I am saying goodbye now, I love you (God bless)

by dschapman

The semi-dwarf red delicious tree fell over in the windstorm and I re-planted it. I used a shovel and a spade and I protected my vulnerable fingers with gloves. In science, they are called “phalanges.” I wiggle my phalanges. In Latin, it is the digiti manus. Latin is sometimes a difficult language.

I love three things in life. My family, my dog, and civilization. I will do anything for these things. I also like God, America, apple pie, and my friends. I once had many friends. I overcame my stammer and made popular jokes. But now I do not have many friends, and those I do have are more like family. Like the dog.

But if it weren’t for civilization… I call it Rome for shorthand. I joke that I am a true Roman. A good Christian Roman like my fathers before me. “My name is Daniel Scott Chapman Uncapher. That is a good Roman name.”

But it is not a Roman name. It is a Biblical-Germanic name. That is the language of Barbarians.

They came crashing through the black forests of the mystic witches and crippled babies, smashed on rocks and buried under the floorboards of the nearest hero; vanquished, in the middle of the night, by curses slipped in through the rear.

I left the roses on their stems and plucked instead the leaves and ate them. That was the age of mercy and compassion. It was a golden reign and it lasted many short nights and short mornings.

Scared of the black-hearted demon… Scared of his wicked black nails.

And afraid of the forests, where the inbred whiskey-drinkers lay, boiling in the hot mud of the transcendental realism, portrayal of the ice-cream eaters and women of the dust realm. Is it a desert being in the shadows of the valley? Is it a watery mess?

The mischief god was always two-faced. On one face a Hun, or Kublai Khan, and on the other a soft baby-face of Rimbaud. Disgusting rape-infested mongrel, abandoned in a basket in the streets, with a jar full, absolutely full, of fingernail clippings.

The economics did not work out. If you want to conscript a man on the street to buy and deliver drugs to you, you have to be willing to pay at least a 200% premium to the man. Anything less and he has no incentive to deliver anything other than talcum powder.

I will tell you this, though, as the sun sets again in an orange flash and the purple gauze sinks in over the hills, that you are not too good for nothing. There is nothing in this world worse than you.

In my sleep, I struggled with my own wickedness. I remained convinced I was a good man, but the reality of evidence did not favor that conclusion. I did not act good; I did not perform good deeds. To perform a good deed one must leave the house. One must pursue badness and correct it. That is not something I do. Nor do I particularly think good things; I think of nothing but guilt, my own guilt, which is not an indication of goodness, but a running tally of badness. What claim can I have then to being good? Am I so honest-to-goodness truthful and good?

The only claim I can have is in non-action. If I do not proactively perform good deeds, nor do I proactively perform bad ones. I do not treat my friends in an underhanded or dishonest way, as some of them have sometimes treated me. I do not cheat on women like they do. I have no ambitions to power.

The Christian golden rule is, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” That is a very idealistic and unrealistic ethics. It is not survivable. It doesn’t exist. To do unto others is a proscription of action, and the true subscriber would be broke and homeless overnight.

The Confucian rule, however, is “Do not do unto others as you would not have others do unto you.” That is a functional ethics. It is, handily enough, the one most aligned with my own natural instincts.

But I am not a Confucian, I am a Christian. I eat the bread of the Lord and I drink his blood. I have read the words that were written in smoke, burned into the close white sky, that revealed the mysteries of revelation. And they were no mysteries, after all, but stories of life, told by naked apes with furry loins, scratching their backs with back-scratchers made out of wood and sniffing their armpits.