Sometimes, I feel like it’d be better to not anymore.
My oral surgeon greeted me the very first time with, “Hello, Mr. ______! I wish we could have met under better circumstances.”
And I’m thinking, “What? Like… How do you mean. At a bar? If my wisdom teeth weren’t all fucked up? You’re a little older than the crowd I hang out with. Would you really want to meet me under better circumstances? How about you say, ‘Hello, Mr. _______, I wish I never had to meet you.’ Because I’m thinking, ‘Me too! That’s so weird! You’re about to pull pieces of my face out.’ There ARE no better circumstances for that.’”
Today I bought some things.
I do not understand them.
Alien items to push the cloud back.
Did I succeed?
Am I writing, or distracted by baubles.
And my words are sieved through for punches and kicks,
Algebraic and elegiac.
But it is not a task for strangers or friends,
And I push for shoves.
I’m greeted by hollow words and smiles.
A swimmer out of his depth, too far at sea,
Sees a raft, plastic barrels and rope, and musters up just,
That extra bit to pull himself to safety.
Even though upon that platform there is nothing but the hot sun,
And soon, he will beg for the ocean again.
But he never left it.
Illusions can be cruel like that.
You ever feel lost?
There are those who laugh at the night, who defy space, who defy their insignificance, who defy expectations and they are insane, and they are mad, and they are beautiful in every way that I want to be. And I think, ‘Oh, well, you know, if I had the money!’ but that’s not even in the spirit of the thing. Not at all.
I’m quite bad at boheim. I’d love to be it, I really would, except I wouldn’t at all. There’s a lot of longing for that feeling, that independence from accusation and anything, that fantasy world at the tip of everything tangible, but I also like having air conditioning. And Netflix.
I’m good where I am now. I’m not great, but good. For some reason, that seems so much worse.
At the same time, this is not a society that would indulge Kerouac or Yeatts or Thoreau. This is a society of responsibility, not of fancy. This is a society of success and failure. This is a society of absolutes. Those that live on the fringe, they are mad and they scream at the abyss, and soon, one day, I will break these chains, I will destroy them, render them elemental, to the basest parts and I will escape to corners unknown and scribble on cave walls and marble journals my thoughts. And I will die alone, in extremes, because that is my calling. That is my truth. We only have one, one truth, and mine is that one day I will have the courage to live and die by my own word.
The world’s not perfect, but it’s the one we have.
I’m not perfect, but I’m the one I am.
We saw each other, I suppose. Temporally displaced. But we were the same. The same aches, the same wants, the same insanity, the same screaming love, the same passion and fire. Different years, but the same. We saw each other, and we saw the world. Broken as our homes. Broken as outside. Broken as broken could be. And we did not accept this. This did not suffice. Instead, we came together. We made an island. Impenetrable to the outside world, a fortress with a force field. Unassailable. Perfect. On these beaches we sat, feet planted firmly in the sand, swapping vulgar stories about how our lives were now and how they would end up, and we laughed.
The tide took us all. It always takes us, I suppose. Nibbling at our feet, at first. Then our legs, and our torsos. Our necks and our ears, our heads and our eyes, it took us out to the sandbar and beyond. We lost sight of where we once sat. And at some point, we all decided this was acceptable. That this was normal. That it was to be, to have ourselves pulled docile into the tow, some to drown and some to find islets, some to find that same broken civilization that we sought to escape with each other.
How broken must we have been, to have taken this at face value, to have had our screaming mouths filled with brine and chop.
On some nights, I think about this. About the paradise we found. The Atlantis bound for the ocean floor, the indiscernible climate crashing down all around us; on these nights, I think about the road and the shallow, empty promises it holds. We all want to run, and we condition ourselves to do so, if only so we have that out, that escape. But we never set foot to pavement, because as sure as the tide will return, the road will crack and chasm and swallow us whole.
And is it worth the risk? Is it ever? The world has destroyed so many of us trying to find our own place, to find our own voice and our own words and our own way; cautionary tales exist to warn us, to tell us that this is not a safe place, that this is not a place for kind hearts or imagination or love, that instead it is a place for the rote and the routine.
We yell and shout and scream as we are swallowed, and our voices never escape.
There is no promise.
There is only risk; the risk that we should try and love, and fail, and that is worse than fading away.
And only the insane risk.
The furnace is not lit forever, but what we create is.
We saw the world, and we saw that it was broken. We did not care. Instead, we made an island.