This is how life is when you feel weak and helpless: you lay down and die or you puff yourself up until you look so big everyone stays away.
But they stare.
One day the puff goes out and you think maybe you don’t need it: there is no one to blame, there is no one to hate.
Bad things happened to me and they still happen; bad things will happen to other people long after I’ve died.
Weak minds and political opportunists abuse religion; they always have, and they always will.
All political creeds are open to corruption; all economic systems are open to abuse, the poor will always be their own worst enemies because violent poverty breeds intense identification with the oppressor.
How does one think ones way out of the hateful violence inflicted by one’s own people?
Somehow, I’ve thought my way out, but it’s taken most of my life.
My puff is gone.
I don’t need to explain myself, to apologize, to make myself livid with rage.
I don’t need to incite power struggles.
Power struggles are about feeling powerless; the need to fight small battles is about the need for distraction.
“Am I dead?”
“No, not dead.”
I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure with myself.
The puff is gone and in its place, I think I see a person; a man whose past no longer defines who he is or how he will live the rest of his life.
I think I can see my self.
Now, everything is new.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2018
First published Sep 25, 2015
Revised June 27, 2019