Tuesday, March 29, 2005

the cold and lonely absurdity of life

When I was about eight or nine years old I decided I was going to run away. I packed all my stuff in my little pink suitcase with Hello Kitty on the front and decided to wait until it was dark and everyone had gone to sleep before I made my move. I sat on the floor of the living room and stared out the window for hours, waiting for it to get dark so I could leave. Finally, the streetlights turned themselves on (time moved so slowly when I was eight years old that I remember watching the minute hand of the clock tick forward, and being able to identify the exact moment when it was no longer summer). At about the same time, my mother noticed me staring out the window and asked me what I was doing.

I was a crap liar at this point, although I lied constantly. Sometimes I wasn't even aware I was lying until the words were already out of my mouth.

I found myself unable to lie, and instead told her I was running away. She asked me why. I told her about the kids at school, and how they made fun of me and stole my pencils and made me cry so often that I had taken to bringing a stuffed cat to school with me so I wouldn't feel so alone, which of course made them tease me even more. I'd never had a security blanket, a bottle, a pacifier, or even a special doll or toy when I was a baby. But the cruelty of other children had a way of making me regress to a stage I'd never even experienced before.

She didn't say anything, but let me continue to stare out that window at the streetlights outside. Running away didn't look so appealing anymore. No one had made any appeals to my conscience, to love, or concerns for my safety. But I realised just how dark it really was between the streetlights. They were really just tiny pools of light in a cold and dark landscape. And without even leaving the house, I was scared of what lay beyond them.

Cold and loneliness are my two biggest fears. They have been ever since that moment when I first saw the inadequacies of those streetlights, and I pictured myself lying cold and alone on a streetcorner somewhere, with no one to tuck me in at night and no one to make sure I put my coat on before leaving the house.

My desire to run has, at times, rivalled my desire to stay. I have been known to get profoundly restless about every 2-3 years or so. This is probably why I went to three different high schools, and left my university to go abroad after only two years there.

But there are moments of cold and loneliness from my travels that continue to haunt me, more than anything else from that time. I know I am capable of incredibly idiotic decision-making when it comes to avoiding the feeling of being utterly alone. Sex is always easy to find, and usually when I'm not looking for it. Intimacy, however, is a damn near impossible thing to achieve based on superficial attraction and temporary affection. That feeling of safety and warmth is simply impossible to fake.

Independence always feels like a farce when I am alone and shivering in the dark.

It is the greatest test of any relationship to recognize those moments and pull the other person out of them. The words 'I love you' from a phone line halfway across the world have very nearly saved me when I didn't even know I needed any saving.

I am reading Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. It is a painfully, vividly obscene piece of literature, and every bit as difficult to ignore as a person covered in mud yelling expletives just inches from your face. Reading it fills me with a very real sense of all that is truly revolting in the world: waste and decay and misogyny and bad sex and starvation and cruelty and utter alienation. Reading it is a bit like downing three shots of tequila in a row. It hits you in the head the moment the burning has mercifully subsided. Oddly enough, I think it's a brilliant book, though it's acutely painful to read.

Anyway, I was walking to the bus stop from the library last week, having just read that book for an hour or so. I had also been reading some stuff about Atom Egoyan, a Canadian director who makes films involving a lot of incest, pornography, voyerism, and general dysfunction. I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I was listening to the first, fairly irritating song on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' One Hot Minute, when I saw some seagulls feasting on what was quite unmistakeably vomit on the road from the Storm the Wall runners who didn't quite make it to the wall. I was filled with a feeling of total and utter disgust, a sense that there was really nothing much to fight for in a world full of creatures who puke all over the place and other creatures feed on it. I stared up at the big cold residential towers and marvelled at how revolting humanity truly is.

Then something funny happened. The song changed to Aeroplane, one of my favourite songs of all time. It goes something like this:

Looking in my own eyes, hey Lord
I can't find the love I want
Someone better slap me
Before I start to rust
Before I start to decompose
Looking in my rearview mirror
Looking in my rearview mirror
I can make it disappear
I can make it disappear
Have no fear

I like pleasure spiked with pain and
Music is my aeroplane
It's my aeroplane
Songbird sweet and sour Jane and
Music is my aeroplane
It's my aeroplane
Pleasure spiked with pain
That motherfucker's always spiked with pain

Sitting in my kitchen, hey girl
I'm turning into dust again
My melancholy baby
The star of mazzy must
Push her voice inside of me
I'm overcoming gravity
I'm overcoming gravity
It's easy when you're sad to be
It's easy when you're sad, sad like me

Just one note
Could make me float
Could make me float away
One note from
The song she wrote
Could fuck me where I lay
Just one note
Could make me choke
One note that's
Not a lie
Just one note
Could cut my throat
One note could make me die

I like pleasure spiked with pain
And music is my aeroplane
It’s my aeroplane
Songbird sweet and sour jane
It’s my aeroplane

The words were for some reason really fitting, and I smiled to myself as I walked. Nearing the corner, I saw a girl with pink hair wearing clownishly huge black sunglasses and reading a book called (no joke) Big Suk.

And my neurosis was all of a sudden unbelievably hilarious. I started laughing even while the girl was still in earshot, and was still grinning and chuckling to myself as I reached the bus stop where everyone was looking at me funny.

For the first time in a while, I simply didn't give a shit.

Life is hilarious. We are such absurd and delightfully obscene creatures, and we are so often without any conception of how funny we are. Let's remember how funny we are. I will. Frankly, I don't have much of a choice.

There is more to say, but little energy to say it with.

I have yet another essay due tomorrow, and another on Thursday. I will attempt to convince myself it is due to lack of time and not to lack of interest that I don't feel like writing in here.

Leave some comments, will ya? They erroneously make me feel loved.



by Nome at 11:24 PM
5 mews

    Welcome. This is the humble chronicle of my life & my thoughts on the world as I see it. If you know me in real life and want to keep my trust, PLEASE ASK BEFORE READING! I'm not accountable to you or to anyone else for what I say in these pages. Comments are much appreciated, but but insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please respect privacy and anonymity - nicknames or pseudonyms only. This is my space to be an adult - kids should go elsewhere. Thanks, and enjoy.

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