At the risk of sounding maudlin

In recent weeks, I’ve been going through something of an existential crisis. Par for the course, of course (of course), but pretty dire nonetheless. The best way I can describe it is that it’s akin to the sequence in High Fidelity (the movie, not the book), where Rob (John Cusack’s character) finds himself trying to figure out where things went so horribly wrong and why.

Note to self: High Fidelity (the movie, not the book) is probably not the best model to emulate when suffering a bout of emotional instability, because (a) there are some things you’re probably better off not knowing; and (b) being damned with faint praise is the surest way to send the remains of your self-esteem careening over the edge. Accept no substitutes.

As to the “why”, it basically comes down to this:
It's always Batman on his sodding elephant, isn't it?
In similar circumstances, my former lover once wrote:

Interesting how inadequate language can be, when you’re looking for a little meaning
source

Maybe so, but sometimes I find that language sticks the knife in and twists it. Language can be a bit of a bastard that way.

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28 thoughts on “At the risk of sounding maudlin

  1. My mom is the best at damning with faint praise. It’s evil. When she met my beautiful sister-in-law, she said, “She’s okay. She has bad skin.”

    I hope you feel better. Maybe you should watch The Wizard of Oz or something. Sound of Music? Something inanely cheerful.

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  2. Listen, High Fidelity is a work of fiction. It’s a bad source to find ballast. But you already knew that, yes. Language sticks the knife it and it can just as easily pull it out.

    My favorite part of The Sound of Music is when the Mother Superior asks Julie Andrews, “What is it you can’t face?” Because with that clipped British accent, it sounds like she’s saying, “What is it, you cunt face?”

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  3. in one of my rare arguments with my ex-husband (maybe 3 fights in 25 years), i was flailing about in the kitchen, ranting and bitching over something while he just watched me – i was on “auto-pilot”, as he called it… broke a bowl in the sink (because i was rational enough to know that i didn’t wat glass shards all over and sticking in feet and stuff). he asked calmly “do you feel better?” – and the answer was “no.”

    love me, hate me, show me something. anything. say something with passion. the words aren’t important… it still took me about 10 more years to leave.

    indifference kills. slowly, or quickly? i figure that’s the choice we all make… because it always ends.

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    • Kyk, I disagree with “a) there are some things you’re probably better off not knowing” . Now is probably not the best time to hear the cold brutally honest truth, but it certainly worth knowing at some stage. So we’re not doomed to repeat our mistakes. So we can grow and move on. Otherwise, you’ll just keep exhausting yourself with “what if” scenarios and frankly all that does is make you and insomniac. Don’t be so hard on yourself. These things take time.

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  4. Yes, I agree, language can be very pointy indeed, esp when its like what is in your comic – hard to dodge the knife edge of those words, I find them especially sharp when I point them at myself….
    I feel somewhat kindred towards you in that I too feel, what I shall call, a touch crazy, and I am reading High Fidelity at the moment!

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  5. That’s it. I am inviting you over for naked hour at our office. Thursday, between 3 and 4pm.

    i’ll show YOU horribly wrong 🙂

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  6. Yup, faint praise is a bugger. But indifference is worse.

    Hang on, I’ll try some non-faint praise: that cartoon is really, really funny.

    Would the “Bat-o- Elephant” have flames shooting out of its arse? The car did.

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  7. The silence is horrible but beaten by far with non-descriptive insincere words.
    The “why” is always the other persons “why” but it won’t be the same for the next person. We are all different and view things differently. I had to point out quite a bit at the start of our marriage to quit comparing what I say to the ex’s words. she was/is unstable and at times just plain evil.
    Luckily, we both knew why our marriages ended so there were no “why” questions left.
    please post pics of the Bataphant with flames.

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  8. Figuring out where things went so horribly wrong and why has an upside(s). The obvious: coming to terms with what happened and gaining closure. The less obvious: figuring out the wrong is a roundabout yet effective way of discovering the right. Or the right that you one day hope to find. Also, after being mired in the wrong, you’ll appreciate the right all the more when it comes along.

    Also, have you considered getting a cat? You ought to get a cat(s). You’ll never get faint praise from a feline.

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