The other day my mother, aged 79, a Walmart greeter, told me she saw something at work that really shook her up. She said a young man with his pants half way down his ass, the blue-green ink of tattoos filling his arms, a baseball cap turned sideways on his head, was wearing a black t-shirt that across the back read: FEAR NO ONE.
My mother was struck by the message for she has been afraid her whole life, afraid of someone her entire life - her mother. My mom said, "I thought to myself after I saw that kid and his t-shirt, 'Where the hell were you 70 years ago.'"
My mother told me this as we waited for the doctor to come back into the room and tell us how much kidney function she has left. Turns out not much, but the funny thing is she really wasn't afraid of the diagnosis. She'd known for a while that she was shedding capacity and now hovered near the borderline to get on the transplant list. She had resolved before we walked in that she would not agree to a transplant and might take a pass on dialysis as well.
She chose and in the choosing had lost her fear.
* * *
The fucked, stuck life is a life of fear. We become afraid of the potential consequences of our choices and so fill our heads with worst-case scenarios, with fantasies of dissolution and in the void of choices not made, those fantasies take on flesh and become real - monsters of our own creation that could not exist if we would simply choose.
My mother's mother was a stone cold sociopathic bitch. The fear that woman instilled in her daughter stayed long after the crone finally bit the dust. It fucked my mom's life and she's struggled against it for as long as I've known her. She never broke through, but she never quit either, and now she is 79 with 20% of her kidney function left and a host of other ailments and she reads a t-shirt on the back of some wanna-be punk ass kid and she loses a portion of her fear.
The fucked life ends when you decide it ends.