I have no deep seated sadness in my life history. There are no fatal accidents, no addictions or medically incurable diseases. I wasn’t beaten, sodomized, reduced to poverty. There is no single tristeza in my past on which to draw.
I have instead a lifetime’s worth of small sadness’. Slights, rebukes, missed opportunities. Misery on a smaller scale; friends, but none close, relationships, but no love, an underwhelming sense of being left behind, of being overlooked, of glass walls and isolation. Tiny grains of sand that have slowly filled my world and left it dry and desolate.
Unlike a single tristeza it is hard to find inspiration in continuous sadness. A tristeza suffered can later be reflected upon, understood. It remains in the past and becomes a firm and stable point, one that can later be used as the foundations of a new life.
The smaller sufferings are hard to speak about, harder still to build upon. They refresh themselves every day or week or month, sliver thin coats of paint, reapplied each time the previous coat seems finally to have dried. After a thousand coats of paint you cannot move, and the weight of it pushes you to the ground.
Smaller slights still come much more frequently. A phone call with your internet provider, a meeting with your estate agent, an email request from your mobile phone service. Incompetency to a degree that borders on the malicious, but there isn’t hatred in these actions, only staggering b2c indifference; an apathy that causes frustration, anger, hopelessness and finally exhaustion.
Daily patch up jobs to the coats of paint that one already wears. More damaging in their consistency, perhaps, debatable, than the most terrible of childhood accidents.
This constricting coat can be removed, there’s ways I’m told. But the only way I know, a way guaranteed, is hard and lonely. Fatal, sometimes.
The weight becomes too much to bare, you slip, topple, slowly, slowly. And as you crash, you shatter, and you hope that there is enough left inside of you for you to pick yourself up again.
And perhaps then you have your tristeza, your foundation.
If not, you die.