Tonight was not a good night for silence.
On the subway in Manhattan, headed south from Columbia towards the lower east side. Erin and I notice that a group of college kids have hopped on the car at the other end of where we are. It's obvious to me that they are theater students, or dancers. They are at ease with and have a command over their surroundings -a quality one finds with born performers who still haven't allowed the world to swallow them up. Type-A personalities (at least a few). Untouched jewels. They love the world and for this, it loves them right back. They are all attractive kids, all comprised of African Americans and Latinos. They laugh and carry on at the other end of the car. They play a game that I may have last played in a high school drama class, or in the "theater games" segment of some opera rehearsal in college. I certainly cannot think of its name. From what I can tell, the group begins totally frozen, one person takes initiative and makes a decisive movement. Another person follows, establishing a tempo. A third person then moves, adhering to the pace established by his or her predecessor. This seems to continue until every one in the group has gone, after which I they start over. They They try to avoid moving at the same time. Eventually someone forgets to move promptly or moves out of turn. By establishing the order smoothly, they begin to formulate a group consciousness, a mental and physical sense of ensemble (that would serve them well in a stage production) in a noisy and crowded city subway car. Rounds of the game come and go, each one ending in a burst of laughter. No one seems to mind the raucous they make. The kids are funny. They have bright, smiling faces. They do not curse. Each of them is young, happy, beautiful, and surrounded by friends. They are living and creating on one of the most exciting islands in the world.
It was at that moment that I realized that I never really lived a day in my life.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
It's not the boy with his finger in the levee's hole.
I think it's much worse.
Each friend, each relation, each partner, each individual on this blue planet who needs or wants something from me wants my blood and then wants to kick my dry carcass.
It's personal. I don't believe that I'm in control of my life in the way that people seem to think I am. That somehow, if I wanted, I could do things the way I wanted to. That I could stop the noise and hear only the birds and the slow budding and eventual lilt of flowers.
Children in their moms' and dads' back seats can't wait to get home so they can black out the eyes on pictures of me. Dogs behind Koreatown dumpsters howl and and lick their lips when they see me on Wilshire Blvd. Police men sleep with my mugshot under their pillows. The sun reminds the moon that all will be better when I am gone.
Perhaps I'll occupy an unmarked grave, facedown, drug-war execution style (minus the drugs, the war, and the execution), in, say, the Mojave Desert (where all of California's despair comes to rest on the hottest days of the year).
All creatures, all conditions, all systems, will finally work out their 29 year old bugs when I close my eyes forever. They will perform nature's tasks more efficiently when I've been passed through our cosmic digestion. The universe will sing it's work songs and lullabies in tune once again.
It's personal. It should be plain to see. Nobody ever seems to think that the world is out to get them anymore. It's an unpopular attitude. It's seen as melodrama, as egocentrism, as if the one feeling it has some sort of paranoid persecution complex. Bullshit. The sooner we teach our children that there is a strong possibility that they will be one day be devoured by their surroundings, the more equipped they'll be in the event this occurs.
Just remember: Everyone and everything is out to get you.
Y O U A R E F U C K E D .