Thomm Quackenbush, author

Abdication | 2009 | I Want to Believe

08.04.09 12:43 p.m.

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.  

-Rainer Maria Rilke

 


Dragonslaying

Grr  
"Your plebeian pedestrianization should vociferously annul any preceding inequity in my deportment, bitch."

I hate with a startling passion you emotional conmen (and women) that seem to infest most every life. You make overwrought confessions where each adjective is run through a thesaurus twice in an effort to show how repentant you are, how truly in love you are, how elevated you are.

Should one actually have a reaction, you act like it was a joke or that you were misinterpreted and misquoted. It is just to screw with the other person, to exercise what limited power you believe they have in the world. You are effete, trapped in your legendary status that doesn't extend beyond your nose, but find it impossible to own up to the fact.

How dare you do this? How dare you think this is appropriate behavior? And, worse, you get away with it more often than not. You can't tell someone you've always been in love with them, that they are all you've ever wanted, and forget to mention how little this matters to you. You do not get to make that confession to someone going through her own problems, you don't get to use her heart like a hacky sack because you are having not-so-secret second thoughts. I'm sure you feel it is important to confess your eternal love, but you should at least have the moral integrity to add, "but I have a girlfriend whom I love more and to whom I am supposedly committed." That should not be the surprise for her tentative reciprocation.

I have encountered a recent succession of you people who mask your true emotions, mask your insecurities, behind lies and sophistry, behind rhetorical tricks meant to aggrandize. You think that pretending at depth will fool anyone for more than a moment, you think convoluted and improbable stories will shield you from lackluster thoughts, that you will be forgiven for your multifarious sins because you managed to confuse the other party with gibberish. You fear the basic truth that you will be revealed as a fraud.

If you're so damned repentant, prostrate yourself. Apologize honestly and simply, not by making a verbose show. Do not make any effort to make yourself look good for the apology. Were you good, you wouldn't need the apology, and you do. You don't deserve the time it takes for her to read your tripe.
Xen and a dragon  
Away, conman!

Sorry things are not going well in your life because the people you were leeching off finally got tired of your games. Sorry that people are seeing through you, but that doesn't give you the right to recruit people who are rightly finished with your having any influence. You do not have any right to the lives of others because yours is vacant, because you are so empty behind your shell of artifice.

That does not mean that I have pity. This is the path you chose and you are justly served. You chose every chain that now drags you down, handpicked it because you thought it was a perfect accessory. You chose to disappoint. Realizing what a lousy life you have because you have been such a prick to lovely people constitutes an apology to absolutely no one. This is not your rock bottom and the most compassionate thing that can happen is for you to be left with the onus of your actions. You need to come to realize what it takes to be a human being and not some fanged annelid, exploiting anyone because you think you are the top of the food chain. Actually stand on your own feet instead of leaning on every crutch, instead of vomiting philosophy as though Nietzsche excuses how pathetic you are.

I know that you get the occasional reinforcement, through attention or sex, before the other party wises up. You are slow to learn from the negative reinforcement piled on top of you, blaming any outcome that doesn't go your way on anyone and everyone. You remember only that it worked for a few moments, long enough to get what you want. You will use that minute and a half to harass for affection up to a decade after the other person has moved on. And you will carve epithets about them into bathroom stalls when they continue to reject or ignore you rather than endure a moment of honest introspection.

Part of it is that I am a writer and American popular media; I can't stand the bad guy winning. In my world, the princess doesn't forsake princes because dragons are more convenient or what she is used to. The princess takes up the sword and slays you reptilian creeps, because you exist only to be overcome. No matter how many times the princess waits a little longer - because maybe you means it this time, because maybe she can put up with your lies and manipulations a little longer because there is likely a man somewhere under all to falseness - you will lose and, hopefully, you will begin to see how much you are losing.

Soon in Xenology: Aliens

last watched: Kinsey
reading: Henry and June
listening: Kathryn Williams

Abdication | 2009 | I Want to Believe

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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