I am sitting here, waiting, registering myself, thinking, wondering what will ooze forth. Lately I’ve been having the uncomfortable sense that many of my stories sent to online literary editors, probably from ages 25 to 45, may not relate to the kind of stories I write. It is a false fear, I know, because the bones of a good story cross over generations. I have come to that remarkable point in my life in which I am seemingly superannuated.
Here I am with all kinds of skills and talents which are “worthless” in this society, grounded in capitalism and the values thereof. Jane’s ex made millions providing the edgings that go around tables, really ridiculous, and yet this provider of laminates, whatever, is part of the mighty course of this country’s business. I cannot fathom — nor could he fathom me — what the production of that requisite societal shit does to one’s mind, “soul” or spirit. The effort put into some kinds of business just fatigues me, the very thought of it creates a moral nausea. The concept, the idea of equity is a mental quicksilver and has no place in this writing, for fairness, justice, et al is as random as the the whirl of planets in their voids. It simply is what is, but I can comment on that because as a writer that is my task, my laminate “business.”
If you are awake or aware and you are retired as we know it in this country, a cultural artifact of significance, what do you do with your time, or your time left? It is a question that should be asked when first consciousness dawned in your noggin ( recall the Wagnerian sounds in “Space Odyssey: 2001”) I have more time than ever to cogitate over this day and the day after, of how best to “use” the time or the time left to me, as I live in this temporary husk — on loan, by the way — that has been and is being ravished by wear and tear. After all, how long can one’s innards endure stress, digestion, arterial plaque, the accruing deposits of bad cholesterol, the heart pumping for year after year, etc. It is and has always been this needling question for me, at least for as long as I can remember, of what to do with existence, for that is what I am asking. The only man who I have learned about and who I have read who apparently wrestled with this in a rational way for decades and spoke to all the issues that beset me and you was Krishnamurti. I cannot describe or assess him other than say one must read what he has to say and yet that is not enough for me. I will die in my own little Venetian glass bottle thrown upon the sands of time.
With issues like this in mind or with concerns I take seriously, I moved early into writing which is just a mere expression of my character. You can see why business in itself entirely bores me. I am figured to work out my life in other ways. That genetic reptilian part of my brain is soused in consciousness, reminding me how a good and decent tomato or cucumber can easily be soured in brine to make something else. I feel that awareness or consciousness is much like taking a pickle from a jar, soaking wet, dripping and how one must shake it a bit to get at the total savoriness of it all. No matter how we are aware we still reek of the reptile, all instinct and aimless instinctual discharge.
Here I am with perhaps 10 years or so to live, or to die, besotted with the same questions that have pickled me in brine for decades. I believe we flower, wither and die without any sense of who we are, much like the flower in the field. Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are throwaway existences who see so far and yet so little and aimlessly live but that is their choice if they are cognizant of realistic choice rather than the rush of drugs. Humorously society now tells me to “live,” to enjoy retirement which is appalling for society is nothing more than another abstraction or “idea” concocted by this culture at this time; entire companies and medical plans are obsessed with this concept. Capitalism in no way is concerned and never was concerned about the moral welfare of human beings, for it is rooted in the abstraction of money, its making, its use, its entrepreneurial aspects. After all these years, I would like to proclaim a national day of rest which means a day of rest from ideas and any conceptualizing at all, for ideas gave us religion, systems, castes, slavery, anti-semitism, conditioning, cultural anomalies and monstrosities such as the Inquisition and colonialism. Ideas have spawned Beck, Palin, Bachman, Hannity, O’Reilly, Cavuto, Laura Ingraham, the cultural pus of our present day America. Everything ever written or said about masturbation is the ejaculation that comes from ideas about it. Americans love the mind/body split.
And so like the little mouse with his very little piece of cheese I struggle to nibble away at my existence in ways that go beyond mere survival or struggle. I have not been successful. My failures are in all my writings. It is the task I willingly self-assign myself, and I will go to my grave nibbling at whatever intention I can find for myself. It may be as wasteful as designing another laminate for the kitchen island.