Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Everything and Two

 'All of the world is about three drinks behind'  Humphrey Bogart- 1950

Bogey made that rather cryptic statement quite a while ago, and I must confess that until this weekend I didn't exactly under the full nature of what he meant by it. However, after this weekend I now know almost exactly what he was talking about, and I am not sure I am quite ready to be Humphrey Bogart. I did get to dress a little bit like him in the ceremony that I was happy to participate in on Saturday, but the suit does not make the man, no matter what those asshats selling suits tell you to the contrary.

It was during this alcohol fueled binge that I realize that I don't feel a thing for you here anymore. That is both a relief, and a tragedy. A relief because, as a wise man once told me, 'the opposite of love isn't hate, it is indifference.' Here I am looking for the space between the arms of another, finally able to feel indifferent towards you. A tragedy because moonlight finds me here alone in this nearly deserted bar, afraid to step out into the unknown. A relief because if I manage to scrape away the barnacles of sadness which you have coated the hull of my ship of soul with, then I will be through. Through expecting the phone, when it does ring, to be you.  A tragedy because when I think of something between everything and two, you were the 'two.'

However, in the long run you couldn't really be the 'two' because I didn't allow you to be. Moonlight brings me back to stay in the half lit, smoke filled bar, wondering exactly why I didn't. If you were here, and in many ways I both thank christ you're not, and wish like fuck you were, I don't know that I would be able to tell you the answer to that question. The question that you would surely ask, the one that I, in my social awkwardness am unable to provide you an answer that you will be able to comprehend. Truth of the matter is, I have no answer that I, in my foolishness, to provide.  I am not that smart, not clever enough to give, what to you is an answer to the simplest of questions, but to me is like lighting a benzine ring on fire and jumping through it.

Answers that come as easy as breathing to you, I find impossible to provide. Either due to being raised by a wolf (though I expect that is just an easy excuse), or a towering amount of cowardice (which I suspect is closer to the truth).  Though those three drinks that I was ahead of the world for those few somewhat glorious hours, gave me an just a bit of a glimpse of the answer that I need to have. I was three drinks of ahead of the whole world, and it allowed me to think of a lot of things that  I wouldn't normally ponder. It made me wonder about things that weren't there, and why they weren't there, and where they were, and where they should be. That is a very complicated sentence, and it was a very complicated thought to parcel out to myself.

The chemicals coursing through my system both sped me up, and slowed me down enough to make a lot of sense of my current situation, and sadly the conclusion I came to was that my current situation does not make a lot of sense. I am steadily becoming a person I don't want to be, and I am not exactly certain I can arrest that slide. I have to try, at least I think I have to because if I don't think I just become a rampaging failure. And that leads us back to the not feeling a thing for you here anymore. To avoid becoming a failure I have to make myself 'unfeel' all the things that you made me feel all this time. That is exactly as hard as it sounds, and to these aged ears it sounds pretty fucking hard. How does one stop feeling something?

Feelings are, sadly, not like a tap that you can just shut off when your glass is full, or your bath as been drawn. Feelings just happen they are no respecter of age, gender, race, or class, and they sure as fuck can have really lousy timing. But, as a being on two with feet with a heart that, while being slightly enlarged, is also broken, we have to move on with the remainder of the time allotted to us by the some higher being that we are not even sure exists. Mostly that time will be spent trying to sort out a lot of problems that haven't even happened yet. Part of that time will be spent rehashing disasters that have already occurred, and the rest of that time, the glorious bit, will be spent being exactly three drinks ahead of the rest of the world.  

Monday, June 25, 2012


Everyman would be lucky to have you. Everyman wonders how he actually got so lucky to have you,and is terrified that you will one day 'come to your senses' and be gone like a puff of smoke.  Everyman looks at your cornflower blue, emerald green, smokey grey, or chocolate brown eyes and sees the future there. When you toss your flaming red, silky blond, coal black, or lovely brown hair Everyman's heart goes 'thump' just a little bit. When you walk into a room Everyman holds his breath. Everyman is secretly delighted that you walk over to him after walking into that room. It makes Everyman able to breathe again.  Everyman is also secretly proud of the number of times he has had to answer the 'what do you do to this woman to make her want to be with you?' Truth is Everyman has no real idea how he fooled you into thinking you want to be with him, but is not going to change one little bit of it.

Everyman sees the sway of your hips, and starts to think naughty little thoughts. Everyman wants you to be his dirty little secret, but not too secret. After all, Everyman has a reputation to think about, and has friends that he needs to brag to about something other than his ability to throw darts. Everyman is convinced that you are the best thing since sliced bread, more important to civilization than the wheel, and a lot more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Everyman is like that, not the deepest thinker in the world, and quite happy (most of the time) to be content with bread and circuses. Everyman shivers when he sees that he has provoked your temper. It is a wonderfully awful thing to behold, and sometimes Everyman makes you angry just to get to see it.

