Who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish - from Howl by Allen Ginsberg
It’s odd to not know what to do next. That moment when you are stuck. Limbo. Just there and you reach for something to do. Nothing seems quite right. Nothing feels good. Nothing makes much sense and most certainly and above all nothing matters. Nothing you do can make the slightest difference. You are beyond lost. You are nowhere and good and stuck at that.
There’s no use trying to rationalize it either. And why bother trying to turn it into some moment of clarity. Deeper meaning, significance don’t exist. The air is tired and the mind is soft with dull death-like limpness. There are no destinations nor journeys. Everything is abstract and unknowable and you can’t even understand your own thoughts which don’t amount to anything anyway.
Well. At least. It’s better than full on depression (though it’s a byproduct of it). That all encompassing sadness is at bay. It is now a flaccid suffering with no meaning. Maybe its not better than depression which is, after all, a state from which you can create something if you push hard enough.
Nothing is worse than the pure panic. Not panic attacks really. More like terror seizures. Those minutes in which life is absolute hell. Totally unbearable and indescribable. Pure torture. The emotional and mental equivalents of excruciating physical pain.
How to get out of the trap? Where to find direction, a purpose, forget meaning — that’s long past. Dive, dive, dive into the pit of despair and submerge yourself in the rapidly flowing waters of self pity. Look out for the rapids because with them the existential crisis turns into utter madness. So many dances with demons. So much discomfort. So little pleasure so few inspirations. The living death. The virtual lobotomy. The endless anxiety and assuredness of futility.
I had a plan plan can you do the can can but I sat there swaying and found myself saying it was all so painful and nothing seemed gainful. Telegrams to the soul. An outmoded previous centuries way of telling yourself that the message was in code. An ode. To joy? How I wish, oh boy. Lyrical but no miracle and I dance at the very thought of your onion sprayed lilacs and pretty little semi colon ridden sentences telling all about that cute addition you built for your kitchen although you had SOOOOOO much trouble with that darn contractor and felt maybe a little ripped off and now you’re thinking of solar panels and Skyler has started piano lessons and seems to have a knack for it just as Josh once seemed to be the best soccer player on his team but now, well you know how kids grow and change and I should definitely see your garden and isn’t a shame about something awful that happened and could you be any more banal. Please oh god please please please say something else really inane so that I can defecate on your front porch you self centered prick and look at the humming bird.
Let’s talk again later. Much later well after my death or yours which ever comes first. Then there was that tall brunette with the impossibly long legs striding down the street she passed me and smiled as if I was Prince Charming himself and not some short much older man wearing a baseball cap and twitching and leering and damn near salivating. You young lady who totally disarmed me by not acting superior and put out but looking at me and treating me like a sweet old guy. Who expects that. I wonder how you smell (with your nose — not what I meant). Perfect, I imagine. But really I don’t imagine. That would be a bit too much. Wrong of me. Carrying it all a bit too far and we must never ever carry anything too far at all. Keep it all within limits. Restraint. Decorum. The observation of social conventions. — Love. — Please check your ego at the door and smile politely to your host.
Say do you believe in ghosts? An afterlife? The spirt world? Heaven? Hell?
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
from American Pie by Don McClean
I have complete faith in the arbitrariness of nature and the unfairness of life and the unpredictably of the human spirit. I’m a great believer in un. Isn’t that unbelievable? Unknowable? Uninteresting? Unkind? Nihilist bastards. The mind is a terrible thing to mind. Don’t waste time minding it. Don't trouble yourself with too much but never trouble yourself with nothing. If everything is always great all the time you're doing it all wrong. Boooo to you too for messing up the gig. There's got to be conflict and strife at least within yourself. But don't let it get you down because as Neil Young said its only castles burning. And as I said its gonna be cool. All right. But you've got to push and pull and tug and wrestle and form things. Things. All things are things. That's the thing about it. Things and stuff. So much stuff. So many things to do. So much stuff to do. All these things and all that stuff. Gets to you after awhile. So smile. Just try, try, try, try to believe in something. Something good. Something that will grow and make you and others happy and smiles all around let's give grins a big round of applause. Super! Super big! Super wonderful. Like your garden, man. Why don't you grow some pot, dude? You could toke up practically for free. Now there's a belief system.
Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. - Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski
But I remember well the drama of earlier days and years and decades the tear gas and the helicopters and the radicals and the psychedelics and the war and the draft and peace symbols and the love and the spirit and the dreams. Oh the dreams of possibility. The progress. Incremental. The assassinations and the government scandals and the cover ups and the exposes. The due diligence and the determination and the belief in better and the struggle. Always the struggle. We were (are?) always trying to make a better place and better world for future generations those dashing you sensations. And we created and felt important and maybe we really were.
So where are we here. A brain that is the dead zone. A dead zone that is a brain. A life teetering on the edges of writing 1,000 words a day and ignoring the catechisms. Oh heavenly mother — or — oh earthly one, give us this day our daily dread and forewarn us of our trespassing and traipsing and lead us not into temptation unless it happens to be the tall brunette with…no that’s not right. Nothing like that ever is. And me a married man. Happily I might add. How did I get to this point? Was it the bus or the train or the rickshaw or my own two feet. Some feat. But somehow I lurk here among you and we all might as well get used to it. Especially me. The rest of you lot seem to be doing all right. But is that just an illusion? Confusion in profusion. Messing with my own mind like playing with fire. The unlit kind. Benign. My tumorous humorous life. All taps and jigs and swirls and say I wonder what’s on TV?