Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

True Path(ology)


Tuesday evening and I’m sitting at the dining table, typing. There’s a glass of wine to the left of my laptop. Separating me from dim daylight, the blinds are lowered to the floor, a shield against the approaching thunderstorms, possible tornadoes and hail. Those blinds are about as protective as confetti.

Earlier today, I flipped April’s page away and opened May’s trapdoor. May Day. Mother’s Day. Memorial Day. And then May 25th, the anniversary of my husband’s death. Last year, I was moving into this apartment, arranging furniture, busy, but I was aware, even thinking, “How strange. Charles has never been here.” I wanted, was trying, to close a door, to escape, hoping I could force grief to be linear and left behind.

I don’t know yet if I’m really going forward, but I say it, repeat, “I’m fine” and “time heals” even if I’m kidding myself. Hell, I’m trying everything except religion and even if what I’m doing is just performance, I’ll work it, fake it, and laugh a little too loudly at parties held in the lobby of my building for residents and their guests. This isn’t assisted living, but it is.

Really, I could dream about Charles tonight, wake with a thud, and feel like beating myself bloody against the headboard.

Anyway, I have a seriously impressive flashlight Laura and Erma gave me for Christmas and it’s ready to grab, along with my keys, one of which accesses the stairs to the parking garage beneath the building. All of these are with my purse that’s filled with necessities—you know, lipstick, hairbrush, breath mints, and the wine. Okay, I’m joking a little, playing with you. Hmm, that wine goblet’s empty. Empty twice. I AM ready though, if and when this twisting force rumbles its erratic path past the confetti.

You know more than 35 people have died this week in storms that hit the South and Midwest and millions are at risk during the next couple of days. Not as many who die almost daily in the countries the USA bombs in the name of humanitarian intervention. Do Americans understand this—the choice that was/is made to demolish lives and cultures? To kill children?

Meanwhile, Laura’s called throughout the day with updates. I know this is love. She’s someone to watch over me, little loner that I can be, even as she has her wine with Erma and Erma’s sister.

Whoa, I just watched a video—towns that look like warzones. This could be Iraq, Afghanistan, any area after missile attacks.

Meanwhile President Obama, on that Asian trip, has promoted business deals, signing agreements, finalizing the fast tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and, of course, chastising the Malaysian government about human rights issues, because: “…nations are stronger and more successful when they work to uphold the civil rights and political rights and human rights of all their citizens.” Jeez.

Oh, my, he mentioned a regret, his biggest—not spending enough time with his mother. It’s just that I can think of so many responses, decisions someone with a conscience would lament. And what if, in a flash-dash of honesty, he’d said, “Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, because I do so enjoy my Kill List?”

Then there’s Sec. of State John Kerry, accusing Russia of “escalating the crisis” in Ukraine, blah, blah, blah-ing about “spirit of law” and the creation of “a structure by which we would behave, all of us, differently, representing the best hopes and aspirations of all people on the face of this planet.” Huh? I think he’s exhausted, dizzy, after slipping the truth about Israel, saying “apartheid state” in a meeting (januis clausis) on April 25th, then U-turning and spinning when word leaked.

Charles wouldn’t like this, my writing mean stuff about someone’s physical appearance, but I look at the ghoulish Kerry and think, “The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out.” I may wish I’d deleted that. I still can, will consider it later.

Okay, check this article about computer software that’s being written to decipher human pain—can accurately read facial expressions. Imagine if this technology were used when Obama and any of the death dealers misrepresent or exploit a tragedy to buttress nationalism.

Time to drag the foam mattress topper into the bathroom that’s windowless and try to sleep. If this building blows and my body becomes a projectile, I can think of destruction I’d like to inflict. I learned something from that experience with the man who negated his existence every time he exercised his vocal chords: that I’m not really very peaceful. Maybe I should follow my true path, anger turned outward.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future