Here you lie restlessly awake between the flailing skies and siren wails. The unquiet distance and auditory rape continues, and you see reality as it comes and goes. Six minutes into the raw new day what more do you see but reckless youth and piercing lights from bars blocks away. There’s more than this shrieking existence: peel back the idiosyncrasies and reveal the innocuous—the place where life is dull and meaningless. You are barred from this place.
You cannot, will not ever live with or in the bland quotidian; life will always mean pain and penury for you. And yet, do you see anything coming to change who you are? Don’t you see you exist for no reason? This is all a scam. No,
“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it”
(Flannery O’Connor, Letter to Betty Hester, September 6, 1955).
Suck it up. Bar down on whatever bit of stringy meat you have left on your bones. Squeeze the filth that has accumulated on your thighs, and realize that you, in your meat sack of a body, are worthless. Sit up. Walk to your bathroom sink, and scald your hands in the water from that rusted faucet. Life is not for you. You understand that you’ll never be strong enough to look past the nihilism written in your bones. What about existentialism—don’t get yourself worked up about something for nothing. You know your own truth. You found out what was happening, and now you merely must live with the pain and associated turpentine temperament.
“an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything…only a fool can become something” (Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground).
Let hate boil in your marrow. Get angry at the world. It’s Saturday and time for you to rage against the world for one day. For tomorrow you’re supposed to sit and be still in some religious institution, but really, why are you there? Why do you waste an hour or three praying to an ill-willed, frivolous, non-existent being? Networking. Feign faith to extract wealth—it’s humanity at its finest.
Come back to your derelict apartment above strewn out simpletons and part time hookers to realize your place in the world. At least you’re somewhat above them. At least you’re going to college and “doing something” with your life. But don’t forget to grimace at the sordid slums you live in. You wanted to be anywhere but here—remember. Don’t forget to pick up those groceries or do your laundry. Look to material wealth after you complete these maintenance rituals.
Fix those sleeping problems, take your medication, and be sure to call mom. What about your treatment. It’s time for you to go chug a liter of water while you chain yourself to that revolving once-torture mill. No that’s later. Go back to sleep. Those freaks in their disgusting soiled clothes scream from the concrete slab below. They will soon pass out from their squalor, and then you’ll go on and scrape the rough cotton sheets on your limbs, trying to eke out some kind of rest even though you know it’s not possible. Evidently, it’s 4 A.M.
“And do you know what ‘the world’ is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end… This world is the will to power—and nothing besides!” (Nietzsche, Will to Power’s aphorism 1067).
We limp through our lives with nothing more than the supposedly evolutionarily favorable bodies of bipedal, hairless apes. What is our purpose. In the tired eyes of the moonlight, we are nothing, but we are everything. We are made of stardust, but then isn’t everything connected to us? The sea bed of existence bears no meaning, no glinting treasure left for us remains uncovered. Going through the motions established by a fallible group of humans in a system corrupt as any eighteenth century king does not gratify us. Examining the scum of humanity at our doorsteps does nothing to boost our morale. We live for some reason. We, the human race, persist for some undetermined reason. We can’t seem to reason anything better to do than to molest the Earth, killing everything in our path: this is our will to power. We are all monsters. Even the supposed façade of civilization does nothing to hide the malformed, malcontented psyches ruling our actions. Our race is sick, and yet, we live on in our vegetable existences.
I need a fresh start. I stare down the street from this ridiculous rectangular prism, and I think:
“Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter” (Albert Camus, The Stranger).
I’ve been fed on a diet of commercialization and corruption. I’ve grown up in a schizophrenic mecca of gaudy America. Consume and consume, my friends; welcome to the modern world. Forget your woes, and remember you’re here to make money, spend it, devour to your hearts content, and die. This is a place of pleasure; enjoy. But, don’t forget the progress erected beneath your feet, the fabulous pacifier to reality. Consider the technology, materialism, consumerism, etc. and the legacy of humankind.
I remove my hands from my face. I return to myself here in the present. I study my hands, the intricate markings on the dermis suddenly appear as a map leading to somewhere. The self will always be with us—progress does not murder self-reflection.
Foaming about the edges of the vast scatterings of humanity, hope tries to find its way, tries to bubble over but to no avail. Hope means nothing: there’s only good and bad without any rotting leftovers in between.
Sweeping bodies from mountains to deserts chart out the spherical nature of our world—writhing pain and suffering only join it together. Can’t you see that’s all the human race has inflicted upon its dwelling? Our niche makes us suicidal: we mark our territory by destroying every other sentient being currently occupying a space we wish to own. There’s no point in prolonging this existence if it means destruction. Where’s the righting species, the higher than human exterminator, Dr. Manhattan, coming to set us right? We will never know how to become stewards of the earth if we maintain this dearth of understanding and kindness. Productivity may give way to progress, but when does it become a hindrance to our naturalistic impulses—our calculating love, if we have it, for animals in our past evolutions as mammals, a love for those things we could have become. Denying the past spores and imminent flaws of the future creates an epidemic of ignorance and a self-centered, utilitarian approach to progress in the name of progress. Where is the place for those kind souls who seek degrowth?
What would happen if we just stopped?
Stop pushing, going, flowing, moving.
And breathed again.
You all go and continue your demolition if you’d like…Destroy the ecosystem, and forget us. We don’t want to come to your sadistic party. Leave us to our own devices. We will be the ones who walk away. We will be the ones who you say do nothing by doing something. You will mock us, but we will be examples to your children because we chose not to conform. We were the ones who did something while we had the chance to slowly dismantle the system by cutting ourselves off from it. And, that’s ok. That simple act of defiance will mean something to the soil we softly tread on, and you will see the many that follow in our barren footsteps towards this something, a second chance.