"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

30 June 2012


"I think about my loves
I've had a few,
I'm sorry that I hurt them
did I hurt you too?"- Social Distortion

Sometimes, when working on our community garden plot, or doing yard work, I catch myself vaguely wishing I still maintained an acquaintance with the jewel-eyed girl. She was at one point, a horticulturist by trade, and her botanical advice could be invaluable. Quickly, though, I realize the peril of such a thought; the penance price would be she would know where I live, and the fact she knows I'm somewhere up in the mountains is quite enough. More than, actually, but that's another story.

There are those who say it's queer or even wrong to think about x-lovers in any context. I call bullshit on that, and up the ante with some who shot john. We all do it from time to time. Sometimes, when I catch myself musing a girl from my past, I can even remember the tender times, rather than those moments that drove us apart, when the very atmosphere between us was Hell and cobwebs and gravedust and serpents and tigers and razorblades and maggots.

Once, I had a conversation with someone who proclaimed they had no regrets whatsoever. I called them a filthy fucking liar. If there is someone in this world with no regrets, I've yet to make their acquaintance. Although, I suspect if such a person exists, they live-and I use that term rather loosely-in a sensory deprivation tank. Regret is one of those things that makes the monster, which stares back at you when you look in a mirror.

Whenever I meditate upon my regrets, any of them, I catch myself slip-sliding upon the light fantastic of quantum possibilities. Those parallel worlds and lives of what if and if only. An interesting mental exercise, which, at best, can sometimes become a solipsistic circle-jerk, or, at worst, lead to outright psychotic madness.

My regrets are legion. Things I wish I would've said or did say. That I could've done or did. The would've, could've, should'ves that make up part of my psyche.

The kicker is, my actions and reactions to the roll of the bones chaos inherent in the universe have gotten me where I am here and now. Just because I do not believe in fate does not mean I think I would've gotten here by any other set of actions and reactions to the roll of the bones chaos inherent in the universe. It renders the if onlys and would've, could've, should'ves irrelevant when placed in that context.

Do I regret? Almost daily. Would I change any of it? Given what I have, what I've yet to achieve, I cannot say it would be worth it. Would I do it all the same way again? It would seem, if I want to be where I am, I'd kind of have to.

I do what I do and go my own way; a Tao of bohemian scholarship and gutter-punk academia. Moments of technicolor identity crisis and periods of self-assured understanding of the riddle of the individual. There are regrets, and sometimes I think about them quite deeply. Still, I am contented with where I am in the here and now. Perhaps that renders my regrets irrelevant, and, if that's the case, then, quite hypocritically, I don't regret a thing.


  1. Beautifully said. My one "what if" had to do with turning down a lunch with an old flame when I was engaged to my first husband. (he had gone to war and called saying he'd been searching for me for three years) If I had gone... Years of agony and pain could have been avoided and....I wouldn't have my darling boys.

    Acceptance and chosing contentment are really the foundation of peace, aren't they? Oh, the power of choice. Even in your thoughts.

    1. I look forward to my daughter turning eighteen and graduating high school this coming year, thus decreasing my interactions with my x-wife dramatically. That said; if I hadn't gotten involved with a rebelling Catholic girl, I'd have never had my daughter, whom I often call the great love of my life. All things for a price, and accepting that took a bit.

  2. Yes, saying you've got no regrets implies you've never made a mistake, as mistakes are generally regretted. But perhaps making some mistakes and learning from them prevents you from making worse mistakes.

  3. I'm in a particularly nostalgic mood at the moment and so this post resonated greatly with me. 'Regret is one of those things that makes the monster, which stares back at you when you look in a mirror.' I can really relate to that line. I'm slowly making peace with my past and seeing an old school friend recently has helped me remember a lot of good things as well as bad. I got a lot from this post, thanks.

    1. I'm two months from something of a milestone birthday, and I think it's getting me to be a bit more introspective than usual, thus, I too, find myself making more reconciliations with my past. Thank you for reading, I am honored you were able to take something from it.

  4. I've been trying not to regret, but it makes for such interesting stories...
    Good post, Robbie. Sorry I'm late reading it.

    1. It does, doesn't it?

      I'll not chide you for not being punctual, instead just thank you for reading :).