Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hollow Hal

"I can't survive doing what it takes to survive."

I was lying on my beaten sofa in my usual half-stupor waiting/praying for the world to end. It was as if the weight of cinder blocks had been placed upon my chest, punishing me for breathing. My only option was to stop breathing. Still is. Afternoons are a time of pain for me and when I am at my most listless. But my hoping for peace guaranteed it not to be.

Outside I heard some sort of scuffle and some disturbing barking between various dog factions. Dogs have been in the news here recently since a roaming pack mauled a woman to death in south Dallas. That was on my mind as I caught the scuffle's aftermath. Apparently a woman from the building across the way had lost the grip on her dog's leash and it decided to tangle with Hollow Hal's two small dogs during their daily walk. Hal with his big ass bald head is definitely another lost soul trying to stay alive at fifty-five.

He proceeded to chew the woman out and would accept no apology from her. When she saw that, she got her back up too since she knew the incident was not deliberate. But Hal preferred to see it as an act of war. Of course, what he was really saying in this outburst of exaggerated anger was something else. What he really protested was that he had no one to love and no one loved him - outside of his animals, that is. Who knows, maybe his deeper frustration was that he wanted her. It was clear Hal does not live in hope.

As John Lennon would say: isn't he a bit like you and me?

Watching Hal's unjustified rant put into perspective just how hollow his life is. Those two tiny dogs are his life and he's perpetually scared shitless of losing them. Hal has checked out on life but still wants all the advantages of being here - sort of like someone who wants to drive a car but not make the payments. Like all conservatives he needs to play the victim, that he has just cause not to make the payments due. He's the kind of person who'd leave his wallet out to steal just so he can say later when it's gone that that's proof there's no point in even trying to live.

We actually struck up a conversation a couple of times. Both were unsatisfactory. First time was when I wore my "Free Pussy Riot" shirt which gave Hal license to go into his anti-Putin rant. It was one of those awkward cases where you disagree with someone who's on the same side. Hal's anti-Putinism stems from partially clinging to the need of a cold war adversary and partly from a need to have bad guys in the world on whom we can conveniently blame everything. Putin is this, Putin is that. I didn't want to hear it. I don't want to hear about Putin as the problem because Putin is not the solution.

Second time was his anti-Hollywood propaganda. Victim Hal just can't win what with the horrid movies coming out nowadays. Conservatives need enemies - the more the better and the more imaginary better still. In the demonization of his mind Hollywood slanders and lies in its films, feeling no fidelity to the facts (of course, one need only substitute "Hal" for "Hollywood" in his little diatribe to know his real truth). But this kind of argument gets under my skin and knowing I was dealing with a simpleton I baited a trap for him.

"Hey, did you ever see the movie "The Insider"?

"About the liberal media? Oh yeah, I saw that!"

Fucking moron, has to twist everything, completely missing the point. "I saw that guy Jeffrey Wigand in an interview and he said the scene at night with the guy stalking him at the golf club never happened."

"Perfect example of what I'm saying! They just make stuff up and pretend like it's true!"

"But he did say it was true." That threw him for a loop.


"Yeah, even though that exact incident never happened the feeling of being stalked did happen. It's just a storytelling mechanism to convey that. Don't have to be factual to be true."

"Well...I'll just stick to the facts. Sounds like liberal talk to me."

Then Hal sulked away realizing he hadn't found a fellow warrior in his battle against life after all. You can smell his loneliness a mile away, the bitterness of self-sabotage as he refuses the gifts of life. Hollow Hal's tortured rationalizations are common to hear in these parts. How to be perceived as moral while defending the indefensible? He avoids eye contact with me now which is fine by me. Let Jesus go among the sinners, I'm not that strong.

And as I said before, isn't Hal a bit like you and me?

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