The Process

Tag: life

Banana Pudding Tequila God and Heaven

Any responsibility I have to a self is shredded wheat cake and disassembles in the presence of most liquids: most think of milk but anything//
salacious bodies lie on the gum-tarred sidewalk and flap fish-like in search of
orgasm, a veil dropped behind the eyes rather than lids

maintains decorum within, without is dissolved and on display for passersby
who wouldn’t bother anyway–the body could be a corpse or a tree or a box.  Doesn’t
matter.  The sticky sweatpants will affect almost nothing.  My pillow talk

is of being dead in the ground without the interest for something more.  The third rub
on the lamp evoked a thick smoke that dried the wheat, almost set fire to it: a body that said euthanasia should be available on grocery store shelves.  What if your child…

“yes, it’s sad.”  Community of frigid underlings?  Underlying?  Outlier?  Interred?  Flung out or even strung out in the cosmos, one toe in Earth’s atmosphere, dipping it, buying milk and naked?  Seven layer dip served out of a guy’s head while he sits on the cement,

loafers and shorts, maybe lost a job or found Valhalla in a urinal: many will win, few will enter?  I am reduced to the powder at the bottom of the bag but consider that a step

toward firmness and the construction of sap to amber, while I trap you transparent, beetle, we might’ve been syrup but now head toward jewelry, ornament exhibition tomb.  From what I understand, the choice of death quick and cozy could be taxed.

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Are You Comfortable With Your Mortality?

So the other day, I was massaging my girlfriend’s back, because she said it hurt from work.  “Am I dying?” she asked.

“Well…” I began.

“True, we both are.”

“Yeah, but it’s OK.”  I’m pretty sure that’s not the normal way that conversation is supposed to go.  I feel like most people would say something sweet like, “no, babe, you’re gonna be fine,” or something.  But we spend a fair amount of time thinking about the philosophy of life and death, and therefore, we build a lot of thoughts on the basic knowledge that we are rocketing towards death at an unquantifiable speed every waking second.  It’s just true.  For everyone.

Originally, I wanted to write about how I perceive a lot of human behavior as avoiding facing our imminent death.  More specifically, how I perceive a lot of goal oriented behavior as discomfort with mortality.  This is absolutely starting to sound like a bunch of hippie bullshit, but bear with me here for a minute.  My philosophy around the topic begins with a couple basic truths.  The first is that we are all humans that are going to die.  The second is that many of us would like to accomplish one or more goals in our lives.  The third is that failure to achieve the goals is possible.  I will use my industry, cooking, as the example for most of this article.

Let’s say my dream in life was to open a cafe and juice bar (this is horrifyingly far from anything I would ever want to do, but let’s just pretend).  There are many possible outcomes of my attempt to meet my goal.  But, assuming I would do whatever it took to open my cafe, let’s say that I worked my ass off, learned everything I could about coffee and juice, became a ninja in the art of the latte, went to business school to learn about running a restaurant, etc.  And I worked at a steel mill to pay my way through school, occasionally performing provocative routines at a local bar when I had the time.  I had a hard life without much time for social interaction, but it was worth it, because nothing would stand between me and my cafe and juicery.

But then let’s say that my business failed and I turned into a catatonic shell of a person and could never perform another flash dance, let alone get out of bed to go back to work at the steel mill.  In that case, I wasted years preparing to live my dream and then, essentially, lost my will to live.  Or better yet, let’s say that my business succeeded, but only enough for me to support myself comfortably for the rest of my life, and no one got much more than some coffee and juice from my shop, and maybe one day I would get tired of running the place and bequeath it to my long time started-from-the-dish-pit-now-he’s-here employee, Raul.  Then what?  Still dying.  There’s something inside of us that makes us feel good when we achieve something, but it’s strange how that’s a natural thing.  And maybe that’s because it’s not survival that is key but rather thriving just enough to be a part of the naturally selected race, at the end of the day.  To me, though, being “someone” or doing “something” is sort of something that people attempt order to deny the fact that one day this will all be gone.  The urge to leave a mark is something I pair with the fear of oblivion.  That it won’t matter that you ever were on Earth.

