May 07, 2010

The Past Is The Present

Some people never develop any coping skills. The wounds of their past never heal, scabs and scar tissue build up and momentarily halt the bleeding, but it is a temporary fix. And like all such band-aids are prone to being ripped off. Sometimes the exposure to air is good for such hurts and sometimes they remind you that the pain is never far from the surface.

Physical pain can be debilitating, but it never will hold the same sway as mental pain. Mental pain hangs over you, a banshee whose wails of pain and sorrow remind you of past failure, the scream a bitter reminder that there are times when you just didn’t get it done or that sometimes your best just wasn’t good enough.

So the question comes down to how you deal with those moments. Can you accept your shortcomings and move ahead or do you get bogged down in the what-if moments and spend time replaying the moment in your mind searching for a better outcome.

The greatest professional athletes learn how to overcome this. The Michael Jordans of the world don’t remember the shot that they didn’t make or the play that fragmented. They live in a space in which the rarified air they breathe doesn’t allow that. Supreme confidence that they will change the outcome to one that is more favorable allows them to move past the failures and they do fail.

Jordan’s dream of becoming a professional baseball player didn’t quite materialize. Only a few remember Nick Anderson stealing the ball and the eventual loss to the Magic in the playoffs. It was a momentary setback, but one that spurred more work and more effort to reclaim his spot at the top of the pyramid.

But there is a reason why the world is populated with fewer Michael Jordans and more ordinary people. Before Georgie I had been much more like Jordan able to just move on and forget. But that was the past and now I lived in a world that was not so bright, the light was much dimmer and the prospects less interesting.

I live in a place in which I yearn for instant replay, the prayers in which I beg for a referee to come out onto the field and penalize the other guy for an illegal play. A chance to gain yardage that was unfairly stolen from me. An opportunity to ignore Georgie’s advances and to take the other path.

It never happens, even in my dreams, even those moments in which she is still by my side I always witness her departure and relive her loss.

And it is all because I let myself be taken in by that asshole Georgie. Georgie who stole all that was good and holy in my life and replaced it with shit. In the fantasy books of my youth Georgie was the demon whose magic made him appear to be beautiful but to those few who could really see he was always a hideous repulsive maggot eaten mess.

The long arm of Father Time eventually wraps us all in his embrace, but it is a hug that is neither tender nor loving. The claim that time heals all wounds is a myth, it merely dulls the pain.


john cave osborne said...

i loved this. (and i do remember nick anderson stealing the ball for jordan.

double nickel didn't count, though.

that was back in the day when i thought penny was the next jordan. how wrong i was.

back to the fragment of fiction,'s strong. me likey.

Jack said...

Penny could flat out play. That guy was like a meteorite flashing across the sky of the NBA and then he...wasn't.

If you like FOF I have a whole lot more.