For the past week and a half I’ve been helping my dad with driving and rental property renovations in the Bay Area. We managed, in a rare mercy, to get through the entire trip without any excruciating formal conversations about what in fuck’s name I’m doing with my life and related subjects. This was to my great relief. The only current concern my dad expressed during this trip was about the viability of my planned trip back to Joe Dirtbag’s farm for another round of productive citizenship for little bitches in agriculture. It didn’t inspire him to great wringing of hands, but he mentioned it briefly as I saw him off at SFO before starting back towards Ren–oh, say, this train just went straight instead of left on the way out of Martinez. How about that.
Anyway, he told me that he’s planning to call Joe Dirtbag to let him know that I’m on my way up there from what I’ve been referring to as Reno. Heh. Nice palms there in Reno. Nice Fresno Yosemite International Airport, too. All I had to do was make up a mostly true story about how I actually like Greyhound, and there wasn’t any trouble over where the hell I was biding my time for the few days immediately before I came to Fairfield. If that fucking flimflamming dipshit who drove us from Stockton to Sacramento hadn’t spent the first fifteen minutes fucking around, I might not have even needed to modify the story for why I missed the 3:35 train.
I didn’t come to any grief over that bit of helicopter parenting, but trouble with Joe Dirtbag remains just beyond the horizon, ready to crash into my world again without notice at any moment, and my dad and I both know it. Another entreaty from my dad to Joe Dirtbag for decency and self-control towards me may backfire, but that’s just because there’s no way in hell to predict how he’ll react to anything. Applied reverse psychology doesn’t consistently work on him, either. Sometimes he feels like being decent and appropriate, and sometimes he feels like being an out-of-control creep.
Maybe he gets some sort of sadistic rush from being able to provoke me into disappearing without a direct word to him on the subject. As if I care. I don’t do that for him; I do it for my own welfare. Like hell I’ll talk to him about how he can behave more appropriately around me. That would be more entanglement and trouble than just up and leaving. It might merely serve to give him more specific ideas about how to abuse me in the future. More to the point, he’s one of the more socially astute people I’ve known, not less. Counseling the psychotic or the autistic about social graces might work, if they’re interested in improving themselves and their interpersonal relationships. Counseling a person of exceptional social competence who chooses to be a filthy shithead is madness and moral hazard. Warnings don’t work with someone like him. He’ll probably just figure, teehee, I pissed the overly sensitive little bitch off, cool shit that I jerked his chain so hard.
When that sort of behavior erupts yet again, the only solution is to cut off access indefinitely. If my parents weren’t willing to mediate the suspension of contact, I’d have the police enforce it, just as I was prepared to have the police address Joe Dirtbag’s drinking behind the wheel if my parents expressed a desire not to intervene. Asking how the cops could possibly show up in these circumstances and give a driver grief is like asking why a shock is sometimes forthcoming when one sticks one’s fingertip into an electrical outlet. Gee, Beavis, any ideas there? It’s like, oh God, how can we let him get burned just because he keeps pouring gasoline onto campfires? Although I’m hesitant to ask them, it would be illuminating to know just what crimes Joe Dirtbag would have to commit to convince my parents that it would be reasonable to call the police. My dad has vehemently refused to believe my assertion that Joe Dirtbag was on the verge of committing domestic battery against me the day I first walked out on him, and I’d testify to this under penalty of perjury in a heartbeat.
Whatever the hell I am for giving Joe Dirtbag second chance after second chance, I’m not emotionally hypersensitive. I have probably had subclinical or very mild clinical PTSD at times in the aftermath of his abuse, but I’ve moved on from it every time as soon as my nerves calmed. Of course it’s hard to stay calm when thinking this situation over because so many things about it are so inherently alarming or provocative, but I keep wanting to make this whole damned thing work.
The awful truth of it is that it is impossible to be truly honest about Joe Dirtbag’s behavior, even with oneself, unless one has cops and lawyers on standby to monster his ass. The only way to deal with this shit is to stipulate his self-serving half-truths, omissions, and outright lies as truths. Otherwise we’d probably all be too angry not to confront him with legal backup immediately at the ready. We’re forced to stipulate that financial irresponsibility is financial responsibility, that treachery is loyalty, that stinginess is generosity, that financial dependency on friends and relatives is independence, that the dishonorable is honorable, that constant freeloading is equitable in-kind compensation, that deliberate criminality for the sake of criminality is at least adequately upstanding citizenship, that filth is cleanliness, that wanton emotional abuse is misguided love, that obvious concern-trolling is genuine concern, that shambolic disregard for workplace safety and human life is masculine virtue. It never ends.
Dealing with this shit is the only obvious way I can stay involved in agriculture on any consistent basis. Maybe the Ragin’ Canajun has smacked some sense into this fucker by now. He actually went through with the three-year lease. At least there’s one person regularly on site who isn’t trying to fuck everything to death.