Sunday, January 30, 2011

night of the living


part i: kilgore’s creed
            passion. i feel like i have none of it anymore.
i used to be a very passionate human being. i was passionate about a few girls. i was passionate about a few bands that i was in. i was passionate about a few friends. i was passionate about my education and my future career. all gone now, it would seem.
the girls i once loved are strangers to me now. in my mind, they are ghosts that only briefly haunted my dreams at one point in time or another. thoughts of those dreams only conjure up shells, templates of what it was that i once desired. the bands that i was in dissipated long ago, and my own solo project flounders in my excuses for my laziness. my friends have dispersed across the state and across the country. i feel so disconnected from all of them, who i love dearly—i feel so distant. once, we were all so tightly connected and our lives intertwined. now, we are merely aware of one another’s existence—but entirely unaware of what that existence is experiencing. this is what life does to human beings and i realize this, but that doesn’t mean that i can’t complain about it. the education i was once so involved in and the career that i was so excited about now seem bland, a waste. i know that this is not necessarily true, but it certainly feels that way.
i am dead. or perhaps by definition, i am undead. i feel nothing. i feel like i am thinking nothing. i merely exist and continue to exist only because of the instinct to eat, sleep, and keep my financial and professional responsibilities. otherwise, i don’t feel like my consciousness is making any decisions anymore.
long ago, i decided that thinking was no longer a good idea, and that i would turn off my consciousness for a while, and go on autopilot, and let my subconscious take care of everything. what was once supposed to be a break has become a lifestyle that my consciousness grew dependent on.
this reminds me of the book “timequake”, by the late author kurt vonnegut, jr. briefly, in the book, a “timequake” has occurred and jolted everybody back ten years in time. they can do nothing differently than they did the first time around, so everybody is basically working on autopilot, because there is no point in trying to think about anything or make any decisions, because there is nothing that can be changed. when everybody catches up with the origin of the timequake, people are so used to not doing anything that they don’t do anything when their free will is restored, and all hell breaks loose. the protagonist of the semi-autobiographical work was always aware of the timequake. so when time catches up, he goes about trying to make people aware that it is time for them to use their free will again to make decisions before total chaos emerges. as total chaos emerges in my mind, shattering the serenity i felt whilst on autopilot, i think it is time for me to say to myself what the protagonist, whose name is kilgore trout, said to everybody who was still on autopilot. and this is it: “you were sick, but now you’re well again, and there is work to do.”

part ii: the city of the hills
            today i went on a road trip with one of my best friends from college, who was born, raised, and still resides in west albany. the plan was to drive through several catskill ranges and make our way back to oneonta, where we attended college. i have been to oneonta once since graduation. it made me happy, anxious, scared, and confused all at the same time. i decided that i never wanted to go back. i was unmoved when i was made aware that i would be going back to oneonta today. i was also unmoved when i became aware of the fact that afterwards, i would be seeing my favorite band in clifton park. this is not normal for me.
            as we entered the city of the hills, i am not sure what i thought or felt. maybe i wasn’t supposed to feel anything. i did not feel like i had been away for 16 months. i did not feel like a stranger. but i also felt distant, in concordance with the fact that i no longer live or study there—that not many of my friends still live there. one of my dearest friends does, and i surprised her, and spent time with her and her housemates, and it was nice. we then went to a local, famous bbq joint east of the city. and it was delicious. prior to all of this, we drove around downtown, and we drove around the campus. that evoked at least some thoughts and feelings: flashes of images of a past life—a dream, now—filled my mind as it gazed upon these places with modern, tired, confused eyes.
            when it was time to leave oneonta, i think i felt then as i do now. and it is how i think i feel about much of my life, as of late: i feel like i am never actually acknowledging that i am living—that i am actually doing anything. i am never fully aware of where i am or what i am doing. my mind is always on a past that i long for or a future that i am hoping for. i feel like luke skywalker on degobah, when yoda is rattling off his distaste for luke’s tendency to “look away at the future—toward the horizon”, and to never keep “his mind on where he was—what he was doing”. that is how i feel. i think i need something meaningful to be happening in the present to keep my mind from wandering into the past or merely dreaming of a future—and not working toward one. but what? its up to me to find that meaning.
            and here we are back at me rescinding a prior life view: i didn’t want my life or my work to have meaning anymore. i wanted to exist above and beyond anybody else’s demands or expectations—i wanted to exist without responsibility. and now i am finding that life without meaning has assumed the form of the life of a zombie. eating and moving. eating a movie. that is all i ever do. it cannot be all i ever do.
            this is all crap.
            the show was amazing. i did not drink. i sang loudly. i danced a little. but i listened. and i watched. and i got goose bumps. the kind that i know that i get when my brain is happy for reasons that i cannot explain.
            that kind of happiness is one that derives from passion. a deep, indefinable, unconstructed mass of pure passion. i must delve into this mass again and find myself again. or something.
this is all crap.
today was a good day. there is no denying that. i need humans and love in my life so that i can feel again. i know when this all started happening to me. and i sort of understand why. but i don’t. and here i am rescinding a prior life view: i was fed up with love. and as stupid as i feel, and as stupid as love is, i know that it can reanimate the dead. and that’s something.
here’s hoping.

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