Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

I held my breath, everything is perfect now.

In rapid succession. A thumping. A marching bad. The sound of marching horses. The wind funneling through the woods. The thunder of the earth shaking. The summer storm pushing closer.

My eyes welling.

Fundamentally Loathsome

Waking up is too much of a chore. The world is dreary. Fuck the world. Fuck the people who make up the world. Fuck the people who make the world turn. Fuck the lawyers, the police, the president. Fuck the boy down the road. Fuck the old farmer and fuck his wife, too. Fuck the teacher, the professor, the principal, the dean of students. Fuck the preacher, the altar boy and the priest he’s blowing. Fuck the nun. Fuck the pro-lifers. Let them rot in the streets with their violent protests with the pro-choice. Fuck abortion doctors and abortion clinics. Fuck blood donors. Fuck the rain forests and fuck the whales. Fuck shock rockers. Fuck rappers making a quick buck. Fuck Jesus, the Dali Lama, the Torah and the Qur’an .

If I had my way, this world would burn under it’s own hate, its own pain. There is nothing here worth saving. Rorschach had it right. This world a horrible place. Existence is random. We create whatever patterns we see. There is no meaning except the ones we choose to impose. There is no god that causes people to do what they do. No destiny that predicts our behavior. There is only us. And so there is no reason to feel anything greater toward the human race other than disdain. So when humanity is quivering, beginning for forgiveness, for salvation the only logical thing is to look down upon them and whisper, “No.” (Watchmen)

But Frodo

“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo and it’s worth fighting for.” –Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings: Two Towers)

There is no purpose in life, except the purpose you create

Puffin Nihilism at its best. What’s the purpose of living. How can my worth be any better or any less than the next guy’s? Life isn’t worth living unless you’re willing to actually live. El Senor and I sat at Moonbeans a couple of years ago discussing our purpose in this world. We concluded that the purpose of the human race sans religious aspects – considering he’s an Atheist and I’m an Agnostic – is to procreate and better the human race. It’s running on its third year or so, this being plagued by the thought of my existence and, finally, my nonexistence – i.e. death.

What awaits for us? There is just simply nothing? Or is there something more? A living person – no matter what new age and Christianity states – cannot know what lies in the beyond. Memory is a physical aspect – meaning, you need your brain and you need to experience. An “out-of-body experience” isn’t all that out-of-body, if you think of it. If your soul/mind left your body, there is no physical part of you that is experiencing it. Therefore, there should be no memory of anything having happened.

The best way to explain this is the short storyLazarus” by John Connolly – found in the strangest of places, a zombie anthology entitled The New Dead. We already know the tale of Lazarus – in fact, it’s so ingrained in our popular culture that anytime a resurrection takes place, the fellow’s name is stapled on to it. Lazarus, the man raised from the dead by the Nazarene. When asked what lies in the beyond, he cannot turn up an answer. He doesn’t remember, just darkness. This enrages those around him. It eventually leads to his re-death. At the end, Connolly writes, “Lazarus closes his eyes as the stone descends. And Lazarus remembers.”

A New, New Model

So what is this that I feel? Why is my hand trembling? Why do I feel the tears building? This isn’t depression. This isn’t anger. This isn’t me putting on the show for others. This is me, absolute Willie. Guillermo without the Ennui mask. This is how it’s like to be human, isn’t it? And as the sentimentality kicks in. As the hope sets in. As I finally see what Samwise Gamgee is going on about.

The world is a very ugly place. People are monsters. And while a part of me will always want to see it burn, this new version of me realizes that even a small ounce of beauty is worth fighting for.

6 thoughts on “Letting the Cables Sleep

  1. Got a pingback…and what a post I found here! Wow, powerful writing indeed. As I was reading, I remembered years ago when I went to see that awful movie Titanic, how before the movie started, I was so annoyed with people being particularly rude and loud that day in the theather…and then the bratty kids, drinks spilled and arguments over seats. Not fun. And after the movie ended and the lights came on, the one good thing about it all was that I realized that I’d risk my life without hesitation to try and save or help each and every one of the people in that theater.

    And then I also remembered the day I went back to Manhattan after 9/11, about two weeks after the tragedy, walking down to the now gone towers, looking at the photos of missing people and the flowers, watching men and women in the street tell stories to total strangers and cry, and I thought about how weeks before, I would have looked at those towers with some annoyance over all the corporate nonsense that goes on, and yet that day, I saw only people like me whose lives were taken away, families and friends hurting, hoping against hope, sharing, trying to help and comfort others.

    It’s humbling to own our own humanity and recognize that fundamental connection with everyone else, regardless of differences, beyond any judgments.

    I have to say I see a lot of good in the world. Good doesn’t make headlines though, and it resides in small doses scattered around everywhere, and once in a while we see something big and promising and amazing, and that becomes the ideal that overshadows the smaller bits.

    Every day I look at the words: All is a gift. Took me some time to get that fully. We’re not entitled to anything, and every moment of living and connection is indeed a gift, a miracle really. And yes, every bit of good and beauty is worth fighting for, protecting and increasing if at all possible. 🙂

    1. gllrmo says:

      This is new to me, this feeling. I wouldn’t say I’m as selfless as you. I used to give homeless people money not because of some good I saw in the world, or the “spiritual” benefits of charity. I did it because I felt the same as I would’ve felt if I hadn’t. I lacked empathy, I suppose. Or maybe the factory forgot to put in that metaphorical heart when they made me. On 9/11, my initial thought was – and I don’t do this for shock value or to make myself sound, well, different – “Must really suck to work there.” I tumbled throughout life loving people because it’s expected – my family, for instance. I love them, but I don’t like them.

