Thomm Quackenbush, author

Creativity Without Discipline | 2009 | Dragonslaying

07.25.09 4:26 p.m.

It's important the people should know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for.  

-Mary H. Waldrip

 


Abdication

Xen  
Most of you don't disappoint me... much

I have handled disappointment badly, particularly when I've ascribed divinity to those who daily struggle even to remain human. I am through with being embarrassed by people with whom I surround myself, though I accept the majority of the onus, since they are only in my life by my implicit consent. I do not want the derision in my lover's eyes when she asks why I continue to put up with needless drama, why I let myself bear the guilt by proxy.

We change in subtle ways as we grow into the people we want to be. I can't imagine the social congruence at thirteen being applicable now, which is why I am a stranger to those who once seemed crucial, those who pledged lifelong devotion when they couldn't even settled on who they would be next month. There is a virtue in letting go, in making space for the people who belong in your life now. I clung too long to those who had better things to do than continue in my esteem and, perhaps, missed out on those who would lead me through the paths I most needed to explore; I looked to long at and retraced dead ends. It is not a mistake I care to make again. If someone remains in my life, it will be because I explicitly want them to be there and that there is an excellent reason we are friends still. It will not be out of pity or obligation, that they brightened high school afternoons and are thus owed my continued loyalty when the social debt is long since void. At the very least, I have been dragging along the baggage of an incarnation of myself with whom I no longer share a single cell, which is fair to no one.

There is no sin or shame in finally letting go of the weights you once thought anchored you and which now only drag you down with them, though I prefer other have the intellectual honesty to express that this is what they are doing. I have known people to announce they are done with a friendship and never actually get around to telling the aforementioned that they are an ex, which I find both dirty and cowardly. We live in an age of utter connectedness and impersonality and I can't really forgive not having the gumption to let people know to their faces how you feel. (This, incidentally, is not what I am doing here; I'm only musing.) Then, years hence, the former friend notes the distance and finally gets the crass laundry list of closure they were owed long ago. I've been there, unwittingly spurned by a friend because I went through a bad breakup and didn't serve as her proxy in vengeance. At least, though I found the reasoning asinine, I didn't have to wonder why this woman abandoned me without a word, like several others have.

Still, if people want to slam doors and leave my life with a flourish, they are going to be sorely let if they expect me to chase after them. I'd much rather spend my energy in playing games I like than perpetual hide-and-seek and tag.

Soon in Xenology: Bad boys

last watched: Les Poupées Russes
reading: Henry and June
listening: Yann Tiersen

Creativity Without Discipline | 2009 | Dragonslaying

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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