In junior high, I read a novel called The Power by Frank M. Robinson. I remember the basic plot (a man who discovers one of his coworkers has psychic powers) but what sticks out in my mind is a poem on the first page.
You remind me of a man
– What man?
The man with the power
– What power?
The power of hoo doo.
Remind me of a man.
The man with the power …*
That little conversational echo was ricocheting around my cranial cavity today. I’m not sure why a poem in a book I read over 25 years ago (and the book was almost 25 years old when I read it) would be toying with me today. As I recall, the protagonist is the one who actually has the psychic powers but doesn’t understand what is happening to him.
I’ve noticed that theme a lot recently – and maybe that’s why I thought of that book today. I can’t get through an hour of work without someone complaining about something. Usually it’s the Shrew, whining that our work policies change too rapidly. Or that her kids don’t call. Or that gas prices are too high. And she isn’t really upset about any of those things specifically – she is simply unhappy and she doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t have the capability of giving herself an honest look in the mirror, either. The Shrew told Bosshole that she thinks I’m going off the deep end again. How do you tell someone, “It’s not me, it’s you“? Next week I will be stuck in a meeting with her – a meeting about communication. I’m not sure I can refrain from communicating exactly how I feel.
It happens in the blogosphere, too. There’s been an endlessly entertaining supply of drama lately. A butterfly in New Zealand flaps its wings and a blog in Omaha deletes itself. The novelty of an online community, where people become BFF’s (for realz!) and share their deepest fears and gossip viciously about other people, lost its appeal for me in the 90’s. I went through all of that with AOL chatrooms – where a man posed as a woman for an entire year and fooled everyone (including me). The same place where I met my first ex and then the NY Ex and Kendra. The same chatroom where one woman faked multiple personality disorder and two others faked cancer; where U-haul lesbians got their real start. With blogs, we have more opportunity to reach more people with whatever words and attitudes we feel like putting out there. More and more, I’m liking what I’m reading less and less.
I’m not going to start the old “I blog for myself” argument because it simply isn’t (entirely) true. I have a journal that is mine and mine alone. What goes there does not always go here. I want people to read the blog and I want people to like it. I want it to be interesting. The things I write here have been filtered through my inner comfort zone and are safe for mass consumption, but the masses aren’t consuming it. Is it because I keep most of my train-wreck emotional baggage in my journal and not here, where it could be deemed “interesting”? I have a list of blogs that I read just so I can feel morally superior. It’s a terrible thing to admit, but it is completely true. Lots of people love those blogs and I feel like I’m the only person who reads it and yells “Oh, bullshit! Get over it!” at the computer.
It isn’t just blogs, though. My friend Griggs always has some major drama going in her life. It’s never something simple – it’s always some heart-breaking, soul-shaking problem. The thing is, she never gets to the real issue. I’m not even sure she sees it. Last night she was telling me she doesn’t feel secure at work because her boss didn’t return an email and he always responds promptly. I told her to stop being so paranoid, that not everything was a harbinger of doom. She said, “Yeah I know. Hey, I gotta go. See you later.” Yeah. See ya.
Power, power, I’ve got the power. I don’t want to feel that I’m not in control of my life. The choices I’ve made every day for the last forty-one years have brought me to this place. It isn’t fair to blame anyone else for the state of my life.
Although I’m sure some of it is probably RW’s fault.
*I just discovered this was actually a bit from a Sidney Sheldon play. Which makes me love it even more, because Sidney Sheldon ROCKED. Not sure if I quoted it correctly because I can’t find the actual scene, but it’s as close as I recall – and good enough for my purposes here.