How Not To Be Like You

In How Not To Be Like You, Jareth talks to his father about how he has been an example for him in terms of how not to be towards the people he loves.

JARETH:  Today, I learned how not to be like you.

You’ve had it all wrong for so many years.  Always putting yourself before your family, always making excuses as to why you’re a no-show.

It’s really because you are a weak, self-centered man.  You were always the father from afar, you’ve never been the father who led by action, just by voice…I guess it’s better than nothing.

Wounds heal but it’s hard to ignore the scars.  Layer upon layer upon layer, things get so thick that it’s hard for connection to break through but some how, some way I always find a way to open up, even though my heart knows it’s a matter of time before it smashes shut again.

How many times can a heart open for the same person?

Am I supposed to constantly forgive?  Maybe I’m supposed to accept you for who you are, this way there isn’t any expectations.

So many special moments in my life that I wanted to share with you, that never took place.  Those same moments, always slightly spoiled because you were never there…and I never wanted anything from you except to have you by my side…never cared for money, never cared for compliments, never cared for motivational speeches or guidance…

But you never gave that to me.  We never had that together…not like we could have, not like we should have.

Distance…money…this one died, that one lied, car broke down, there was an accident, you did this, I didn’t mean that, but you don’t understand, you never said that, that’s not what I meant…old school way of thinking is a good excuse but played out…one day I’ll get my life together, I’m stupid, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, she’s in the hospital, I’m in the hospital, we’re all in the hospital dancing together and holding hands while our ghosts slip from our bodies and we walk lonely thoughts down long frightening corridors late at night.

Getting back to what I said before, I learned how not to be like you.  You see, there’s someone special in my life, someone who looks up to me and someone who I didn’t want to let down…the thought of letting this particular person down, meant that I would be exactly like you and the thought of hurting this person in such a way made me feel so sick, so rotten inside that I couldn’t make up a story and go back on my word…I had to stick to my word because I understood that if I was a no-show and kept not showing up, and continued to hurt this person, that sooner or later they would feel about me the way I feel about you and I rather be dead before I ever allow someone so special to ever carry such an aching pain, I permanently placed in their heart…

Joseph Arnone


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