By Hans Ebert
Sinatra sang about how, through it all, he took the blows and did it his way. Before our marriage collapsed under the strain of monotony and reaching that point of no return, my saint of an ex wife would hum that key line from the wistful Peggy Lee song: Is that all there is?
Well, what you put into anything, you will sow. and one major flaw in our immune systems is not looking back at the car crash. What’s left back there? Seriously. The remnants of some dysfunctional family that you are comfortably numb forgetting about? Relationships that should never have been allowed to take up so much of your life, but you let it- and them- in, so there’s no point looking back and regretting what should never have been in the first place. And now you’re here and you like to think you’re smarter. But are you?
A few days ago, I met someone I hadn’t seen or heard from in almost two decades. But as he was coming to Hong Kong for the first time in sixteen years, suddenly I was his bro. Actually, he saw me as his bitch- someone whom he hoped could open closed doors for him. The point is this: Why do we allow ourselves to be constantly used and always ready to walk into marriages of convenience for those occupants from interplanetary craft?
When free from the shackles of enforced slavery of iron clad relationships often built on a bed of nails made up of guilt, pity, fear, loathing, much self-loathing, and inconvenient truths, we tend to look at things in ways that would have horrified our parents for the simple reason that we’re not only questioning those sacred cows that were embedded into our malleable psyches, we’re also purging them from our lives- those who constantly demand forgiveness, but cannot accept this as they enjoy wallowing in the past of misplaced Christian values.
Those one can so plainly see are caught up in loveless marriages, but happy to be there and to be unhappy ever after carrying their baggage wherever they go, are others that weigh us down.
For reasons that become more apparent every day, despite our independent thinking, we still allow ourselves to be used by so many others that there are those days when one can understand why Greta Garbo wanted to be alone and Citizen Cane died with “Rosebud” on his lips. Every time we step outside, we step into the thoughts and lives of others whose ideas on what we know to be vapid, we inhale and allow it to inhabit whatever soul we have left. But this isn’t right.
There is something to be said for being a selfish, self-centred person who only looks after Number One and dines on huge servings of Greed Is Good. We’ve tried to be giving and be a better person, but often, that only got us kicked in the head.
Who wants to walk around with only a headache for company and wake up to the blackest moonlight on Blueberry Hill?