Life is too short to pretend you’re anything but who you are. When you’re lying on your death bed, to quote Marianne Williamson, you don’t want to say…gee, I missed it.
I have a former friend in the closet, not my favorite term, who’s so unhappy his tears leave a trail. Mathew, I’ll call him, whose unhappiness reached such a degree, friendship was no longer an option.
A man in his 50s, close to his family, he’s never been able to be who he is. I think, if your parents, siblings and friends truly love you, if you brought home a gorilla, they’d all still happily throw rice.
Is it Pollyanna talking, or someone who sees what’s important, and gender where true love’s concerned, just isn’t it.
I miss Mathew, who’s the sweetest, funniest, kindest person on the planet. Whenever I was blue, he’d show up like one of the Marx Brothers doing whatever it took to make me laugh.
Once in a money crisis he came with a brown paper bag full of cash. “It was under my bed,” he said, “for a rainy day, and today it’s pouring.”
He never forgot me at Christmas or on my birthday even thought he forgot himself most of the time.
I’d watch him self-inflict punishment for the silliest thing knowing it was senseless shame administering those lashes.
I could never tell him, knowing he’d cringe, to stand and preen in his truth, even if the colors were different from those he knew.
I certainly am not standard, often called an oddball, introvert, anomaly and nut sired from my mother’s famous phrase…where did I get you from…if I didn’t have these veins from having you, I’d swear you were adopted.
Yes, according to Mom, P.T. Barnum would have happily hired me for his freak show.
But so what if I’m not conventional. So what if Mathew marches to a different drummer, our innate goodness is what counts, how we treat others…the mark we leave on the world.
Not to be trite, but this isn’t a dress rehearsal. To forfeit one’s happiness for the sake of the comfort of others won’t serve you at life’s end.
Truth, honesty, love rising from your socks, is the legacy you want to leave, for yourself and all those who’ve known you.
When you take that last breath, you don’t want to say…gee, I fucking missed it.