      However, a turn of events has me left in wonder. It has me, well, feeling things that are new – yet, familiar – to me. I’d go into it more but I’ve been censored until further notice about the subject. But yeah. Read the older posts and see the “evolution” taking place.

  2. I highly doubt giving feel the same as not giving :-). Every act makes a difference and has consequences, recognized or not. Empathy was there, but also the struggle with issues of privilege. I suggest this because it’s been my struggle for a long time, a version of survival guilt combined with growing up to witness injustice and suffering and not knowing what to do with it all, except wanting to help, and then rensenting that I was in a position to help.

    I recently watched a podcast from a monastery retreat with one of my favorite people to listen to, Thich Nhat Hanh. Someone asked about how to deal with the hopelessness and inner struggles inherent in activism. He suggested that our own welness and smile is a means of healing the world, and gave the analogy of a beautiful tree…what is the tree’s purpose…it just stands there, it provides shade, shelter, enjoyment to anyone looking at it. Its purpose is to be a beautiful, healthy tree.

    Anger, frustration and disappointment with what we often witness in the world are not only the consequence of what’s happening…but also reflect a fundamental inner conflict. We question our own humanity at the most basic level…if ‘they’ can do those things, then what’s to say ‘we’ don’t have the same capacity for cruelty and destruction. And the reason we do not manifest such tendencies is an accident of geography and culture and socio-economic privilege.

    In recognizing this, we question the power of individual choice, the nature of ‘character’, and at the same time, start to see that the only way to live is with compassion. But how to have compassion for those who frankly don’t deserve it? And therein lies the magic of compassion that transformed yours truly from a young atheist to a more humble agnostic, to a very humble spritual eclectic. (Or maybe not so humble yet since I talk so much! 🙂

    1. gllrmo says:

      But it does feel the same – for me. There’s no peace-of-mind when hand over a couple of dollars, just like there’s no remorse if I don’t. There just emotional nothingness – at least, it was the case before the current event. Let’s face it, I haven’t been out giving money to people just to see if I “feel” something. Just like there is no emotional response when I see on the news that a man died saving his wife, just like there’s no trigger if he’d died by police-fire after killing his wife. So yeah. Giving and not giving don’t trigger any response in m. Actually, I’m annoyed when people thank me and say something like, “May god bless you.” God – any god – had little to play in my decision. And rather than lecturing them, I put on my fake smile and nod my head. I figured, if I feel nothing, then maybe it’s still best to do the “right” thing. Though, right and wrong are relative – suddenly, I feel like I’m in freshmen philosophy. Perhaps we’re in the wrong helping people out rather than, say, teaching them how to get their lives back on track.

      Most of my depression stems from it. In fact, anger and depression are the only two emotions I feel on a day to day basis. Anger at myself for allowing me to become this numb to the world, a depressed when I realize that no matter how hard I fake it, I cannot experience things the way others do, or, at the very least similar. I don’t tear up at the end of a sad movie. I don’t feel loss if someone should leave me. I don’t “respond” the way people should, in other words. I look back and see a happy kid in my past and try to follow the path to here I’m standing now. There isn’t a single thing, event or action that led me here. It just happened.

      Some people are just born monsters. Some are born to be evil. Some are born to be good. And some are just born. There isn’t an ounce of empathy in them, and they could go either way. I’ve read a couple of books by Thich Nhat Hanh. I love his ideas, his writings – his calendar is hanging on my wall. Buddhist philosophy has made more sense to me than that of any other religion. And if I could experience a religious/spiritual awakening, then this would probably be the route I take.

      But I’m a man of science, empirical data, psychology, sociology, arts. Everything that can be explained, predicted and admired. Things that move logically. I’m an agnostic leaning towards atheism. I allow others to seek comfort in their beliefs without wanting to debunk them. I give money to those who haven’t any because I hope to one day feel the difference between not giving any. I’m never rewarded for it. I won’t be rewarded for it. In this life or upon death. So perhaps it is hard for you to understand, or perhaps you think that I do feel a difference. But in my experience, there is nothing, just an empty shell where a human once lived.

  3. “I give money to those who haven’t any because I hope to one day feel the difference between not giving any.”

    Seems to me the hope is the reward, as is the recognition there is something to work towards. As for the “empty shell where a human once lived”, sounds very poetic but I don’t buy it, not with all the thoughtful and purposeful writing, in this and other posts I’ve read…not with the blog title, and the search for a place in this world. Empty shells don’t do any of this. Unless it’s all fake, and even then, the shell isn’t empty. 🙂

    1. gllrmo says:

      That’s not necessarily true. A lot of people who feel nothing – these empty shells – go on and do things. Normally, negative things, but they do things in order to validate their existence. I chose a “therapeutic” outlet rather than a negative one. That’s not to say, I’m still not attempting to validate my existence – which, if you see the dynamic change in my attitude, you’ll see that I’ve finally found validation. These emotions I’m feeling are still new.

      As for my hoping to feel something, well that’s all it is. Hope. I don’t find much use in hope. It’s as fulfilling as prayer. It’s an opiate and I do not have any use for those. We can continue arguing about what I do and do not feel all day long. The truth is, these experiences are mine and mine alone. And unless you are my equal – and I mean, an exact replica of me – then you cannot understand them. You can pick it apart all day like a therapist seeking the root of my nature, only to come up with something entirely different. In the end, the conclusion is the same. It’s all smoke and mirrors here.

      And rather than focusing on the creature I’m becoming, we’re focusing on the monster I was.

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