was harden my soul.  Make me want to never ever ask anyone for anything. Not long for anyone. And certainly not pine for them. I have no sense of 'deserving' or 'undeserving'. No sense of entitlement at all.

Expect nothing.
Be ready for anything.
Be prepared.
Maybe I'm a Boy Scout at heart.

It's not like Oba needs to pick up a sword to make her point. Granted, that's not her way.  Just pick herself up. Dust herself off. Hold her head high. And get goddamn to work.

See what she's done?  She's got me the fuck swearing.

Maybe I've got way too much of Weber's Protestant Ethic in me and not enough of Mauss's prestations.  Or maybe I'm too selective in my sense of reciprocal obligations. Maybe I'm just a bitch with a sword. Maybe I'm supposed to fix her tight little universe for her. Find her a Chango and hand it to her on an ebony platter. Cut off my own ears and feed them to her so she can see I'm listening?

A good therapist is what she needs.
Maybe I should give her mine.


  1. I'm struck by your "Anything might offend" language. When professionals are diagnosing an abuse situation, they listen for this kind of thing. A situation where you're on the lookout for landmines all around you is considered to be in itself abuse, regardless of what kind of explosions might follow when you do step on one of them. The mere fact that you are living in fear of them _is_ abuse.

  2. Land mine. Time bomb. Just under the surface, ready to explode. Or not. I grew up with this. It's very familiar, and yet I can never predict when it's going to blow. Instead, my shoulders hunch defensively, muscles tightened, ready to run. And having nowhere to run to.

    Yup. Familiar.

  3. The difference being, of course, that you don't need to run. You have the power and freedom that a child does not—not that being a self-actualizing adult makes it easy. You'll recall my own long, melodramatic tale of escape at "a kaddish for those who don't escape". And while I can generalize with vague, unhelpful optimism that "it's hard but you can do it," Dostoyevsky was right, the particulars of each unhappy family's story are the stuff of thick novels.

  4. Oba, like all deities exists in mythical time and space. From this point of view—her misery is eternal. Our human condition, on the other hand, is filled with opportunities for change. It is also filled with the opportunity to switch models (and deities we identify with) at will.