My Most Damning Trait

You know what the most annoying thing about me is?

Well I’m sure some people have their own opinion on this. They would only be partially right though, since what they consider my most damnable traits are really just side-effects of my most damnable trait.

I like to think of it as the “almost” factor.

You know, that’s a strange word. Almost means something like most of all, but yet, most of all means something else.

That’s not my point though. The “almost” factor has to do with almost being what I want to be.

I almost had a good idea.

I almost drew a really good picture.

I almost have talent.

But somewhere in my brain, in my body, in the neural synapses, in the spaces between, there is some kind of valve or switch that doesn’t work quite right. It leaks. It’s rusty. It experiences lag time. I mean, hello? My yahoo screen name is “laaaggggggg.” Seriously. Geez. My reaction time is shitty and the pipes leak all over the floor. The water pressure is low. Or else, it’s like that episode of Seinfeld where the water pressure (thanks to some harebrained idea by Kramer) is way way way too strong. We’re thinking something like an out of control fire hydrant.

It is or it isn’t.

There is no balance between the two sides.

I do or I don’t.

Because, see, when you spend your entire life almost getting stuff right, it just shows you that you’re closer to being an eternal loser, than you are being an almost undiscovered genius.

I almost get it right.

I almost always make _______ happen.

I can almost do _______.

It’s so close that I can taste it. I can see it. I can even have full-fledged, psychedelic, gnarly dreams about it. But I can’t do it.

And at some levels, I can pass for doing it. But I can do more than just passing. I can create better than what I do. I just . . . can’t make it happen.

Like ever.

In my life, things are continuously almost happening. Or else, the inverse happens. I reach perfection (or close thereof) and then I can’t tell when to stop. And I ruin it. That’s even more annoying. You see your destination, and then you fly right over it.

The absolute worst thing about almost getting something, almost all of the time, are those flashes of moments where you do get something right.

Take math for instance.  Everything after fractions (the 6th grade) up until my freshman year in college (finite mathematics – i.e. – logic) was torturous pain for me.  I made an A in math when I was 12 and then again when I was 18/19-ish.

Summer 1 of 2008, the term I just finished, was 4 weeks with Statistics 1.

Now get this – out of a possible 1090 points for the class overall, you know how many I got?


That’s like a 97, 98 average (don’t ask me; I never figured out percentages).

I understood this class.  I did well in this class.

Ooo, a flash of clarity!

And then I go back outside and try to talk to the world, and I watch it all crumble once more.


I am capable of learning anything.

But whether or not I actually do is another thing altogether.



~ by lastcrazyhorn on July 5, 2008.

6 Responses to “My Most Damning Trait”

  1. Maybe it’s contagious? I have moments of shattering brilliance during the night when I’m asleep and alone. Somehow or other the next morning they’re never quite so shiny.

  2. That’s it. That’s exactly it. Glad I’m not alone.

  3. I feel very much the same. Only with me, sometimes it’s “almost”, but sometimes it’s the exact opposite of what i want to be. Sometimes my expressions of compassion get seen as expressions of hatred. Actually, maybe that’s something different, if maybe-related, since that could just be communication problems. But i know all too well what it’s like to *know* that i have the potential to bring things (ideas, people, movements) together, and that possibly *no one* else has that potential, but, even though my “ideal world self” has that potential, i don’t have a hope in hell of living up to it. Like i can see the promised land, but can’t reach it, or even describe the way to it to anyone else.

    Sorry, that probably wasn’t coherent at all. But i know exactly how you feel. It’s why i have nearly as many unfinished blog posts as ones i have actually posted…

  4. Thomas Edison. Many almosts. Many *many* MANY almosts. 🙂

  5. You know, as I was reading this it reminded me that my parents raised me to be a well-rounded person, but it’s always annoyed me just a little bit that there’s nothing I’m FABULOUS at. I can play the piano, I can swim, I can ski, I can dance, I can write, I can play golf. I’m good at all those things, but I wanted Carnegie Hall, the Olympics, the LPGA tour, a book deal, etc. I don’t know if that’s exactly what you’re talking about, but it’s what it brought to mind for me.

    But I’ll resist pointing out the irritating cliche about the glass being half full vs. half empty and will instead point out that I think you are terrific. And I think your “IT” will happen.

  6. Yeah, that’s some of what I’m talking about. 🙂


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