How is it Possible That Anything Hurts This Much

It’s like the key, or the last piece to the puzzle, is missing.

Here’s the metaphor:

Look at the keyboard on the computer you’re at right now.  Unfocus your eyes.  Look at it from an angle.  Really look past it.  Do some magic eye shit.  It’s probably easier if you’re near-sighted to the point of legal-blindness, but bear with me.  The letters start to drift around.

Copies of letters start to appear superimposed upon or between or before other letters.  It’s like you’re communicating with a higher power.  This is more profound when you haven’t slept in a long time.

“Try.”  “Fight.”  “Sad.”

You have to stop caring what the letters look like and once you can’t see them any more you can start looking again.  Get it?  It’s hard.

“Maybe you’re confusing me for somebody else.”

I wonder if the natural progression of thought is to no longer have any original rational thoughts.  Everything ends up seeming cliche.  Instead you just have a mind full of quotes that mean something abstract or arbitrary to you but nobody else.  Or different abstract and arbitrary things to other people.  Do you get alienated by your own resourcefulness?  I wonder if the natural progression of musical preference strays into electronic/techno influenced beats and then into country music.  I wonder if the natural progression of immersing yourself in art is to no longer like art at all but perhaps need it, not because you love it, but because it is you.  Because you’ve become a cylon of peacemealed human thought.  A server rather than a brain, a library without the appropriate cross-references because you never were inside the head of the originator.  I guess that’s assuming that any of our thoughts were ever unique to begin with.  I’d like to think so.

I don’t know how long the Jews wandered in the desert before finding the promise land (actually I do, 40 years, but how long is that, really?) but I do know that Moses died before he got to go inside.  And that’s a long fucking time.

When you strip out all the references and analogies and pop culture influences and books and theories and acculturation and assimilation and something else that Luis Althusser said, what is there, anyway?  Is it like, as Stephen Elliott says, when you mix the truth and lies, you come out with something entirely new and inextractable, like red and yellow paint making orange? Is everything that has poured into my mind over the last two dozen years mixed into my own uniqueness or is it just a series of 1s and 0s that could be broken down into “this part is your tendency to silently judge people” and “this part is what you got from reading Herman Melville’s Pierre or The Ambiguities in sophomore year”?  Or was that freshman year?

Who am I?  What am I?  Why am I still struggling with these questions?  Why do I still feel just like an alien?  It’s like by emptying out one assurance my entire being is scrambled and I’m floating in a world where nothing is real.  This doesn’t seem real.  Even the one thing I know and want makes me feel more alienated by it’s impossibilty, it’s like believing in God, or not believing in God, knowing that this can’t be true, this can’t be right, that everything you know is wrong but that the one thing that is true is the only thing.  And holding on to the improbable possibility that seems impossible and imminent at the same time.

That’s a lot of big words and they only mean anything to me, probably.  But maybe that’s a good illustration of living without the key.

“It will shock you how much this never happened.”

Damn you Don Draper.


About this entry