Skipping StonesSubmitted by DaBeast at 2014-07-04 08:26:30 EDT
Rating: 1.83 on 6 ratings (6 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
My daughters are going to be alone for their entire lives and it's my fault.
I taught 'em what I thought they'd need, lessons that I'd wished I hadn't learned the hard way. You do that for your children, help them see the things that you didn't until it was too late, show them what you think is the right path. You don't know how they'll handle those lessons and you don't know what they'll do with them but you try and you hope that they take away something useful, something good.
I taught 'em about the truth. Truth's like a rock. You can hold onto it, you can kill with it or hurt with it, if you've a mind to, or you can throw it as far from yourself as you possibly can while you run in the other direction.
Well, I told them the truth about me, at least as I saw it at the time. Told them the bad stuff, the evil stuff, and what little of the good stuff still existed even if it was buried way down deep at the bottom. Told 'em they shouldn't believe everything they hear, or read, or even see 'cause the mind's got a way of twisting things so you can cope with it. You can't even trust yourself not to lie because that rock, that rock is fucking ugly.
I mean, look at it. It's crusty and lumpy and there's dirt all over it. Now, you can wash it off and you can pretty it up, tie a nice little bow around it, put it in a happy looking little box. We call that being PC nowadays but it used to just be called being polite. The girl asks if that dress makes her look fat and you don't tell her that it does even if it makes her ass resemble the back end of an old Buick. You tell her that the color doesn't complement her skin or it hangs oddly from her shoulders and you encourage her to get another.
That girl isn't asking for the truth because somewhere inside her, she already knows it. What she's asking for is the door, the one that leads her to a better choice. It's only gentlemanly to show the lady the door and help her walk through it, hold it for her so she needn't sully her hands. It's only polite.
Polite's just a nice way of saying "lie like a cheap rug". It ain't pretty but there it is, like an ugly little rock on the floor. Thing about that rock is that no matter how small it is, it's heavier than you could possibly imagine. Takes a strong person to pick up that rock but there's a lot of strong people. Takes someone even stronger to do something with it, whether it's to chuck that thing like it's on fire or hold it close and tight against your chest until you can feel your heartbeat thrumming up against that solid little stone.
Now, growing up, I saw a lot of people throw that chunk of ugly as far from them as they could. Hells, can't recall anyone that didn't. For a long time, I just watched. I listened. I was waiting. At the time, thinking back, I can't remember why I was waiting or what I was waiting for; that thought, that "Why?" hadn't come to me, yet. For a long time, it was like being in stasis, caught like a fly in amber. There wasn't any escape so I didn't think about that. All I thought about was the watching and the waiting and somewhere inside, I knew that I'd recognize when the waiting was done, so I didn't chafe it. Didn't live much, either, but that wasn't relevant to me.
But the whole time I waited, I saw that rock, those truths about the people around me and, hoo boy, that was the ugliest pile of rocks I ever laid eyes on. Not completely ugly, though; much like any rock, those things got layers and maybe there's some tiny crystals in there that make them shimmer under the right light, some gold that gleams like tiny eyes in the sun. I recall spotting those dirt encrusted seconds of beauty in there amidst the dirt but I can't remember the circumstances. I only recollect those shimmers.
So, I compared those ugly rocks to my own. The ugly was the same. I fought against that for a long time, wanted to throw that as far as I fucking could; even looked for a way to shoot it from a cannon, just to take it as far as possible. So, I'd throw it and I'd turn around... and that rock would be sitting there, right beside my foot, just waiting for someone else to pick it up and know all the ugly that there was to know about me.
That rock haunted me. That ugly stained me in ways that I still can't completely fathom. Contrary, though, that's my middle name and there came a time when I couldn't stand it anymore. I picked up that rock and I held it close, studied it, slept with it, fingered the hell out of it and, finally, the "Why?" occurred. So, I drilled down into that ugly little stone and put the chips under a microscope and I couldn't leave it alone.
Then, one day, for no reason at all, I asked myself if I could live with the ugly that comprised that rock. Those flecks of granite and chips of quartz, those were part of me. I could throw it to the moon but it wouldn't change it, wouldn't fix it, couldn't make it a lie. Could I come to peace with the truth despite the ugliness of it.
At the time, I couldn't make peace with that. I could not like it or live with it. So, I fought with it. Fighting a rock makes for a lot of bruise, let me tell you. Hurts like hell and leaves the ugliest burns and scars anywhere you make an impact. Didn't matter, though, because I couldn't change the face of it, couldn't do it much in the way of damage. It only damaged me to fight with that damned stone.
And the realization of my own ugly little truth, the scope of all my horrible, that made me cry. My rock was just like their rocks and it would never be pretty, or noble, or good, or right.
It would only ever be me.
So, when the time came, I made sure that my daughters knew about my rock. That they couldn't even trust me, in the end, because I have my own needs, my own wants, and they will not always coincide with or complement their own.
I taught them well and, now, they have their own rocks. And as ugly as they might be, I find them beautiful and wonderful and right.
Those are my babies, dirt and all.
But, in the end, other people don't love you because they see the rock. They love you because they see the pretty little bow wrapped around it in its happy little box. I have done an evil thing to my children because I never allowed them access to pretty bows or happy little boxes.
And how can someone ever love an ugly little rock?