You Can’t Win

You Can’t Win

“You can’t win, you can’t break even, And you can’t get out of the game. People keep sayin’ things are gonna change, But they look just like they staying the same. You can’t win, You can’t win no way, If your story stays the same.”

Someone asked me the other day how I was doing. My fake smile slipped a bit, and for once I didn’t give the cookie-cutter “I’m fine” response. “I have bad days, and I have worse days”, was my reply. Every day I wake up to the realization that my brother is dead. There are responsibilities to attend to. The abundance of sadness and despair engulfs my spirit.

I had dinner with JMoJacks and we talked about how when a loved one dies you want to walk up to everyone, strangers on the street even, and say “My [blank] died, don’t you get it?” There’s no point of reference to anything. Things are out of control. There is no control, there is no spoon. When life gets unbearable and I don’t have a way to check out, I start creating controlling situations in effort to try to manage things that I can manage. Right now it’s food and exercise. I won’t eat or I’ll limit what I do eat. I work out two times a day most days. I try to do anything that limits my thoughts on the situation at hand. Yet when I start to feel like I’ve found my balance, a thistle will flew from the weeds in the yard landing on my see-saw disrupting a feeble equilibrium.

My grandmother sent me a letter last week. I’ve held off on writing this post, because I tried to let it marinate… but it hurts like a pebble in your shoe, not enough to cause physical pain, just enough to chafe your sole.

“I ask myself now give your questionable decision [to move back to Arizona and take part in
raising my nephew] if you’re not masking the real reason for returning to a situation absent of support and understanding. Among the reasons I suspect that underlines this decision is one in particular that has to do with the absence of personal male-female relationship. You have shown considerable discipline in getting through the travails of education not having sufficient financing and afterwards, living on your own and seeing others engaged in romantic relationships. Don’t minimize the importance of these alignments as they are the purpose of each type of life. And, every life form strives to connect with another in this manner.

“Your college girlfriends went on to find their way through very personal relationships with emotional contents that produce maturity. From what I have been told, you were left out; the friend standing on the side offering support denying yourself that you envied the experiencer. Now that these schoolgirl pals have moved even further away into maturity; you remain lonely no longer even privy to the minutiae events in their relationships.

“Has it ever occurred to you that with a determination to adjust your physical status that you might come close to experiencing your ideal? No one have ever wanted to guide you toward physical beauty, citing that you don’t need such insight to get through life; while they painted themselves, dressed themselves, and flirted their way to a desired momentary end.

“Well, I’ve got a far different view, professional training and cumulative experience that says that every individual is first assessed in terms of appearance, then personality, then the degree of contribution potential to the situation at hand. A bright mind does not relieve the individual from this ring of impression by others.

“You have been handicapped since teen years by the absence of instilled discipline for whatever reasons not given. It is now up to you to do what all others have done before you by following the pattern to attracting a mate. Animals do it, plant-life displays it and humans have made it an art form.

“Now that I ‘ve had my say and realize that others may criticize my saying what has always been said outside your hearing, I suggest that you put it in your mental basket, regurgitate the message and internalize it for a later date when you are in a learning mode, once again.”

This carefully crafted letter in essence let me know that I may be smart but I’m not beautiful or skinny enough to be found attractive, and until I do something about it I’ll forever be single. This woman hasn’t seen me for over ten years. The sporadic contact comprising our relationship does not a close connection make. So even though she doesn’t know me, she claims to know something.

Her words hit close to home, and as I cried buckets, the troubled teenager reared her ugly head (no pun intended). Growing up not feeling pretty or loved, dealing with a past of abuse and neglect that shit just doesn’t magically disappear. As much as people would like to believe it, you don’t outgrow feelings of insignificance or self-doubt. It’s like your purse; you always carry it without in varying sizes, but leaving home without it would also represent a deficiency. The insecurity is a part of your whole package.

Yet to blatantly account for all of my flaws, categorize them as hindrances to my future “ideal”, and then rationalize your offense as ‘tough love’… there are no words. Some days you have to say to yourself, ok I give up. I can’t make someone who is supposed to love me, love me.

I just can’t win.

*Readers*: Don’t forget to check me out every Thursday on I bring a little humor and love to that great site. This week’s post is called: Can I pop your pimple? + Other weird intimacies. Tell yo friend, to get with their friends, so we can be friends lol. Spread the love.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alyssa Tatum
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 23:17:13

    my grandma used to tell me that these childhood lyrics had no validity at all : “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” .. but words do hurt. words have power. words travel through our ear gate, wrench our soul, and suck the very life from our spirit. Words always hurt worse when they come from people closest to us. Every person who has ever said or done anything to damage the conditions of your heart has probably envied everything you are and are going to be. Your face lights up a room. It definitely lights up my heart. Your hair flows perfectly. Your sense of style and taste in music is superb. The shape of your body fits who you are at this moment, each curve is constant motivation to not only reach the goals you have set but to remind you of the goals you HAVE REACHED, and shall continue to reach. Your heart is of pure gold. Success is your sister. Those that point fingers, and yell out painful opinions have yet to heal the own insecurity that lingers within. Even in old age, people still have scars that have not healed. Allow your scars to heal, do not let evil pick at the scabs of your past. Even in hurt allow love to kill the negativity that seeks to destroy you.

    “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us”

    Love you



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