I started walking when i couldn’t find where I began,
then called it home wherever I settled down.
I found I’m fluid when I couldn’t keep a certain shape,
I’m curved or crooked or broken,
whichever you prefer.
I study definitions to try to locate mine,
a sense of self I lost when I left my childhood behind.
There’s a child missing in me.
I’m trying to find the man,
but he’s not visible in how I think and act and am.
I wonder what you’d call me.
I think of the past and remember what you called me.
But now it’s me calling out,
There are no words.
There’s a guy I’ve seen consistently for 6 years. I don’t believe he lives anywhere and he has looked close to death since the first time I saw him riding a bike down a busy street, slaloming with the drunkenness of age and a life I can’t imagine. I spend half of my time questioning meaning, while he continues to live his life. I don’t assume to know what he thinks about, but from what little I can see of his life, it is sorted in a way I can’t achieve. He’s never asked for a handout, not from me or from anyone I’ve ever seen. He spends most of the day in an abandoned lot, set up with flowers all over the place. He might be social, but I haven’t seen it. He might sell the flowers, but I haven’t seen it. (I haven’t seen him eat or drink or sleep, either, but, presumably, he does all those things.) Six years is a long time to do anything. Maybe you’ve done something nearly every day for that long, I’m not sure I have. I imagine what it might be like to be him. To live in a way I understand. To have a goal and be satisfied doing it. To not care about a house or home. To not care about reaching some understanding of how the world works beyond how to survive in it. And to survive on your own terms as literally as possible. I don’t assume he feels any of this. I don’t know him. But he serves as a possible life that I’ve missed. One of simplicity and a calm. A satisfaction in stillness. I might never know what it’s like. I hold goals and a resistance to myself. I move and avoid.
I have a mirror,
in which everything I care about exists.
it reflects me back,
and there’s nothing beyond.
My thoughts on all those things,
and the world.
It’s all contained right there.
My whole life,
my entire existence.
You’re in there too.
But you barely fit.
I’ve stuffed everything I can into one head.
Yet I mostly see myself.
I am a product of a society I think is flawed.
I am partly made of that society.
It is in me.
It infleunces me.
It controls my thoughts.
Why I’m happy to eat one intelligent animal.
But not another.
And why I thought all princesses were white.
And everything else was slightly bad.
Somehow, after being this person for years.
Before I can remember.
I am supposed to be able to change.
To erase all those non-memories of years of life.
That would require me to destroy myself in the process.
I don’t know that I’m prepared to do so.
Or if I know how.
I have another wedding to go to tomorrow. This time it’s not my best friend and I’m not in the wedding and I don’t care about them. I seriously question the concept of family. Why does anyone want people who don’t add anything to the event at their wedding? Is it simply because it’s polite and we’re too far down the path to change that? It’s such a faux pas that it can’t be done or you’ll never recover in your families eyes?
So a hundred or so people will be gathered. I’ll be at a table that literally 80% of aggressively dislike the people getting married. Hey but it’s family! A number of us were plotting how to escape. If it was up to me I would have flat out said no thanks but it’s out of my hands and my suggestion of going to the dessert this week and having car troubles on the way back was dismissed. My car has been acting up too. It was bullet proof.
I find it annoying that it’s hard for me to do things I enjoy. Do you like sex? Most people do. Imagine feeling like it’s a burden. That’s how good things feel to me a lot of the time. Now I have to deal with shitty things. Not shitty inevitable things in life, like a bad job or long hours or a soul sucking, degrading existence, but unnecessary social nonsense.
Thanks society for working this out.
You woke up from another long night,
one which you weren’t entirely sure if you slept,
or if the night moved quickly in order to return to day,
while you patiently waited for the light to break through your window,
and shine on your sleeping girlfriend.
You stare at your curtains in your bedroom,
in an attempt to measure the opacity,
to put an approximate time on the weight of your eyelids,
counting down to when the majority of the world will join you,
and you will be able to see her move again.
I read this today.
“That’s what we both hate about fiction, or at least crappy fiction – it purports to provide occasions for thinking through complex issues, but really it has predetermined the positions, stuffed a narrative full of false choices, and hooked you on them, rendering you less able to see out, to get out.”
i would remove the crappy fiction caveat. I’d say any attempt to articulate something destroys it in some way. Art can resemble life but it cannot capture it the way your mind does as you experience it. It’s often impossible to be without bias, no matter the effort we put in. But it gets worse when we attempt to put a narrative through an idea, an issue. But the stripped down versions are more appealing. They satisfy in ways most of life cannot. The ambiguity of right and wrong is too much.
I’m enjoying this book. It’s probably the most odd memoir I’ve ever read but also the most I’ve ever learned from one. Been challenged by one. Believed in one.
It’s called The Argonauts and is written by Maggie Nelson. Annoying at times, due to the vague ramblings but always intelligent and poetic and human enough to hold me and my shitty attention span (as if they are separate things).