Monday, March 23, 2009

Confutatis maledictis flammis acribus...

Hi, I'm Darren, and I swear.

Really.  Not proud of it, not boasting, it's just a fact.

I do not, however, use profanity.  There's a difference.  Profanity is using words that are profane, that is, words that are disrespectful toward Deity.  Taking the name of God in vain has always been something that I just can't do.  Thankfully.

But I do sometimes use colorful metaphors to describe situations or behaviors that are unacceptable.  Saying something is "bullcrap" just doesn't do it for me.  It lacks the visceral satisfaction and the impact of making the point to a particular party that their behavior is unacceptable.

The other problem is that I speak Italian, which is second only to Spanish it its colorful and wide variety of curse words and expressions.  You can tell someone to have intercourse with a goat (Va' fancullo col capra) in Italian and it sounds to the average person like you're offering them a piece of a sumptuous dessert.  So I will sometimes, when the urge strikes, use such phrases to relieve the internal pressure of having to tell someone exactly what I think of them driving through a School Zone (with cones and everything) at 45 mph.  Che cazzo stai facendo, cervello di merda?

So, at the tender age of 47, I try breathing, meditation, and all sorts of calming techniques to keep myself from swearing.  I don't like that I do it.  I manage to keep the verbal pollution from spreading from beyond my immediate sphere by using a fairly obscure language to mask my colorful metaphors.  So after 47 years, I've sort of consigned myself to flames of woe.  Confutatis maledictis flammis acribus addictis.

Yet right after the confutatis comes the lovely Voca me cum benedictis.  What it gets down to is that my mouth doesn't reflect what's in my heart.  I don't hate the cazzone who drives 45 in a School Zone.  I just want him to know that I heartily disapprove if his actions.  Probably unenlightened and unaware, not malicious and intent on killing a crossing guard.  But still, it comes out.  A few milliseconds of anger.  Then it's gone.

So there it is.  My heart remains relatively free of enmity for all, and as time goes by I can honestly say it becomes more and more free from the captivity that comes from hating.  But my mouth still betrays me.  It's a weird disconnect, one I'm trying to understand.

I don't think I'm alone here.  My saintly grandfather was known to hit is thumb with a hammer and say "Judas Priest."  I love that.  My other saintly grandfather was known to hit is thumb with a hammer and said "Aw, shit!"  Both grandfathers were great men, and to this day I strive to emulate both of them.  I just emulate Grampa Bush a little more than Grampa Seamons when it comes to mallealdigital interactions.

Grampa Bush was an exceptionally good person who was as sweet and gentle as the day is long. He also worked on a railroad gang from the time he was 13 until he graduated from High School.  I think his linguistic repetoire was somewhat enhanced by the characters with whom he worked, but I don't think for a minute Grampa B. is roasting in the flammis acribus while Grampa S. plays first-chair harp in the Celestial orchestra.

So until I can temper my tongue, be patient with me, and know that in my heart, I hold malice toward none, with the possible exception of people who ignore School Zone signs.

Respectfully submitted,



Silbs said...


wsb said...

I am so entertained.