Sunday, 7 September 2008
The Pachyderm is: OUT
The thing they don't tell you about the elephant in the room is that when it leaves, it leaves an elephant shaped hole.
This doesn't change the fact that nobody talks about it. It's still the big, uncomfortable thing that we pretend not to notice, only now it's the hole instead of the elephant that drags at your heart.
You'd think I'd be glad that there was no more elephant crap to pick up around the place; no more feeding the elephant or listening to it howl like a wolf and pretending that this was perfectly natural elephant behaviour.
You'd think that I'd be relieved and freed up to enjoy life a bit more. What they don't tell you is that the elephant shaped hole is a black hole of resentment and anger
talks about it.
I talk about it of course. I talk to anyone who'll listen: at school, at church, on the end of a phone 12,000 miles away but all these hollow words do is feed the elephant shaped hole. They feed it until it is a dragging, stabbing mass of sticky, black anger and resentment beckoning me to swim in its warm, comforting, sucking morass. Because anger can be comforting. Self righteousness, indignation and martyrdom are a thin, brittle shell around the heart. They protect you from the hurt and rejection and they allow you to wallow in the unfairness of it all.
What I really need to do is to talk to the elephant but elephants have a nasty way of shifting suddenly and stepping on you and to tell the truth, I ain't fast enough to get out of its way nor strong enough to hold it on my shoulders. And anyway, it's not even my elephant. I expect we'll all just go on stepping around the hole for a while.