Everyman is puzzled when you talk about things he fully fails to understand. When you quote Shakespeare or when you mention the labeling theory, or when you tell him you love him in a language that he does not speak. Everyman sometimes has difficulty expressing himself to you, because all he can think about is how wonderful you are, and how wonderful it will be to grow old with you. Everyman wants you to be the mother of his children, to rear them, to hope to the powers that be that those children get your genetic makeup and not his. 

You are the Sun to Everyman, bright, shiny, hot, and a little dangerous, but when you are 'shining', so very glorious. Everyman basks in your reflected glory, and realizes that without you the day just isn't really worth getting out of bed for. Although, Everyman would be quite happy not getting out of any bed that you co-occupied with him. Everyman thinks that to see you smile, and to know that he is at least a partial cause of that smile, is worth all the tea in China.  Everyman sometimes gets a little confused about all of this, and just wants to be reassured. Everyman is reassured when you favour him with the briefest of glances. All of these things, and so very many more are what Everyman thinks and feels when he sees you. Things that the aforementioned Shakespeare put into far better prose than Everyman could ever hope to. Things that made the bards sing, the painters paint, and the grass green. Everyman can only hope you realize all of the things that he tries to say in his own poor fashion.

However, and here is the rub, the problem that makes it all go somewhat pear shaped. The fly in the ointment as it were. The ghost in the machine, the reason that sometimes things are better not lived. The one thing that, like the Riemann hypothesis, has no clear solution. The one thing that is simply as sad as sad can be, it is the simple, but unquestioned fact, I am not Everyman. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


 It has been six months since I discovered this glorious poison that I have become addicted to. This wonderful drug that was 'invented' in 1874 by some idiot I've never heard of, working at some hospital that probably doesn't even exist anymore. That is your history lesson for the day ladies, learn it well. This stuff is glorious, poisonous, and addicting. It is also the only way I have been able to make it through the past six months. It is the crutch that allows to me 'walk' out into the public world and not curl up into the fetal position.

How I managed to find it isn't really important. The important bit is that, in a few minutes when I press down on that plunger, I will experience an euphoria like no other. All this of this euphoria is due to very complex brain chemistry that happens when the dragon hits my veins. I don't care about chemistry, or about my brain, at least not when that first rush hits. All I care about it how green everything looks, how transcendent I feel, and how I am now almost certain that I know the exact meaning of life. I know everything, I can do everything, I feel everything. It is something that makes Pink Floyd make a lot more sense. To describe it is far beyond my meager ability with the English (or any other) language. It makes everything so fucking clear, that if you could stay there in that rush you would probably cure cancer, feed the hungry, and put an end to war.

Of course the problem is that the feeling doesn't last nearly as long as it should. While I was so busy feeling that rush, and understanding the meaning of life, I forgot to writ it down, or to record it in any way. Therefore, I need more of the dragon to get back to that state of being, and this time I WILL make sure to write it all out. All of those complex formulas that will make the world a better place will be written down with precision, and given freely to humankind as my gift to them. Maybe this is what Jim Morrison was talking about when he wrote some of those hard to understand, crazy lines of his poetry and his music. Maybe a little bit of this stuff, and I will be writing the great American novel.  I can do anything as long as this shit is around. Change the course of history if I feel inclined to. Move mountains, save little babies from burning buildings, the whole nine yards of heroism is mine.

That was one of the beauties of wearing long sleeves as a part of my job, it made my addiction easier to hide, all I had to do was not go out in public much. Then summer came, and the wiser part of me (if any still exists) decided to try a new way to chase the dragon. The classical way, the way that gives the expression its name. Chasing the dragon all over some foil, as it slides to the left and to the right leaving a trail of impurities behind. It is in those impurities that you start to see your doom writ large. If this stuff is doing that to a piece of foil, what is it doing to your system? Making your lungs as black as your soul. A soul that I became willing to sell on the cheap, just so I can get another chance to chase the dragon. I will now tell the most outrageous of tall tales, lies, and stories just to explain my actions while on the dragon, and to attempt to get another chance to grab the dragon by the tail.

It is the 'chic' thing to do chase this dragon along a path that has a lot of potential for bad endings. A lot of people have chased this dragon, none that I know of, have ever caught it. It has been the final path that a lot of people took, and I don't think I want to end up in their shoes (or in the same state as them), but once on this chase, it becomes ever so hard to get off of the chase. Things start to lost a lot of meaning, and the 'dream' life that we are convinced that we are after starts to fade into the background very quickly, and not just because we stopped sleeping more than 2 hours a night about 4 months ago. That faded dream is all too real, becoming frayed around the edges, the edges that we use to further chase our dragon.

