You can take this to the bank: I have no interest whatsoever in stepping out from behind my cyber-curtain and revealing my true identity. I exist in the blog world as Charon’s Aide and I exist in meat-space as <YOU AIN’T GONNA FIND OUT>.
Here’s the thing. “Charon’s Aide” can be open and honest about his smoking fetish, or his “smoker’s appreciation”, or his weird sexual hang-up, or whatever you want to call it. The upside to me being open and honest is that I feel ever so slightly less ashamed of the whole business when I get to see my secrets posted on a blog. True, I’ve gotten all of eleven hits in the past thirty days; so I have no reason to fear I’ll be scandalized. Just the same, though, I want to be super-safe. After all, when I’m not making candid reflections about my obsession with tobacco I’m able to actually pass as a respectable citizen in the real world. No way I intend to blow that gig!
So here’s my dilemma: I want you to know me, but I don’t want you to know me.
Ummmm, say what?
You know, “see me, don’t see me”, I want to reveal enough to be understood — but not so much that I can be identified.
So here’s a little tidbit about my life that I’ve altered slightly in order to protect innocent ol’ me.
My marriage of nearly twenty-five years ended earlier this year and I am currently in the position of being newly single after being married for a very, very, very long time. No need to feel sad for me, no need to feel happy for me because I intend to keep as many of the details to myself as I can. I don’t want you to know enough to come to any judgment at all.
But I do want you to know that, currently, I’m an old married man, pushing sixty, who’s recently been let loose in the wild. Your good fortune is that I intend to let you in on my adventures in Bachelorland — assuming I have some.
Turns out there’s a lot involved in being married. A lot to learn, a lot to practice, a lot to remember and a lot to forget. Turns out that I actually got pretty good at doing ‘married’. The skills one needs to be a husband are many and varied; but if you learn those skills you can have a successful marriage. Not necessarily a happy marriage — but, then, if you wanted ‘happy’ you would have chosen something else to do with your life.
Anyway, I have all these skills that are essential for being married and entirely useless for anything else. Let’s put it this way, I’m not going to earn any points for remembering your birthday!
I’ve moved out of the situation of being married and I’m moving into the situation of being a marriage guru. Why shouldn’t I? I’m lugging around all this “wisdom” and “experience” and it’s doing me no good now — so I might as well put it all out on the trusty www. at that great cyber-yard sale going on now, at a web site near you. My marriage is over, so I’m going to tell you how to conduct yourself in yours. I’m not going to guarantee that anything I say is true, but I promise to deliver it with an air of authority. It’s like you’ve heard said, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
Class is in session!
Lesson One: Being married is waaaaaaay different than being single. Why? Let me tell you. When you’re single you have the option of developing relationships that actually work. I’ll even go so far as to say that a single person is capable of having functional relationships, relationships that actually benefit both partners. When you’re married you’re not going for ‘functional’. You can’t expect functional. You shouldn’t even attempt functional. “Bearable” is what you’re shooting for — and don’t get it in your head that bearable is an easy target to hit.
If you ask people why marriage is hard you’re likely to get one of two answers. If you ask a woman she’ll say, “because guys are fucked in the head”. That’s what women say, but they’re wrong! If you ask a man he’ll say, “because dames are fucked in the head”. The guys also have it wrong. Marriage is hard because human beings are fucked in the head — and when I say ‘human beings’ I mean me too. And when I say ‘human beings’ I mean YOU.
OK, here’s the good news: You can read all you want about my smoking fetish, and about my adventures as a newly single person and it won’t cost you a thing. I’m obsessed with my fetish (I mean my appreciation) so I’m thinking I’ll have plenty more posts celebrating the many joys of smoking cigarettes in the future.
So, here’s the really bad news: if you want to get lessons from the marriage guru you have to pay a tuition. It doesn’t cost any money or anything. It only costs your eternal soul. No lessons from me until you come around to seeing that you’re a first class asshole — like me — like your ex. You can keep all your money in your pocket, but you have to do a one-eighty in terms of how you see yourself.
…and if you don’t feel like lighting up a cigarette now you obviously haven’t been paying attention.
Peace and Humptiness,