I don't remember the greatest thing I've ever seen. I'm too much in the moment and in the future. The past is spent gas. It's dissipated in to the atmosphere. There are things I would like to see, though. Like peace. Like a lion playing gentle with a lamb. Like a snake with no ill will, and no poison. We live in a finely designed ambiance. We are being tested from every direction. The conditions of the world push us and stretch us. We scrambled to make a dollar. We gorge ourselves on food. We abuse ourselves with exercise. We chart our every mood. I don't remember the greatest thing I've ever seen. That's not how it works. But I remember some horrifying things, which I will spare you from. No need painting pictures for the sake of pity-lust. We don't profit from that. We profit from using our today's well and positioning our destinations in the right places. We profit from building each other up, and positioning the right people in the right places.
Some days the toil and risk of this post Adamic life dances and bangs louder than other days. Some days the toil is undeniable. The danger obvious. It could be a rainy day. It could be a sunny day. Some days I do not feel safe. Some days eternal life seems impossible.
I sit in corporation-designed ambiances, sipping corporation-designed beverage products, while corporate employees prepare for worship--which is to say, they prepare for work. I don't know. I guess what we call "the rat race" just gets to me some times. It ain't a big deal.
It's just bad news coming. I know it's coming. Death is in transit. And little pieces of it appear ahead of schedule all around me. The stress, the elbowing greed, and the ugliness of aging. No, I'm not ready for delivery.
You have a sweet heart, coated in poison syrup, dripping through your fingers. You have a hot heart, steam fogs the windows of your phone booth. You have a bright heart. Nobody can see your smile. Enemies come and go. Lines grow and contract. Math holds our attention for a minute or two. But your heart ticks down. You have a consistent heart. Your heart is genre fiction. We can all read it and we all know how it is going to end. Your heart is love steroids. You amplify your sentimental reactions and hold a fragile hand over your chest. Your heart is magic marker, swiping impromptu lines and fond doodles on everyone you meet. Your heart is Christmas colored. Your family draws close to it to give gifts and strike affectionate poses.
Mandatory training bogs down the antidotes. Required courses tames the horses. I'm doodling my restless doodles. Hedonists talk about inane activities. "Is this hell," I accidentally ask out loud. Fortunately nobody hears me over their own verbal flow; their self-obsessed vocal show. They talk about all their stuff. Fragments and pieces loosely associated but tightly constrained around themselves. It's like listening to elevator music. It's like house staging. It's all nice and pretty, but inhuman, unreal, fake, dead. Dead in a fancy way. Dead in spirit. Dead in humor. Fat. The instructor says we can take a break. I drift off to far away places. Oceans rage. Zebras bey as the lion chases them. I'm watching God's show, where there is more to see everywhere you go. And more to know. And more to be.
We're trying. The smoke is clearing, then congealing. The structure is crumbling. I am trying to paint a picture while standing on platforms that are falling and shifting. My brushes tumble. Paint disobeys. Retaliation is futile. The enemy is imaginary. We are trying. We run. We pick up speed. But the flower ladies are drunk and the book advisors can't read. I keep finding myself on this same street. I keep forgetting where I was going. There are too many places to see. My bucket list is on fire, and I'm trying to do everything at once. And something is burning. It pesters our noses. It festers in our houses. It makes contracts with our social networks. We are trying the best that we can. But the clocks keep shifting. Nobody knows what time it is. We are trying. We really are. But the oceans are swallowing our lands. Corporations are creating ointments for our hands. And all our art has turned to sand.
I am a child of many fathers and a son of many mothers. Of course I have but one biological father and mother, but their ships have strayed. Their rudders cracked a whack, slipped the knack. Now I'm orienting my journey on self-selected parents. They shine like the brightest stars in the darkest night, and they guide me to my destinations. They set me on the right way. Some of these pseudo-parents died a long many years ago, but their guidance and advice is captured in dusty books with aging language. The language may age, but the wisdom remains. It persists through the decay. It manifests... wait, one of my fathers advised against using that word, and I think he is right. Sometimes my parents disagree. Their wisdom conflicts. But they have advised me to weigh the perspectives and make my own judgement. They have advised me to do my best. To try things out for size. To analyze my results. To evaluate the prize. One thing I know is that all of my parents love me.
Stack the teeter tottering commerce packages. Reduce the neon fever fantasy. Awaken drunk from midnight beverage choices. Happy people flood the commerce store. Sad people sleep in late to resist the waining morgue. I see mothers without their lovers. I see women without their grandkids. I see men too old to wed. They're all flooding the commerce store. Aching backs cause bad posture. Enthusiasm for one's daughters. Crinkled papers mock the lever. Just because it rhymes doesn't mean it's clever. I hate this sludge that lames my thoughts. I hate this fog that mocks my gods. I hate this angst that drugs my muses. Inconsiderate spirits, boozing floozies. I just want a room to write my stories. Someplace alone that opens early mornings.
I was chasing a giant inflatable pumpkin down a sad New Jersey street when I saw you there with some funny looking contraption on your head. "Have you ever heard of radionics," you asked as the giant pumpkin hurled over the top of an SUV, leapt atop a strip mall, and decimated a billboard, before disappearing over the building, where it continued its episode of manic destruction. "No," I said. You put the contraption atop my head, and my voice could be heard (though not from my mouth) saying "I hate pumpkins anyway." I ripped the thing off my head and said, with my mouth, "what the?" You said, "Radionics is the projection of your thoughts to the world around you." And I said, "But I love pumpkins." And then you said "oh, you must have it on backwards."