So, originally, that was my train of thought.  Why not just embrace mediocrity?  Why not just enjoy the days we have and cut out the risk of wasting time trying to achieve something?  The best analogy to explain this is school.  I’ll use my brother and sister as an example, because they’re both freshmen in college.  Say that Grant is busting his ass to get straight A’s this semester and doesn’t have any fun at school, because he’s too busy working hard.  And let’s say that Sydney doesn’t give a flying fuck about school and drinks her way through year one such that she barely remembers it come next week when she moves out of her dorm for summer break.  Now imagine that Grant gets mostly B’s and a couple A’s.  And Sydney gets mostly B’s and a C.  Imagine his disappointment and regret at all the wasted time.  It’s a weighing of opportunity cost.  That’s why I embraced the “let’s just shoot for mostly B’s” mentality in college.  Low-risk, low reward.  But I had a pretty good idea of what I had coming, and I was able to enjoy the time I saved by studying less.  We’re all dying, so let’s just enjoy this time we have.

But I kept thinking about this question…are you comfortable with your mortality?  Am I?  What is the converse?  What happens if you don’t try to accomplish?  What is the other side of all of this?  So what am I doing if I’m not striving to open my cafe and juicery for America’s finest basic people?  Besides ruminating over life’s philosophical quandaries?  Having experiences.  What kind of experiences?  I make art, I like to eat and drink, have relationships with friends and a significant other, etc.  Why is it that I like these things?  Because they’re fun.  Why are they fun?  Because they distract.  Distract from what?  Life.  And that’s the goo right there.  That’s the fucking answer, man (you may wish to imagine me saying this with a beanie on my head and a joint in my hand; none of that is accurate.  Actually, I’m just sitting around in my pajamas).  Digging into experiences as an outlet is an escape from the reality of being a human on this earth that just needs to consume energy and water and air to exist.  All that is so boring, existing without distraction.

So by extension, if I’m an experiencer instead of an achiever (for example), am I fully embracing mortality by constantly attempting to deny that I’m just alive?  Is wanting out of life just wanting death?  Is that why French people call an orgasm “le petit mort” (the little death)?  Because it’s an out from life?  So are experiencers just fucking in love with mortality, or what?  And are achievers and experiencers mutually exclusive?  Is the definition of a well-adjusted human someone who balances these two desires well?  The desire to transcend death but also to die?

Ultimately, I do think it’s fucking naive to be a power-hungry, achievement oriented person who can’t wake the fuck up and realize that at the end of the day, we’re all going to die. Even if we do something as impactful to the human race as inventing the wheel, it still wouldn’t matter, because advancement is sort of so random that the human race would be impressed by most growth, regardless of what it is.  If no one had invented the wheel, someone else might’ve invented a more accessible way to fucking fly or move shit around without a wheel, and maybe it would’ve been better.  The way in which we advance is not only irrelevant to us, since we will be dead in a short while, but it’s also irrelevant for future generations, because they will adapt their needs to the times accordingly, and who cares what we did for them?  However, it is possible that being defeatist and cynical enough to ride a wave of hedonism right into the ground for the rest of our lives is silly.  But it still wouldn’t matter, because Grant and Sydney both got mostly B’s, right?

Autobiography of a Skinless Mind: 12: Conversations

“hhmeshhh.”

“What?”

“Nothin’.”

“What?”

“No…nothing.”

“Hmatsh.”

“What did you say?”

“Hero’n scratch?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’ve got the hero’n scratch, you know.  I see it.”

“What the fuck.”

“It’s OK…I know.”

“Know what?  You know nothing.”

“If you didn’t do it you would be more offended.”

“Maybe I think it’s funny.  But you’re wrong.”

“I’m not.”

“So you know because you’ve done it.”

“No.  Look–you even act like a heroin addict.”

“I’m flattered.  Are you drunk?”

“Obviously.  Why else would I say that?”

“Well it was a smart pickup line.  Why don’t you take your messiah complex and head on home.”

“That’s funny…a messiah complex…You may have me there.  It’s just because I’m right.”

“Well you’re not.  You look familiar, by the way.”

“Come on, I mean, the bugs?  They don’t get to you?”

“Ha, the bugs.  They’re only in my dreams.”

“And?”

“And what.”

“You told Rick you think you go somewhere else when you dream, right?”

“How do you know I said that.”

“I’m right, right?”

“I was sitting on a serpent and there was a huge larvae and these skittery spiders.”

“Told you.”

“Well it’s dreams…you’re about one for two.”

“You barely remember them anyway; who’s to say you didn’t do the drug while you were over there.”

