Rendered Fat Content


Akan, Brass: Goldweight [Knot] (19th-20th century)

"I might have arrived too late to ever actually arrive."

I am not yet the man I intended to become. Neither am I the husband I aspired to be, nor the gardener, the songwriter, not the neighbor or the father, either. On this occasion of The Muse and my twentieth wedding anniversary, very little seems to have turned out as we'd so confidently projected back on that unforgettable day in May when we publicly declared our intention to stay together as long as forever might carry us. Those people, us, seem so innocent now, not having yet experienced all we came to know. They didn't know the depths to which I would not become. Neither did I.

That The Muse and I remain together probably amounts to at least a minor miracle.
It was not wholly intentional. A certain complacency tends to take over any relationship which defaults toward continuation. It's the path of least resistance, even when the partner turns out to have become a disappointment. Even when one's self disappoints himself. There's always room for improvement going forward, however unlikely any difference might manifest. The same works, too. Almost anything short of reimagining new will do.

I was once promising, by which I mean still changing. I aspired to be better, faster, and cheaper—or something—trending toward reinvention. I have no intention now of attempting to become someone different. I am no longer self-helpless. I do not even want to know better. I'd much rather retain what I have than attempt to accumulate anything else. I'm settling accounts. I no longer practice. I perform instead. Almost all I ever became was only in my head.

I'd intended to reintroduce myself this morning as the sum total of all I've not become. I've not become much by most any standard, generous or more modest. I write, of course, but not for profit. I paint some, but only to cover past shortcomings, to hide my ancient embarrassment. Not yet skilled and resigned to never become, I can honestly claim to mostly be what I have not yet and will likely never become. I've run the race without intending to win, without intending to lose, either, perhaps just to show. I also don't know very much. I also never became a professional, never once admitted into those ranks, never even sat for the certification exam. Just who am I? I guess I am the sum total of all I never became. I fell short and accepted my fate. I might have arrived too late to ever actually arrive. Here I am anyway, all I never became.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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