The Smart-Ass Karamazov Brother

[ This entry originated » here. ]

» A Smart Motherfucker

I am a smart motherfucker myself .. without even trying to be. My dad told me at least a million times while I was growing up, "Dont be smart."

What he really meant was, "Dont be a smart-ass."

I could definitely be a smart ass. (Because I am so smart.) No doubt about it. Being a smart-ass is part of what got me into trouble with the captain.

Because I am not afraid to toe-up with authority figures when they are fucking up. Particularly when their fucking up is affecting me or mine.

Or did he really not want me to be smart?

My dad was smart, but not educated. My mom told me, "I married your father because he was smart and because he had good teeth."

» Dad vs Fyodor Karamazov

I can confirm that he was smart, but only in a Fyodor Karamazov sort-of-way.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

Pops invested nothing in his own education, so I guess it shouldnt have surprised me that he invested nothing in mine.

Au contraire .. and here I have stories. You cannot imagine.

The Brothers Karamazov (1881) by Fyodor Dostoevsky Everyman's Library translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa VolokhonskyPerhaps this is why the Brothers speak to me so deeply.

With the Brothers, it felt like this was written just for me.

And this is one of the reasons why Dostoevsky's writing stands out.

That is not easy to do ..

.. writing such that your writing seems personally written to many people.

To many different people.

» A Love Letter?

But with my writing for Ariana .. this is indeed just for her.

[ Or is it? I mean, I write different things to different people.

Because different people elicit and evoke different aspects of my personality. You know how I am. ]

Pops obviously saw little value in education. He never asked me, "Is your homework done?" Not even one time.

Perhaps this was because he didnt really care if my homework was done or not.

When mom died, he told bro, "You're on your own with medical school."

I would put Pops up against Fyodor Karamazov any day. I am sure he would hold his own in all matters related to familial dysfunction. Very confident.

In real-life Fyodor Dostoevsky's father was a doctor. Tho the profession did not pay very well in nineteenth century Russia.

Today is the day that Dostoevsky died. This page is my own little humble tribute to the Russian whom I respect and admire. You know.

» I Never Saw Him Reading a Book .. Ever

Speaking of Fyodor Karamazov .. did I ever tell you, Katie, that I never saw my dad reading a book. Ever. Not even one time.

I'm sure that he must have read a book at some point in his life .. but I never saw it happen. Not even one time.

I do not mean to say that I never saw him reading a whole, entire novel. No, ma'am. Rather I mean to say that I never once saw him, even for the briefest moment, reading a book. (Of any kind.)

If he were still alive, he would probably tell you that he was too busy fixing all the shit that my brother and I broke. But unfortunately he isnt.

Mom read all the time. She was the library queen. Perhaps this why they grew apart. Perhaps mom continued to grow and expand her world. And dad didnt.

Do you feel that reading books provides the reader with a world-expanding experience? Was Columbia a life-expanding experience for you? What do you think about my observations of the Dog, pre- vs post-Columbia?

What kind of life-of-the-mind can a person have without ever reading a book?

» She has Good Reason to be Worried

See .. when my gay roommate said that my mom is worried sick about me .. she has good reason to be worried.

And now that I have left home .. and I am out on my own .. and she is left there with dad .. she is beginning to see that she and dad are a big part of the reason for that worry.

» Meddling like a Motherfucker

Oh, I could so go to meddling here. I could get into some world-class meddling right here. Olympic-grade meddling. Dont tempt me.

The day I left home .. the morning that the recruiter came to get me .. I felt like I'd died and went to heaven.

It was a cold, gray, drizzly, nasty day in late November. Weather-wise. But for me, the sun never stopped shining. The birds never stopped singing. I was in love with life again.

It shouldnt have made me so happy to see my parents in the rearview mirror. But it did.

It felt like two giant, emotionally oppressive weights had been lifted off my back. You cannot possibly imagine how good this felt for me.

I felt no emotional warmth from them during those last few years .. only judgmental nagging and constantly complaining criticism .. about nearly everything I did and even things I didnt do .. things that they said I should have done but didnt.

They were trying their best to drag me down to their level .. their miserable level. It almost worked. Because they were so dedicated and committed to their objective. But not quite.