“Over where.”

“In dreams.”

“It is another place.”

“You said I looked familiar.”

“I heard everyone in your dreams is a person you’ve seen in life.”

“Or visa versa.”

“Fucking A.  You know it’s probably true about humans evolving in non-physical ways at this point.”

“You’re at the stage where you can’t imagine having anything in common with–”

“Christopher Columbus.”

“Exactly.”

“Well?”

“Well?”

“What is full circle when suddenly one could go back to arguing the world is flat and all imaging is illusion.  Or even that maybe we’ll find a new planet to trade up to.  Like I never questioned the fact that my neighbors are noisy and that I can hear them, because my wall is thin since our apartments used to be connected.  And then someone said ‘well that’s annoying,’ and I thought…’well, maybe it actually is annoying.  And maybe I deserve a quiet place with privacy.  And suddenly my mind is on thick walled, air conditioned paradise…yet maybe I like knowing someone I’ve never met has to hear me have sex every once in a while sort of like if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it or this innate desire to impact…and what I’m getting at is imagine we found out there was another planet with some bounty on it and all the fun and everything you need…and we all wanted to leave Earth…but maybe I would miss some of the grime and filth and dissonance.  I would, you know?  I really do enjoy being surrounded by some degree of a society where..everything is sort of like…they wear their genitals on their sleeves, you know?”

“It’s all a bit more vulnerable.”

“Right…like I saw a man in a shirt and slacks after work and he looked so tense and caught up in his life of–and I assume here, because I have no idea–making money, possibly saving up for a nice apartment, etc., but it made me laugh because it seems so unnatural and role-play-ish to act like something more than a wrinkly, purple baby covered in shit and bodily fluids…it seems so presumptuous that the ability to speak gives us anything like a right to have convictions and suppose that we know something about this place we live in…and I learned to pretend I also know what is happening as a survival mechanism.  Or a mechanism to thrive.  The facade of confidence is calming I guess.  Like you have the cow people and the steel people, and if you choose to put on the confidence facade, you get steel, and all the cows feel calm and you tell them where to go and how to feel before the slaughter.  Which is death.  Which is what life is, helping each other to the end, right?

“And you presume this with your words.”

“Touché…I guess it’s a postulation.  Like I don’t fucking know.  I laugh sometimes thinking how the dumb cunts trying in earnest to do everything the society way might actually be right about not thinking about it.  Like maybe they’re the true existentialists.  Maybe everyone else already left the existential crisis behind and chose life while I stayed behind to waste my time thinking about it.”

“Maybe we’re all cows, and then when you sleep, and you go there, you could think about it a little more.”

“This other place we go.  Why is it dark lately.”

“You mean the time when she had your whole outfit on and no one knew you had it first and she was taking your identity.”

“More or less.”

“It’s just not that simple.”

“We can’t lie there, can we?”

“You can, but it’s just a place where there are no dress shirts and everyone has their genitals on their sleeves, as you so eloquently put it, before.”

“You understood.”

“Of course; I always understand you.”

“Why the drug accusation then.”

“You said it was a good line.”

“Dick.”

“Are you going to eat the rest of that Cookie Monster cupcake?”

“I thought you knew me.”

“I can still have manners.”

“You like the bottom?”

“My favorite part.”

“Why don’t I know that,”

“We forget things.”

“Like ourselves.”

“…”

“Am I wrong?  Are they watching us all the time?”

“Who.”

“Nevermind…Or also, is every person a true person or just a simulation to entertain me.”

“Are you a simulation to entertain me?”

“I don’t know.  I can think and feel…Whatever that means.”

“It’s so cold.”

“You look like Matt Damon; has anyone ever told you?”

“You look like David Bowie.”

“Strange…I did always think I was the only one who didn’t know me, but I thought at least that’s what mirrors were for.”

“Did you just–”

“Hear myself…haha yes.”

“Mirrors…”

“Shut up.  Ugh I feel the diabetes coming.  Take the rest.”

“Your mouth is blue.”

