Friday, February 27, 2009


They only hit until you cry
After that, you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore
          --Suzanne Vega, Luka

Sometimes he swore the wind had colors. Sometimes it did.

Sometimes he'd talk to a person looking lost on the street. Sometimes he passed.

Sometimes he felt like Lancelot, waiting to kneel to the first person who bested him. Sometimes he would never to bow to another.

And sometimes the world marched red with the enemy against him. Hand tightening sword, he would back against cold stone and beg for the assassins to creep in and pull their shadowed blades. He'd collect their heads. One by despicable one.

He pushed the coffee dispenser and bubbled his cup full.

"Good morning!"

"Morning," he said.

"Thank God it's Friday!"

"Yeah," he said.

"How are you?"

Red, red world. Squirming with slinking shadows.

"Fine.... And you?"


Anonymous said...

Gosh, that tune takes me back. A sad life for some people ... no wonder they go rage red in the head.

the walking man said...

I never was able to learn the "You just don't argue anymore" part at work. I suppose that was why I spent 80 days suspended in the first nine years of employment.

Dragons and assassins everywhere and me ever with the sharp tongue to take them down. Yes, their heads one at a time. In the end I prevailed.

I truly liked this Jason, brought back in a flash every battle I ever fought.

Catvibe said...

There is often so much of a chasm between what is going on in the mind, and what the person in front of you sees. It is good to remember that when I don't understand the reaction I'm getting, for both directions much confusion can ensue. Often in my mind, after the fact, I know exactly what to say to someone who is now 5 minutes away. But for them, perhaps it is better left unsaid...words can be very hurtful swords indeed.

The song is a whole other can of very painful memory worms.

Sarah Hina said...

The hurt and exhaustion in this is palpable. But what's more painful is the sorry pretense of having to swallow all the confusion and despair somewhere deep inside, and maintain a calm expression above it. In such times, there's no trust that anyone would truly understand or change.

Sometimes life steals and cheats and grinds us down. But sometimes we choose to give back, anyway. One more time.

Anonymous said...

Aggie, a curious little vignette, yes. But I do especially like these lyrics prompts.

Walking Man, I hear you, my friend. Especially when the beat down and pain has sparked that danger of seeing the whole of humanity against you.

Catvibe, I kind of like the notion of saying the truth and not being afraid. There can sometimes be a consequence, though. Sometimes it's the truth that might provoke a reaction or a discomfort, not really the words. Speaking it takes away that place of reserve where people often hide to create ambiguities and trade on the benefit of the doubt.

Sarah, you've felt it. Really felt it. Thank you for seeing what is buried in this piece.

Catvibe said...

I do this in writing, and getting better and better at it. I am just sadly faced with a time lag in front of real people, at least where my personal feelings are attached. Otherwise I am known as the one who is the blunt one. The terse and blunt one. Isn't that fun? Can't we replace swords with feathers and still get the truth out? That's where the split comes for me. And you have to realize that I have been punched in the face for my bluntness. I still reel from that. It has been 20 years and I'm still self protecting from my marriage. There. Now you have it. Truth.

paisley said...

one of my all time favorite songs.. i even had a dog named in his honor at one point in time... excellent post jason.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Oh I love Suzanne Vega. 'Tom's Diner' and 'Blood Makes Noise' are awesome too.

And this feeling so comes up again and again in corporate life, where we have to control the rage and put up a false pretense. And they just keep hitting and hitting...and hitting.

Terri said...

I never enjoyed that song. I find it difficult to match the harsh ugliness of the world with the beauty of music.
Love the vignette... have you been visiting the inside of my head? Anyone who knows me will tell you I show every emotion and reaction on my face, as I feel it. Except the darkest ones, those never see the light of day.
Fine... And you? Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Catvibe, I'm sorry for that. Truly. Those traumas must have sparked paralyzing fears. But I trust you're chipping away at them. They can be created so quickly, yet it takes so long to knock them down. You'll prevail, nonetheless.

Paisely, thank you! I'm sure Luka was a fine dog.

Aniket, those dichotomies are a quiet cancer. I just wish I had an easy answer on how to exise them.

Terri, then I'm glad that some of them could see the light of day indirectly in this post. The cameraderie can feel good.

AllanMcPhrust said...

Amazing contrast between the description of the thought process and the actual conversation. Really well done.

Catvibe said...

Sometimes you think you've finished the work, and then someone says something, in this case you, that hits like a neutron bomb and suddenly you look back at the last 20 years and see for the first time exactly how it has touched every single thing you have touched since, and then the tears start flowing and the pain is excruciating. Hence, my latest effort.

Anonymous said...

Allan, thank you for the feedback! It's hard to know how much is buried beneath the surface.

Catvibe, I don't like to cause upheaval, so if I did, I apologize for that. However, if someone can expose an angle that might still be steering you into darkness, then perhaps upheaval is pain worth enduring.

Catvibe said...

It's ok, I don't look at it as a bad thing, just a painful one. You do have certain talents. And they happen to be talents I relate to, as I think I see pretty clearly as well. However, sometimes a person needs a little distance to see. So sometimes saying the truth may not always be the right thing. It depends on whether, in my seeing, I notice if the time is right, or if it is even my business to say. Often it is not, as it is far more effective if the person affected sees it with their own vision. It can be better in that case to be a catalyst rather than a bearer of truth. In this case you were a catalyst for me, and I am VERY familiar with that role. So I thank you for being yourself, and I'm glad I got to see a different facet to my own story. You know we INFPs love facets, even if they have a sharp edge. The thing I saw was how my pain from the past has affected my ability to speak if I feel threatened in any way. And sadly, I feel that threat before I even go out on a date. I don't think I realized that before in quite the same way. Christopher wrote a poem in the comment section to my catalyst poem that kind of nailed it.

But lord knows how I hate to wallow, so I'm over it. Next. So there is yet another post and you and Aine are getting so far behind that I don't think you guys will ever catch up! :-P Thanks for being you Jason. I appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Catvibe. :) Any observations I might make are offered humbly and with positive intentions. I know that you see it that way too.