The Power of a Child

All the hordes of promises you have made dance around you, needling you. Laughing you out. Though you consider yourself a man of your word, there is no way you can fulfill them all. Circumstances prevent you. That’s your bitter fate. The woman you loved above all, the woman you promised everything, in your heart, has turned away because you couldn’t fulfill them.
You’re ready to kill yourself. You even know how. It’s easy. Just go to the red light district, get the nearest whore, allow yourself to get connected to the pimp, who certainly knows someone who can sell you a pistol and ammunition. Costly, but worth it.
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A fucking gun. Your uncle, the gentlest man in the world you ever knew, taught you how to use them. He allowed you to load a 22-calibre rifle and do target practice with it; fourteen years young, you were. You saw him shoot a rattle-snake that was lying on the hood of his pickup with a pistol. Afterwards he took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. The pistol, not the snake. You barbecued the snake. So you know what you are about, you have a good memory. Why would I want to do this, you ask yourself, once again. Because life has no meaning for you anymore. Without that woman, it simply doesn’t matter.
You are drunk. You know you are drunk. You know that when you are drunk your feelings take the upper hand. But on the lower hand, in vino veritas, you say to yourself. Why shouldn’t you live what you feel? Or die what you feel.
And then, in the middle of the fucking night, as you sit on your balcony –smoking your second or maybe third to last cigarette, you think– a family passes by on the sidewalk below. The child in the buggy they are shoving before them is saying “papa”. Papa, papa, papa it sings, so happy, so innocent. You feel an instant glow in your heart.
So much for killing yourself, you romantic jerk, you reflect.
The power of a child.

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Children

Little sons and daughters of bitches. And bastards. We all say son-of-a-bitch, as if the father had nothing to do with it. Alright, I’m not a bastard in the original sense of the word, but I’m sure there are some people who would call me a motherfucking bastard.
I’ve got two children, and I love them, but when I see how they edge up against each other, how they needle each other to the point of insanity, I start to wonder: why in hell do they do that? Rascals.
It seems as if there is something in children, just the same as in adults, which makes them want to fuck with other people’s minds. The nearest available victim is the sibling, since the parents are basically unapproachable in that area (well, most parents anyway, I’ve seen kids who torture their parents too). Not that they stop there, the same thing applies to any group of children; it starts in kindergarten.
I’s a thinkin’: ah, my innocent, wonderful little son, such a smart little boy… then I hear how he pissed in the bushes of the kindergarten playground and mobbed some poor ass together with his friends. Alright, I’s thinkin’, pissed in the bushes, don’t give a fuck about that… My daughter didn’t piss in the bushes, but I’ll just bet there were far more hurtful verbal cat-fights that went on.
Mobbing. Just a new word for an old thing: people fucking over other people. Children do it just the same as adults, and I wonder why. Why? Why do humans do this? It seems inseparable with social life, and that is exactly the thing that makes me insociable. I don’t engage in that shit, at least not consciously. That’s the thing, it seems to be a basic instinct among social animals. Establish the god damned fucking pecking order. Who is the boss, who is the henchman, who is the outsider…?
God, how I hate it. I know it’s normal, but I hate it all the more for it. I just don’t understand why people have to be so hateful to each other. It’s like the wolf-pack I once observed in a wild animal park. The park-ranger (for lack of a better word) explained that a wolf-pack is a social group, as we watched one of them being harried by the others, yelping in helpless fright… and a hierarchy must be established. And reestablished, again and again. And the poor bastard on the bottom rung of the ladder, well…? Harried, a miserable fucking life.

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It’s wrong. I’m telling you, it’s wrong. Even the last poor bastard at the bottom has redeeming features. Maybe he has talents that could help us survive, as a group. And if not… we are not wolves, dammit. We are smart enough to see beyond the basics. Teach your children that, force them to it, the way I (try to) do. Sometimes you have to use force, mental force that is; explain it, again and again. Make them understand, show them. At the very least, you should try to fight against base instincts. Teach them that this is a place worth living in, even for the lowest of the low. The lowest human being has beauty within them, just the same as a wolf on the bottom rung. Poor bastard. I once read a book in which a child was killed by his own father for losing food which was essential to survival. The father simply dashed his head against a rock. The kid was a little fuck-up, I suppose, and his father lost patience with him. What he might have been capable of no one will ever know.
Base = bad? No. Base = stupid. The basic survival strategies of a pack of wolves should not apply to us. We are that much smarter, dammit. I think. Or are you nothing more than a wolf? Are you a child? Do you really believe that there is a single human being, or, for that matter, a single wolf on this earth, without any intrinsic value? An intrinsic value afforded by the simple fact that they are alive, and among us? They belong. They are beautiful.

Reminiscence

Two strawberries lie on a wood cutting board, one has been bitten in to. The man who has just bitten in to the strawberry wipes at the drops of juice that have fallen on the piece of paper he is writing on. He drinks a bit of wine, thinking that the wine has real character. He stops and wonders if he should think about his life, but decides it isn’t necessary. Another drop of wine. The strawberries are quite delicious. He lights a pipe of hashish, inhaling deeply and holding the smoke in his lungs. Recently he’s been told he may have cancer, but he doesn’t really believe it. Even if he really had it, it wouldn’t  phase him. Cancer is mostly curable, so he thinks. His chances are good. And he always has been lucky with important things. He eats the rest of the strawberry, there’s just one left.
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Wine. Smoke. The fact is, he doesn’t have cancer, but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t care, even if it turns out he will have to die… because he has children. Beautiful children that make everything whole. He knows, without thinking of it, that he can leave them and they will survive. Even if he dies he has given them power for life, strength to keep on. He is sure of it. He bites in to the last strawberry; it’s amazingly tasty for this time of year. He decides to save half for later and takes a smoke. It’s not like I want to die, he reflects. Fuck no, I want to live, and enjoy it as long as I can. Might be five weeks, might be 50 years. He grabs the bottle and pours another glass. He doesn’t know what to write anymore, so he goes and takes a piss. The children are snug in bed. He flushes the toilet by mistake, but no one wakes up. He goes and drinks some more wine, and smokes some more hashish. Half a strawberry is looking up at him from the cutting board. First more wine. Should he get some bread and cheese? No, somehow, the remaining half a strawberry will have to do. Wonderful. He eats it and takes a mouthful of wine afterwards, letting the taste mingle in his mouth. Heady.