The Things That Happened

The truth lives inside a hangover, so when I woke up in my floating I thought about the little truths that I know like how normally I would save a day to cleanse but that I’m tired of trying to be <, and I would rather lay down and eat bowls of cereal instead.  Actually, I’m going to leave behind commas for now to say the true things because they box it up wrong.  And I got out of bed and bought wheat bread and bologna and the man at the counter kept not knowing what I was saying and it hurt my head to try to decide if I was being too quiet or if he just didn’t speak English and it was hard because I mumble and I still had a floating head.  And I went back upstairs and made the fried bologna sandwich in case the lady wanted to wake up and eat something greasy to make the pain stop and I took a bite and went back to bed.  And then she left and I sat on the toilet absentmindedly while her cat yelled at me and then the cat and I laid down and I couldn’t get up and I had to make myself leave to do the day and I walked toward the train but I kept not wanting to leave the air of the day so I kept walking past each R stop.  R R R and then I went into the Harley Davidson cafe for a coffee because why not…but the why not is that the coffee was watery and not cold enough and the lady was bitching about a woman paying in change and I was too tired to hear even though I understand.  And then I got on the train at Canal because it was time and I didn’t feel like buying art supplies anymore because I’m tired and maybe my bank account is low and maybe I would write instead.  On the train there were a few beggars, a dancer, and a couple of men chatting about normal things, which reminded me that all the world’s a stage.  And the concept of blissful ignorance exists on many many levels.  And I thought about how my mom said talking to me is like talking to a forty year old woman and is it weird that made me glad.  And I thought about how I always ask if we died and this is the afterlife.  Just the other day I saw a man in a burger suit advertising for a burger place on a hot day and I thought about how maybe this is actually the afterlife and that hell and heaven exist side by side on earth or everywhere and we’re just all experiencing the joys and punishment on a continuous loop but how that would be hard to support without the existence of a god or karma and that even still we might all just be random.  Because I am so convinced that when I die I will be completely done.  But then there are infinite possibilities of what could become of a person after death…like maybe you’d just be on a beach with Bjork like in the exhibit at PS1.  Or maybe all the world is just Bjork’s imagination while she’s on the beach and when you take your headset off you die.  Or I am Bjork.  Or you are or this is death or every night sleeping is dying and tomorrow is the afterlife.  The point is that every action doesn’t matter if we are going to die once and for all but if each new sleep is death and the afterlife is living in the effect of your previous action, then everything is completely relevant and direct and god is cause and effect or life and death and afterlife is cause and effect and god is still a scapegoat that lives on some people’s lips.  Or when I die I will go to hell for my debauchery and eschewing religion or I will go to heaven to prove a point and God will laugh at me and say “gotcha, bitch.”  And then I got off the train and considered buying a bagel but couldn’t believe I could think about food because of the fact that I drank two margaritas and seven glasses of wine last night and ate dinner and woke up and ate part of a greasy sandwich so I just went home.  And as I walked down the street with the flowers emerging from the branches I smelled buckwheat honey and semen on the lukewarm breeze and felt peaceful with a tinge of disgust which is what Spring is about I guess.  And the thoughts I had when walking down my street became a story like a fantasy I guess but I hate the word fantasy when it refers to anything besides some sort of great ideal occurrence so I would call it more of an imagined story where I was telling someone about how the reason that you never say “never” is because never is a tiny fairy that is summoned when you say her name and she brings you the thing of which you spoke.  Never always comes to get you, you know.  With the commas, I know, but fuck you…because I’m allowed to do anything, really.  And they fit there.  In a way that made my brain feel OK.  I thought, too, about how I had meant to be better.  “What had happened was” is a great way to put it What had happened was what had happened was dot dot dot.  Dot dot dot dot dot dot.  That makes life an ellipses.  Or considering my inability to comprehend whether life is life or afterlife or day or whatever then I am just an ellipses or an excuse or a shrug and a piece of belly fat that tried to say I’m not sure I care or this is just the way I am because inertia is real and change requires energy, focus, and tunnel vision, none of which I really possess at the moment.  I would almost say I’m wry but it’s a raw thing too and a bit of heavy jading.  Yeah I wake up worried because of myself and the expectation of catastrophic abandonment but if I’m to embrace my abundant mediocrity it’s just a doom I’ll come to terms with and come to love one day, as those things often happen.  It makes me laugh a little just because it reminds me of the part where Motley Crue sings “if you want to live life on your own terms, you gotta be willing to crash and burn,” and maybe I am that and by transitive property Bjork is crash and burn or the absence of it…and it’s not necessarily willing to crash and burn but accepting that it’s probably coming and What had happened was dot dot What had happened was hold me closer tiny rocket man dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot What had happened