I am sitting here and thinking: How many people do I know that I can trust? In the true sense of the word? Who, in their turn, trust me and would therefore stick up for me and stand by me, no matter what? Answer: One. The Boss. I think it is in the nature of the beast which is now spilling out all over the pavement as social structures are breaking down. There are no more tribes. No more extended families. No life long friendships. People move around too much. Living has become far too complex a matter for those things to still be affordable. Some people do better at it, of course. But there are masses of others out there that are exactly like me. They live in the absence of trust.
So, why the boss? She comes from a rural background where social structures are still in far better shape than they are in big cities. And trust has been bred into her. Mind you, it is an emotion reserved for her huge extended family. We have a word in Turkish which is quite untranslatable: “El”. It denotes people that are not kin. Somewhere along the line, the boss decided that I was kin even though we are not related. Will her kids inherit her values? The boss will see to it that they do. And if they do not she will whop them on the head with a skillet until they learn! She is that type of a person. Someone to be reckoned with. But she is a complete oddball and not many other parents will achieve what she does. The social fabric is in tatters and one has to be a person of extraordinary fiber to withstand the blast.
And who wants to anyway? It is so much more fun to be footloose and fancy free. To no longer have to worry about commitments. I have a cat who for the past 2 years has had chronic diarrhea. It is really bad, it happens wherever she sits and walks. Otherwise, she is a happy, alert, affectionate little animal. Eats voraciously, the grub goes in on one end comes straight back out on the other. When she wants to sit on my lap I first have to spread down paper towels. I cannot think of one person amongst my acquaintance who has not suggested that I have her put down. Only exception: The Boss. Of course.
All this is hitting me with the force of a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake. And, I do know what they are like, we had one here 10 years ago. 50000 people died. Only thing to add is that I am completely amazed that it is happening only now, so late, so many decades into my life. What was I thinking until now? Playing Pollyanna? In the face of social landslides! Like as if this is a matter of personal goodwill? I used to lecture this friend of mine about his lack of trust. Boy, was I wrong and was he right…
So… What do I do now? With the rest of my life, that is? The spot where I seem to have been all along, and that I am looking at quite dispassionately for the first time now, is horrifyingly bleak. And I am not at all sure that I want to continue being here. Somewhere along the line I must have screwed up very badly, gotten all of the rules of survival upside down. Not sure when or how. Probably a very long time ago. Now, how do I get out?
(Painting by Boris Indrikov)