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  • hardie karges 11:52 am on October 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Family, friends,   

    My friends are my family, 

    unfettered by ties of blood and other quirks of fate that can’t be undone. My friends are the family I choose, not the family that begat me. The family that begat me doesn’t always get me, yet they themselves are different aspects of me in the flesh, the same DNA spun up into three different forms, the same cards dealt three different ways. My true friends would do any thing in the world to help me, because they know I’d never ask it of them. My nuclear family is a time bomb waiting to blow, the tracks of blood mute testimony to the struggle for a happy family, just like the wall-hanging asks God for. False friends are the people who hold you back, wrapping you in a fuzzy pink shawl of comfort and mediocrity, village communism, the leveling influence of jealousy, all attempts to break ranks brought tumbling down by the jeers of the crowd screaming for blood. Any excess of income must be balanced by excess outgo to placate the judgments of the losers. Any excess of confidence must be subjected to the doubts of the naysayers. They wrap you up in all their expectations and smother you. They prick you gently in the softest point in your thick hide and proceed to castrate you, essential to proper domestication of the wild species. To get ahead, you gotta’ leave others behind. If you slow down to let them keep up, they’ll just slow down further until no one goes anywhere, village communism. Welcome to the third world.

  • hardie karges 8:37 am on September 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Family, ,   

    Sex runs in the family. 

    The love you feel for a parent and the love you feel for a spouse is the same, giving new meaning to the term ‘motherfucker’. There’s nothing dirty about it, unless you actually go through with it, of course. Then it’s pathetic and disgusting and punishable by law. Maybe the memory of suckling at mother’s breast is always there, exerting an influence the psychological equivalent of gravity. Most memories do. I know I wish I could forget some things. The love you feel for your wife is the same as the love you feel for your mother, obligation that is, unless of course, one of you breaks it off. My mother disowned me, for murky reasons that would never hold up in a court of law. The punishment hardly fit the crime. She died about six months later. I always thought that I willed that to happen, flattering myself, obviously, to imagine that I have that kind of power. Now I realize that her failing health is what made her so hateful in the first place. She was always borderline resentful, of what I don’t know, probably my freedom. Almost all the women in my life have been. The approaching end pushed her over. No matter how much she resented my freedom, she acknowledged my responsibility. When her father was senile and unable to care for himself, I got the call to care for him when my own father was unavailable. She knew whom she could trust, even if she was incapable of true love. Love gets lost in the shuffle of a stacked deck, a rigged game, a foregone conclusion. The last words of a dying man or woman are seldom repentant, much less inspiring. They specialize in denial. Death ain’t pretty except for the newborn for whom this world of biology is the dark side with its eternal struggle. The need for closure tends to close everything in its wake regardless of truth or consequence. I love them all, despite it all, someone else’s mothers, someone else’s kids.

  • hardie karges 1:29 pm on September 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Family, ,   

    In most species the male splits and lets the female(s) raise the kids. 

    Maybe this is not such a bad system after all, assuming, of course, that the male kicks in a big chunk of support, enough to compensate the female for her efforts, also. In the state of Nature, they don’t, of course. If the male and female can still love each other in this process, then so much the better. If not, then what’s the point anyway? Maybe too much emphasis is put on the ‘nuclear family’ and its many faults and failures, a rarity these days in countries where there’s a choice. Certainly no better is the broken family where children make rounds like the morning milkman. The lower the food supply, the more that animals seem to remain monogamous, and the male will help in exchange for the opportunity to drop his genes. When food is plentiful, fewer males are needed, and tend to kill each other for the chance to ham the harem. This phenomenon seems to apply even when a wild species becomes domesticated. The number of males and females seems to always be equal at birth, some sort of genetic law, the law of averages, the law of large numbers.

  • hardie karges 7:45 am on August 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Family, ,   

    Asians love the past 

    and the things they have no control over, like family, DNA. Asia loves the past, and so tries to bury it under fresh concrete. The things you love are a heavy burden; they hold you back. Westerners love the future, freedom, and choice. So we preserve the past in art and architecture; otherwise we’d have none. Our families are scattered and strewn, battered and blown, by dare and design, by work and quirk. The reasons don’t always rhyme. My wife Tang doesn’t understand that we don’t have ‘homelands’, a place of birth with an extensive nuclear family radiating outward. Hell, we don’t even have a word for it. It took me ten minutes to think of ‘homeland’ and now I feel like an apartheid sympathizer. The only thing radiating outward from our nuclear families is fallout. The only part of the US that’s similar is the Deep South, with its second and third cousins twice removed. In Thailand it’s not just feudal; it’s Biblical. A few years ago before Thailand got fully off its butt and on to its computerized system, everyone had to go back ‘home’ to vote, that is, back to from where they came, like Joseph and Mary going home for Christmas, riding a donkey, carrying somebody else’s baby.

  • hardie karges 8:49 am on July 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Family,   

    Thank God for other people’s parents and kids, 

    families made to order and marriages of inconvenience. If I had to start from scratch, I might just change my mind. The itch is strong, but it doesn’t last too long. An empty table might be like looking at a plate too full for eating, a battle too long for fighting. Before it’s over, you forgot why you were there in the first place. One way or another we make ends meet, odds and ends meeting in lines and bars and open spaces, under covers and dirty drawers and filthy files. The world has a life of its own, born in a swirl of open equations and feeding on the dreams of its spurious offspring. We patch things together the best we can, a quilt born of necessity, cozy and warm and infinitely expandable. Male and female find each other with biological radar, hormones and pheromones mixing and mingling on the dance floor. The smell of future sex wafts outward on wobbly legs and uncertain feet, soon cracking the code and catching the rhythm, doing the latest steps without effort nor affectation, a honeybee revealing the source of available nectar. Don’t look down when you’re learning to fly.

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