Idealism and romance raised me to care,
But authority raised me to be compliant and indifferent.
What forces us to conform and behave
Breaks our hearts and deadens our empathetic sentiments.
When you choose to live for love,
You’re at odds with all those who will take whatever you can give.
The Ideas you cherish like equality and justice
Only matter to them as weapons to be selectively implemented.
We take an unequal share of the world’s pain.
You can carry it as your own or you can choose to inflict it.
But the totality of human suffering
Rarely moves individuals as much as all the pursuit of satisfaction.
To us, who’re ruled by those who don’t love one another,
You’re more an idea or a number than anything like what we’d call “a life.”
You can’t lie when you’re reduced to an integer,
But you can’t assert yourself as anything worth cherishing either.
I write despite my overdue silence,
In light of my grudges and slights,
To enlighten the thoughts and emotions
I’ve reserved for my own contemplation.
Having distanced myself so thoroughly
I’ll admit my lack of comprehension
In matters I’ve never engaged in
Or only watched from my privileged shelter,
But even when I detested you,
Counting myself among your kind,
I couldn’t help empathizing
With the burdens you’re seizing under.
It’s easy to criticize your failures,
As I’m sure there will be more,
And judge you in harshest terms
For the cruelty and neglect
You imbibe in endless cycles.
I’ve wanted too much from you,
Expected things that seem trivial,
Like a respect for shared existence
And the universality of feelings.
You break hearts too easily,
And I know they can be brittle,
But I could never quite accept
Your ugly side with ease.
Your shallowness and petty conflicts
Routinely, it seems, betray innocence
So the gentle moments you all enjoy
Are wasted for inane reasons.
You neglected me as so many others,
But I know I’m not superior.
I’ve shared your burdens
And your entitled sense of indulgence,
Took things because I wanted them
And disfigured what you thought precious.
I’ve tasted the light of hate,
The bittersweetness of callus violence
Against myself and others,
And I’ve made my justifications.
As much as I’ve despised you,
Forsook your feelings in light of mine,
I never lost that vague connection
With our sublimely tragic condition.
At your best, you make me love you,
Creating your projects of passion,
Embodying your best ideals,
Making fantasy almost tangible
And creating art from your pain.
I want to love you every second,
To comfort and be comforted,
Inspire new ideas
And converse about our tragic past.
I need to feel something better,
And I know you do as well.
For our sake,
I hope you can save yourself
From the overbearing nightmare
You’re still busily creating.
I can’t hate you any longer,
But I cannot help hate your stupidity,
Or the dismissive simplifications
You project on everything you see.
Like an addict without hope,
Burning bridges just to feed
That passive will to power
Or to distance insecurities.
You could be something beautiful,
But it’s hard to picture you
Facing up to your flaws
In any meaningful way.
You could bury yourself
Alongside your egotism,
Proudly burning us to ruin
To say you died without mistakes.
If no choice is made
We could end ourselves swiftly
Without ever really perceiving
Our consciousness in its true light.
There’d be no one to tell us
We didn’t learn from our imperfections,
And the other forms of life
Wouldn’t miss us for a day.
We’ll be what we will be,
Our beautiful tragedy,
If that’s the way you want it
I’ll be here to see it pass,
But I’ll always remember,
And I’ll probably regret
The possibilities we lost
And the parts of you that I respected.