“People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. . . . This surprises us when the persons concerned are thieves bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or murders boasting of their cruelty. But it surprises us only because the circle, the atmosphere, in which these people live, is limited, and chiefly because we are outside it. Can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich boast of their wealth-robbery, when commanders of armies pride themselves on their victories-murder, and when those in high places vaunt their power-violence? That we do not see the perversion in the views of life held by these people, is only because the circle formed by them is larger and we ourselves belong to it.” (Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy, trans. Louise Maude)

New Readers:

Please start reading with my first post "A Cup of Coffee". Originally posted on March 19, the archival date changed when I made corrections on May 13, which is the date under which you can find it now.

I'll learn to manage this all more smoothly someday, but at present I have at most only an hour online each day (that thanks to the San Francisco Public Library system, without which I would be lost).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Lesson from the Past Year

I know now why guys who have returned from battle go into malls with guns and begin shooting people.

When I am on the subway platform, I search for his face through the windows of each train as it enters the station, desperately trying to see them all before it comes to a stop. As I walk anywhere in the city, I am searching the oncoming figures to see whether he is approaching me. Every slightly over-weight, middle-aged Latino is him from the distance of a half block -- and there are a lot of slightly over-weight, middle aged Latinos in this town!

I don’t know why I search for him. Do I want to see him? Or do I want to make sure that I can avoid him before he gets too close?

I have a few hundred things that I would like to say to him: some defending myself against his slander and accusations; some reminding him of his many, many betrayals; some describing my disgust at him; some declaring that I did all I could to show how much I cared for him once-upon-a-time.

The fact that I feel bound to abide by the mutual stay-away order has left me vulnerable to his harassment by text and email. I cannot reply to defend myself or to accuse him without risking the loss of my own credibility in court, and yet he suffers no consequences for his abrogation of the order. He gets away with it all. He can even frame his lies in the right way to have me arrested when I have done nothing.

He has attacked me in ways that I would never have thought possible, ways that I never could have imagined. I live in a continual state of anxiety, bracing myself for something completely unknown and unpredictable.

So I get it. That kind-looking woman approaching to receive her ration of fresh water or food turns out to be a walking bomb that blows your closest friends to pieces right next to you. A year later, back home, you see kind-looking women approach and every nerve in your body braces for the explosion.

You can live with that kind of stress only so long.

Today I got an email telling me the gate code to get access to my storage space, which he broke into just about a year ago, smashing some things he knew to be of particular sentimental value to me and stealing a computer.

I had not requested the gate code.

He has hijacked my email accounts before. He may have found out about this blog and be angry about it. I have to work long days tomorrow and the next day and have no way of checking on my storage space.

I will not sleep easily tonight.