The final truth of the matter is that dragons eat people both figuratively and in reality, and sure this dragon isn't really what it sounds like, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous, poisonous, or deadly. That poison that has been coursing through your system for six months, and colouring almost every aspect of your life, has to be drawn out, purged as it were, for you own, and others safety. We all have our dragons to slay, and we all could use a St. George to ride in and 'save the day' as it were, but the fact is there was only one St. George, and he slew his own dragon. Maybe that should be a lesson for us all, it is (at the end of the day) your dragon, you must needs be the one that slays it.

Friday, June 01, 2012


There are all types of voices. Voices of reason, voices of insanity, voices that make you want to howl at the moon, voices that you can listen to for hours just for their sound, voices of authority that tell you what to do, and when to do it. Persuasive voices that try to convince you that what they are telling you is either good for you too, true, or both. Voices that tell us to have one more beer, what could it hurt? Voices that try to sell us something, insurance, drugs, sex, love, rock and roll, or anything else we could possibly want. Voices of exhortation that try to get you to make that one final push for god, king, or country, or all three. Voices that whisper terrible things in your ear much like Iago does to Othello. Voices that you recognize at an instant, and in that recognition you know exactly what they are going to say. Voices in your head that are in constant disagreement with themselves. One telling you to do the 'right' thing, one telling you to just 'do what the fuck you want'.

We all are bombarded by these voices all the time. We can hope that they aren't the 'voices in our heads' that make us wobble into a McDonald's with a pistol and shoot the place up, but I am sure that has happened before. But those people were insane, and our voices aren't nearly as disturbing are they?  Managing these voices can be quite difficult, and sometimes we just want them all to stop. We just want to sleep, or watch the boob tube and let the TV voices wash over us gentle as a spring rain shower. We don't want to have to think, or to reason with these voices, we just want a moment of peace. Even if you are able to obtain that peace and quite where the only voices you are under assault by are your own, you still are under assault.

In many ways, this assault is the one you are least able to resist, how do you turn off your own voice(s)? Lying very still, all communication devices turned off, and no music softly playing in the background? Usually, doesn't work, at least not right away. The voices are still there, and now that they have got your undivided fucking attention, they are going to have a field day with you.  Maybe those little white pills the kindly doctor gave you will help, but taking them seems to be an act of cowardice doesn't it? Sure they will put a stop to the voices for the moment, but they also make you groggy in the morning, and you don't really want to have to take them forever.  Addiction to get away from the voices is not something that you are willing to entertain as an solution.

Those voices are quite happy you chose the brave man's way out, and didn't take the pill that quells their incessant humming. The droning they provide in your head is like white noise, but not quite white, because you can, if you pay attention (and you are paying attention aren't you?) you can ascertain what they are saying to you. To you, for you, about you.  They are quite good at telling you all sorts of things you probably don't want to hear. The critical voice that makes its life's work to pick apart your day like a dog worrying a bone. Telling you all the mistakes you've made in the last 24 hours. And then of course, while they are telling you about your recent mistakes they go ahead and compare those mistakes with the mistakes you've made in, say, the last decade of your life. It takes a special glee in showing/telling you how you keep repeating the same mistake(s) over and over. That makes the critical voice as happy as a pirate that just sailed upon a fat, overloaded, unguarded Spanish treasure galleon upon a lee shore.

Those mistakes (the critical voice will tell you) are almost too numerous to mention, but the voice will still give it a shot to catalog them all while you toss and turn, and pray for it to stop.  This is not one of those situations where you can kill the messenger, that would certainly stop the voices, but it is a bit of taking a hammer to a fly.  The wonderful thing about this critical voice is that it is a mimic, and a thief. It can mimic the voice it needs to in order to inflict the most damage on your psyche. It is a thief in that it can steal/access your visual memory and provide you with a moving picture of your disaster(s) that it wants you to see on a loop. Make no mistake the critical voice is not your friend, and is, in many ways, unstoppable. Sure, somewhere in your mind (hopefully) is the soothing voice of someone (maybe your dear, old mum?) that will tell you not to listen to that mean, bad critical voice. Though sometimes, maybe more oft than not the soothing voice isn't strong enough to take down the critical voice.

The only voice that has a chance to 'out talk' the critical voice is the voice that you lot are 'hearing' now. That is the creative voice. The voice that is writing this post after a night of wrestling (and losing?) with the critical voice. The voice that hammers on the inside of my skull telling me 'to get the fuck up and write you loser.' 'It's the only way to ensure the critical voice doesn't always win.' The creative voice is right, and while it can't be held responsible for the substandard nature of the creations that come from its fight with the critical voice, it at least tries. It can't please everyone (least of all me), but it makes the attempt, and if the result is hated, well that isn't the creative voice's fault. It can only work with the material it has at hand. It is not standing upon the shoulders of giants, and sometimes it lacks the vision, but without it there might be dead messengers everywhere.