there’s no reason not to, sometimes, and you find yourself contending with the gods. juggling thunder, spewing lightning, and pissing hot rain. often, its just part of regular everyday struggle. yes. and so it continues. day and night with out stop. the world spins, and the sun “comes up” and we wake up and we push the boulder up the hill. again. what else is there? when i was young i was captivated by the idea that there could be a question like: what is the meaning of life? huh? And then i wondered… well what IS the meaning of life?! i’ve had various answers over the years. it suffices.
its been a long, dark week. after weeks of non-stop activity, sleepless and/or curtailed nights, everything suddenly and utterly stopped. that is, six days into March… there was very little to do suddenly. while tonight (3/11) i have a two back-to-back gigs, and tomorrow i’m being sociable, and sunday i’m being networkable — these past four days have been pretty low-grade lonely times. and i have not been this alone since my senior year of college. i remember the feeling. the first little while is the hardest. even for a misanthrope such as myself. after about 30 hours, you long for someone to call, come by, knock at the door, text, email — anything. but events conspired for me to be left almost entirely alone.
firstly, i fell sick that last night. i felt it coming for a couple of days. and the timing was amazing. as i drove home, i was overwhelmed by the hordes of sickness. i felt it breach my walls and swarm over my soldier-cells. i felt my body begin to weep. from the nose, the throat, the chest and throat, from the head. and i had to pack a good half mile away from my apartment (it was late). and that walk home Sunday night… it was a singular experience of deliberate application of will’s power over all else. indeed — i think i blacked out somewhere along the way.
secondly, my girlfriend had absconded to South America for about 9 days. on some sort of extreme nature hike. no cell access, no internet, no nothing. i still haven’t heard from her, but i assume no news is good news. that is, if something had happened, i’d have been notified hopefully. so hearing nothing probably means all is well.
thirdly, my father — my charge, it seems like — had lost his phone and so was incommunicado as well.
and so Sunday i lay down and sort of died for a short time.
the remarkable thing about being alone is, once the agonizing loneliness wears off… you enter a sort of REM waking state. of almost heightened awareness. the loneliness, the longing, it becomes a dull thud (like a slowly dying heart) and you can feel time expanding in front of you. around you. almost like a tightening on your actual skin. that loneliness throbs slower and more dully every passing moment and time expands and expands and expands. until you feel like you can remember almost everything that is happening: a cat sneezes. a car horn blares. the light changes as a cloud passes over the sun. your heart beats. children laugh under the window. a dust mote lands on your eye lashes.
all this is an instant. you know, they are basically things happening at the same time. what separates them are tiny, basically incalculable attributes. maybe a very tiny moment before the children laugh, you feel the dust land, then the car blares. or maybe they ARE concomitant, but they have varied distances from you at an arbitrary (and, indeed, arbitrating) center.
anyways, it feels like that. and so time gets loooooooooong. i think, sometimes, that the first music — certainly percussion of some kind — was based on experience coming up out of this state of mind. when you can perceive time not merely as a medium that you are experiencing things through, but something which your life — your very state of being — consumes. and that you can choose to consume it in intervals. you can design times passage. its destruction or decay, if you will. as the future is like a perfect thing, and the past is muddied by the disturbances we’ve made in time. warping.
and this is undoubtedly the best time to analyze yourself. it is when you can dig deepest. in college, i lived alone in a rectory my senior year. and that winter, there was no one around. no one there. the wilderness, though somewhat tamed, kept me apart from people. i work in the mornings and i could have been the only person on earth. i woke, made coffee, washed, wrote music, read, and in the evening built a fire which i read in front of. sometimes i would bundle up and smoke alone on the porch. counting the cars that might pass in an hour. one or two, maybe. often: none.
i assure you — in this way, you will know yourself. if you are inclined toward darkness, misery, ponderous thoughts of the expanse of space, the density of atmosphere, the heaviness and force of thoughts: you will know it. you cannot fool yourself into thinking you are something else.
you need to be careful not to fall into a full-on depression. for me, music and stories help. they also divide the time. and change its qualities. indeed music… those designs in time’s warping… it actually decorates the passage of time. you can build edifices of sound in the intervals of music. it can seem like real explosions of matter are springing up around you. it can be most mystical.
but i digress.
if you make it through to the throbbing loneliness, its like you’ve got super powers. i can write whatever i want to. i can describe anything. the sadness of a dripping faucet. the tickle of jealousy in the back of your head and at the base of your throat (just above the chest). i put it all down into words. and i am both bemused and amazed. and also, completely non-plussed. it is a fine line.
now, i break the silence. here. i am. the dream AND the dreamer.
i am a candle. i am lit. there is no smoke.