No one will say that they didnt try. Certainly not me. For years they tried. Give them credit for their effort.

Plus, I had beat Lance in a game of one-on-one .. so I knew that I was ready for anything. I couldnt wait to leave.

My brother actually gave me shit .. much later, saying that he felt I had abandoned him, and left him to fend for himself when I left for the Navy.

He did not couch it in exactly these terms, but that's what he meant.

I feel confident saying that the folks treated him better than they treated me. I paved much of the way for him. And fuck if I wasnt a smart-ass while I was paving that pathway out.

My mom was an eldest child, like me. I think this was why it was easier for me to relate to her in some ways.

Dad was the baby, like bro. I think that this may be why he favored bro over me.

"You're older," he told me countless times, "You should know better."

(Tho pops did not like it one bit when I fed him a spoonful of his own shit. He hung up on me. *Click.* "Hello? Dad? No sense of humor, that man." )

When I was there, I was the object and the focus of all their unhappiness and their frustrations with their lives.

This obviously changed when I left. It's a long story. And not a very pretty one, either .. I'm sad to say.

» Not Motivated as They Expected You to Be

There is a passage in Matthew where Jesus is quoted as saying »

To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children and say, "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance. We sang a dirge, and you did not mourn."

See .. what he is saying here is that this particular generation tried to motivate others to do certain things .. but the others did not respond as they had expected them to.

I could totally see my parents trying to motivate me to do certain things. But all the while I am thinking, "They have no clue as to who I am." ..  because they were using the things that would MOTIVATE THEM.

But I am not them. Rather, I am me. And even before I really knew what I wanted .. I knew what I didnt want. I didnt want to be like my parents.

They are simply projecting on to me their own motivations .. the ones that must have arisen out of the hollow values that they acquired from growing up in their post-depression environment.

If they would have asked, then I would have gladly told them who I was and what things I valued and what things motivated me, and inspired me.

But they never did.

» Disappointed that You Dont Share their Hollow Values

It surprised and disappointed the people of Jesus' generation that he and his followers were not motivated by the things that motivated that generation.

I could see the hollowness in my parents' values, and I'm sure that Jesus could see the hollowness in the values of that generation.

I never saw my dad read a book .. ever. Not even one time. Not even for the briefest period. Not even momentarily. Not even by accident.

This speaks to dad's values .. does it not? Because actions always speak loudest. Notice how Jesus concludes this section by saying » "Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."

Deeds are actions. Deeds are things you do .. or, things that you do instead of other things that you dont do.

Some actions are obviously wiser to do than others. Some deeds, such as smoking and drinking to excess, for example, are generally considered unwise things to do.

The passage goes on to say (paraphrasing), "If you dont respond to their promptings and to their motivations .. as they expect you to .. because you dont share their hollow values .. then they are going to have a problem with you .. no matter what you do."

"He has a demon," or "He's a glutton and a drunk."

See if you cant find my paraphrase in there.

I could so get to meddling like a motherfucker here. So I should probably quit.

But it's not really meddling when it's your own family .. is it?

» Dostoevsky's Relationship with his Own Father (the Doctor)

Let me just say this one thing .. if I may .. which deals with Dostoevsky's dad. His father. I may have already mentioned this somewhere.

But instead of talking off the top of my head .. I should probably go get the exact passage.

There are certain places, certain things, certain topics, certain themes .. where you dont want to get off the path that has already been laid. The pre-established path.

I can feel myself waxing abstract. 

See .. sometimes I will read things about certain writers .. about the lives of certain writers. And sometimes I will read something that parallels something in my own life .. something that speaks to something in my own life.

Something that I may not even have been consciously aware of. When this type of thing happens .. it is like stepping onto a roller coaster.

And somewhere along the way, the thought usually comes to me .. that another human being has been where I have been .. as fucked up as that place might have been.

This sort of experience makes you feel simpatico with these people. And then, without even trying, I can hear my heart cry, "Thank God for this person."

I never did tell you this thing about Dostoevsky and his relationship with his dad. I can feel an element of distraction at play .. because this is dangerous place to go .. if you happen to step off the path.

(You wanna come, girly? I dont want to hear you squealing like girl .. because you are so scared.)

The end. ■

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on February 9, 2017 2:09 PM.

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