Officer Alex meditates on the futility of a life lived in fear
I’ve been visiting there lately. I would say it’s an interesting part of town, but that would be a lie. It’s not. It’s nothing. It doesn’t exist; it is the definition of where nothing is, in fact.
You would think it’s peaceful, but it’s not. You would think at the very least it was neutral, but it’s not. It’s an echo chamber, as it turns out. Every step, every whimper reverberates back to you tenfold, a thousand fold. BUT…
It gives you time to think.
One of the many things I started to think about was why I started hating the nights this column was already overdue and I couldn’t muster a word when for years, it was a joy. When I started writing this column, it was an outlet, a catharsis, therapy—and at the same time it allowed readers to get some insight on the parts of my job you’d never hear about (and therefore think about) otherwise.
It’s caused tremendous problems for me because of what I’ve said, which I expected…but now after all these years, it’s had the tremendous headache of causing problems for what I cannot say.
Control of information… it’s not control of thought, but it’s as close as some could get to such. It’s an amateur’s game to think one can control the message. It’s boxing a shadow, it’s an exercise in futility, and I’ve seen it so many times I should be bored, but the novelty of seeing it recur like a sequel to “Groundhog Day” never seems to get old. How is this not page one, line one, chapter one of every corporate manual in existence? Yet, like the persistence of people robbing banks despite their consistently failed history, decade after decade, here we are. Again.
And so why do I bore you here? Why do I waste this page space over which you are enjoying a breakfast biscuit or a cup of coffee with something that isn’t a funny story? A midnight anecdote? Perhaps a real-life nightmare I’ve witnessed that I can share, given the proximity to Halloween, to make you happy?
I’m wasting this page because I can again.
I’ve had a long summer. A long year. (Years, who am I kidding.) And I’m tired. Very…tired.
Instead of emptying my head onto paper, I just want to plug the holes and keep it from filling up again. Instead of living in hesitation of what I say and what I’m allowed to say, I’ve decided to just say it and see how close I am to the end of the tracks. Funny, to be in a profession where hesitation is literally trained out of you only to have it thrust upon you elsewhere.
“Let None Live In Fear.” Make no mistake, Constant Readers, there are all kinds of fears. All grow bitter eventually; some, however, are fixable.
My friends, if you’re afraid of controlling the message, then you need to be more afraid of what the message is, instead of who is delivering it. If you have so much to worry about—maybe you should question why, instead of who?
Fear and hesitation causes a festering. An irrational desire to have all the keys keeps your attention looking down at that ring instead of the road ahead. It shows a lack of conviction in yourself, a lack of faith, and that is apparent to others. Again: This is a fixable problem.
Break that cycle. Let it go, or all you will do is spend your time chasing fires you created yourself instead of looking ahead. People need to have confidence, not just control. And an obsession with one offsets the other, every time.
I apologize for the banality of this week’s bit, but I just needed to plant a flag in the sand for going forward so we could all see the beginning of the end more formally.
This week’s column actually started off with checking my fly in the front lobby of an Ace Hardware; let’s see if we can’t get back to that by next week?
I’m sick of being sick. Join me.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.
Photo by George Crux