We must bear all

There it is, as the Emperor said in Amadeus. I will make requests that are disregarded and ignored concerning family affairs. I am “the one who did not show up at his father’s funeral” because it’s now a moral fault to not have a Visa card or to send hypercorrect emails requesting that a gift be treated as a loan so I could make it back in time.

However, I need “restraint of tongue and pen” in this matter. What I said in “A Note on the Mercy of the Night” here in this blog still applies. What John Bunyan said in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners still applies: I must venture you all with God.

Edward Said said it best. One can choose to be a disobliging old gentleman, to write music like the Grosse Fuge or Four Last Songs, as long as one is willing to put up with incomprehension.

I do expect too much of people. I’m like Miranda, o brave new world, that has such people in it. I thought my fellow students at Roosevelt to be budding geniuses. I thought my wife a queen who would be recognized and celebrated as such as an actress and writer.

I’m like the guy in that song Black Ribbon Band. You put your hair in a black ribbon band, or wear a simple circlet ’round your head and I’m putty in your hands. To me you’re the queen of the land, and next thing I’m transported to Australia ’cause you’ve made me an accessory, ba da bing.

So come all you jolly young fellows
A warning take by me
When you are out on the town me lads,
Beware of them pretty colleens
For they feed you with strong drink,
‘Til you are unable to stand
And the very next thing that you’ll know
Is you’ve landed in Van Diemens Land

Her eyes they shone like diamonds
I thought her the queen of the land
And her hair it hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band

Perhaps I expect too much of myself. My IQ? 120. I find Mensa people creepy: I find people acknowledged as “highly intelligent”, especially in my former profession of software, to be mostly thugs with cash registers instead of hearts.

And there it is. In a society of anger so free-floating, like the plastic that gyres in the Pacific consisting of all the crap we’ve thrown away, people will insist on laying “our debts, our careful wives, our children rawly left” upon the King, or his mirror isomorph, the scapegoat.

“We must bear all: o hard condition” (Shakespeare Henry V).


One Response to “We must bear all”

  1. spinoza1111 Says:

    Looking over this two years on from the perspective of the death of my son and my cancer, I find this spot on. Nobody thought that because I had a legacy coming my travel could be subsidized from my share, so as usual I struggled by myself to find money and a flight.

    I’d just spent 8 months working for next to nothing in Tin Shui Wai where it costs 44 hong kong dollars to get there. And because I worked hard and showed up at the Sheung Heung Pak Rural Community School, I received, just before Dad died, a 7 thousand HK dollar bonus which seemed like all the money in the world…since somehow I kept on paying my helper, who really needed a “paycheck” (transfer, of course) for her hard work, and made the rent on time.

    Pounding *Tous les Jours* to work, past the sculpture of Mao as a baby in the TSW MTR station, to rehearsals, to extra film gigs which somehow would come up just as I would despair of getting thru the month.

    But even the bonus couldn’t cover a flight since by the time Dad died I’d already spent part of it, whether in buying books and things I wanted, or in paying debts, I cannot remember…knowing me it was probably the former.

    I finally was loand 5K by a reporter friend but by that time the only available flight was by way of Havana using Aeroflot and it arrived an hour too late.

    On the Saturday before Dad’s Monday funeral, I resolved to go to the airport and trust to luck, but as I was getting the money out of my ATM, a blonde showed with whom I was playwriting and with whom I had costarred in Glengarry, so I said, the hell with this misery and unhappiness and guilt. Nobody wants me there I won’t go.

    I instead called my son later that day and instructed him to represent me and our branch with dignity and he complied. And when HE died so untimely (unlike my father) I got on a flight to be next to him at the funeral and to sing the William of Nassau song once more. That flight gave me a serious case of deep vein thrombosis and caused my hospitalization which continues now.

    I’d hoped to use the visit to see my new grand-daughters but my surviving son nixed this in a way that seems cold and unfeeling only because of the pressure of great feelings in his heart. I had to see Peter’s point.

    There was a drowning man who was offered chocolate cake and he said why on EARTH are you or the Devil offering me chocolate cake when I so obviously require a Coast Guard helicopter and some stout lads to haul me up to life?

    Now watch out for the funny punch line here…

    And a Voice said unto him (the drowning man, dammit, who else) oh you are the Drowning Man? I thought the Cake Weirdo was first. I’ll get the Coast Guard…oops, sorry, there you go, down, Oh well.

    Funny, right? Well, not really.

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