Monday, February 28, 2011
At any given second, someone is thinking about you. Whether its a friend, a family, someone walking by you in the store or driving past you in a car, or just processing the endless chain of paperwork or databases containing your name that exists everywhere in the world all at once. You are always on someone's mind. Almost as if what keeps us together as identities is this complex network of impressing ourselves on every neuron we come across, and if suddenly it were all to blink out, just snap shut like the clasp on a clutch, then you would be gone. I think sometimes we really do think that, that this new connectivity which has entered our history has changed us, chemically emotionally physically, and now there is a fear. There's always a fear. But now there's like, a new fear. Unrelated to sin or cornflakes or moths or gas masks. Something different, which is waiting, like a snake, to be named.
Another thing that bothers me is this inability to talk about bad emotions. Sure, we all bitch and moan about our work days, and sometimes something really bad happens, and we tell our online worlds "my dad died" or "I lost my house" or "there was a car accident." But that's it. It wouldn't do to have more than two posts in a row about it, and really, you can't mention it more than once, or suddenly you are just the one who's "really only ever talking about that, you know, thing."
I guess that's not confined to the internet. I guess that's a thing that happens in real life too, the inability to really be honest about the chain gang of thoughts beating around your skull with pick axes into the soft coal veins of your stability as a person. I wonder about the darkest places of my friends. Even the ones, no especially the ones I've known forever. I mean, really, who's seen me cry? I cried a lot last year, and I think maybe two people that knew me actually physically saw it. Besides my family, but that's the thing about family, you can cry at the drop of a hat with them.
But maybe the thing that stop us from going really deep into the worst parts online is that you know as soon as you say anything dark, obviously unhealthy, or even just particularly melancholy, you're going to get a barrage of comments about hanging in there, or it's not so bad or THIS IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Yes, I know it's a learning experience. That's why I'm thinking about it. And the immediate assumption that this is AN EVENT. There is this THING that has happened that has you thinking this way, and you just need to get over this THING. An expectation that of course all you need is support and sympathy and you will be fine.
But nothing's wrong. There is no event. If you are thinking about something, anything, all the time, if you are constantly creating fake conversations in your head between scenarios that don't exist, and with every interaction you are imagining the equal and opposite reactions, all the unique ways a situation could go, then Jesus, of course you are going to think about the dark things too. It doesn't do to pretend you don't have dark things. Really dark things. If you tell me you don't, you are either a liar or traumatized or stupid.
I have an excess of imagination. It's not a good thing or a bad thing. No, actually, it's a little bit of a bad thing. It's just the way I function. I talk to myself. I have conversations with people over and over again that will never see daylight or candlelight or streetlight or dome light. It's an ever changing mess in my head of miscellaneous story arcs. It sucks. It's hard to accept things the way they are sometimes, when you have already scripted how they could be, and actually, properly edited, should be. When you can see how they might be. And then you can't even use most of the pretend conversations and put them down properly, because your friends will think you are weird and/or maybe misinterpreted things. If you and I have had a conversation, I have probably had that conversation again in my head at least three different ways, all leading to different outcomes and then different actions the next day and so on and so forth, entirely new universes that have been sprung into existence by two separate lines or two steps to the right. I don't necessarily want things to be different, the potentials just exist already, I didn't put them there. It happens automatically, and it starts the minute I'm alone. Have you ever called me late at night, just randomly about something, and noticed how spacey I sound? It's probably cause I've been talking to myself for the last hour.
I probably need to learn how to hide stories better. Disguise them. It's like photoshopping pictures though. The originals always look better than the fucked with ones.
What I talked to myself about yesterday, after driving around the southern western valleys looking at flooded creeks and melting hillsides, was about disappearing. Just somehow figuring out how to get everyone in the world to stop thinking about or reading or seeing me. But like, not gradually, all at once. In a really quick blink. I think it might be impossible. I don't think even if you tried, you could erase all evidence of me, I think I'm spread too thin in random places, some mark of me would remain. An insignificant mark, but a rub nonetheless. A trace of paperwork in some creditor's office. So that's got to be somewhat comforting to those people who need heaven, the thought that, at least among a certain social economic class, there is no more "gone." In this moment though, I stood right next to the river bank and it was actually scary, to be next to the roaring flood all mud colored and snow cold, and I thought it would be really cool to disappear completely and see what happened if I talked to no one ever again. In what particular and unique way would I go crazy? I hope we've all thought about this at some point, because it would be weird to be as old as you are and not pondered it. It's a secret of course, what horrible points of my nature would lead to my mental demise. But I've got at least two candidates. I just can't tell you, because what if someday someone kidnaps me, and they've read this, and then they know the exact ways to torture me? You never know, I might be worth kidnapping some day.
And I also thought about being alone, not because it's a problem but because it's a fact. I'm not supposed to talk about that, because it's unhealthy and not productive and not attractive or interesting. Really though, what's the point of saying anything about it until I've figured out the new angle? It's not inherently boring, to read about loneliness, dozens of very good writers have have tackled it quite well. But that was the trick see. Everyone wants to talk about how lonely they are, but only those who have something new to say about it, or some new way to frame it, succeed in getting people to listen.