Satan has a heated blanket for you, and a turkey sandwich with potatoes and gravy. He is lowering his blanket over your fatigued head and it is melting down around your shoulders. Stop typing. Stop working. Throw yourself onto his cushy couch. Sip the...
Throw that blanket in the fire! Toss that plate of death to the dogs! You are tired and cold, and what's it to you? Step into the discomfort. Embrace the hate. Shake the fatigue. Your tasks are righteous and authentic. Your journey is important. People may be waiting for you. People may not remember you at all. But when you are finished with your task thing they will all remember your grandiose Lord. They will brush clean a space on the street and kneel their legs, lowering their torsos to the appropriate height for a long needed prayer. People are thirsty for devotion and they don't even know it. The work you are doing will remind them of their thirst. But it is cold and hungry work. So what's it to you?
To know your strength requires introspection and honest analysis. You must lower your periscope to the deepest depths and congregate your accountants and cluster your preachers. You must rub ointment on your cult leaders. The point is, there is so much noise and so many insane people with ridiculous beliefs that our self analysis gets skewed. Puked. To know your strength is to know your limits. But you have to really know it. You can't guess. You can't have inflated assumptions of what your strengths are. To know your strengths is to know your limits and to know your limits is to know what your potential is. To know what you are capable of. To know what this machine can really do. We are cyborgs in a strange and unhappy place. We are walking clusters of software and hardware and complicated programming. We fight as we are designed to fight. We laugh, though that is not part of the plan. Laughter is a bug in our software, but we have uncovered it and now use it to our advantage. It is now a strength we can leverage to counteract the unhappiness of this slowly rotating battle arena.
The fiery bird flutters to my shoulder and whispers in my ear: "I am the god of procrastination. I am on the prowl. You are my prey." As I lift my hand to shoo him away, he flaps into the air in a cacophonous frenzy. Glitter sparkles shoot from somewhere behind him as rainbow spirals flow from his instant show. I try to look away, but he shrieks like a child suffering and my attention returns to him, feeding him, making him stronger. Making his glitter clouds sparkle brighter. Making his rainbows glow in 3 dimensional awe. I squint to block the show, but it is no use. I lunge at the bird and manage to grasp him by his spectacular throat. I take a deep breath. The bird begins to burn. Heat makes him hard to hold. In my crisis moment I cram him into my mouth where he struggles like a madman. Like a toddler who resists going to bed. With a swig of white tea I swallow the god of procrastination. I swallow him whole. With a fist on my chest, to quell the deep burning, I turn my head and cough out a small cloud of smoldering feathers.
I've got "Down-side Blindness" and it's Jupiter sized. It hangs in the air and darkens my playgrounds. I cast a vision and articulate a plan, but my downside blindness sabotages my returns. "I didn't see that coming," I say, in the debris of my project's disaster. "I didn't expect that," I say, in the ashes of my wasted task. I've got Down-side blindness and it makes all my upsides look brighter than they really are. My upsides shine like cosmic gods and raging suns, just above my head, and I am walking into it. "This wasn't as good as I thought it would be," I say, in the dull glow of my eventual accomplishment. "I thought this would be much better," I say, in the underwhelming euphoria of a success. I've got Down-side Blindness the size of Jupiter, and it fills me with unrest.
The train is screaming over the horizon line. I'm over here contemplating the nature of time. Lemonade mind. Sugar tone. Easy does it, difficult cousin. There is heat around the flame. There is flame around the fuel. What starts the spark? What initiates the burn-down protocol? What leaves the molecules for dead? The universe is a cold card dealer, and the odds are not in our favor. Life, in this universe, is a blackjack table. We will win a hand here and there, and our pile of gamble-coins will grow, and we will play with them in our hands. But the odds are not in our favor. And soon we will be back into the streets, cold in search of heat. Easy does it, difficult cousins. Salt tones on our mobile phones. What starts the spark? What is the flame?
I lower my head to the surface and place an ear close. It's down there, just below the surface, scratching to get out. I take my car key and start scratching, trying to break away the barrier. I hear it in there calling to me. I can't make out the words, but I know it wants me. I know it wants the best for me and my family. It just needs a way to be freed. So then I step back and take a running start and slam into the barrier, which throws me back and down, hard, to the cobblestone path. I hear it scratching in there, still, like a picture of a glass of whiskey deep in the mind of an alcoholic. It's in there wanting to be free, like the hyperactive virgin's seed. I stagger to my feet, unwilling to accept defeat. I think and wait for an idea to strike. But the idea is on the other side of the barrier, scratching to get out.
When we organized the police we became dogs on a leash. We outsourced our cut adrenaline. We gave away our staunch. Our resistance engine. Men used to look offenders in the eye, and slap any Jack that tried to front fierce. Now we rub against their leg as the thief scratches us behind our furry ears. We wag our tails and lick ourselves, unable to speak; not allowed to bark. We've outsourced our rogue muse. We've given away our protest fuel. It's trickling down the curb and gathering into a pool.
Someone's music is too loud = "Call the police!"
Someone stole my gum = "Call the police!"
We wag our tails, hoping someone meets our needs. Hoping someone gives a treat.