I should not be allowed to listen to Vangelis late at night. I am given to mental cinematics. Memory, viscous, drools through every crack.
I am feeling a recurring moment. Lying on someone's floor, at the beginning of a new period. Coming back to college. Coming to New York. Feeling the vastness of potential, like some passenger in a caravan across a desert, awake all night, listening to the silence. Falling asleep swaddled in promises, of new beginnings. Waking smothered in familiarity. But it's still there, twinkling obscurely.
I am making myself re-learn imagination, having consistently missed the point every day of the past years, years, years. I am making myself re-learn everything. I have not acquired the skill of living well, not being able to feed myself (today Fruit Loops, more Fruit Loops, a croissant, a vendor pretzel plus Gatorade, two slices of pizza, more Fruit Loops), not being able to do anything with my time but waste it (learning to turn off the computer, BREAK hypnosis cycle, the pornography of memory that is Facebook), finding nothing to put my eyes on but reminders of banality.
So I take my landlady's advice and start reading Interview With the Vampire, being swept away by the fiction, remembering what it's like to lose oneself in story.
I think about Endgame, our culture's obsession with its own death, memory ejaculated backwards, against the flow, rupturing the vessels, the ligaments stretched to snapping point from too much reaching behind us for answers, visions of huts, wooden boats, dances around fires by which to damn ourselves. Dreaming impossible now, like laying down track leading to a brick wall WE'RE ALL FUCKED NOW KID, and if you want to talk about hope the only option is the Great Big Handhold. We'll all sing We Are the World and buy spirally lightbulbs and after we've vindicated ourselves of any possible connection to anything bad or scary or uncomfortable then kid you go ahead and think your little thoughts about unicorns or whatever the fuck, but watch out for walls - be quiet in the presence of bricks, SHH...
Severed limbs are placed carefully around the sandbox so the children are sure to know their luck in being able to play. Let's all feel AS BAD AS POSSIBLE now, give ourselves guilt enemas, eradicate all signs of ease, and maybe then our insides will be clean for God.
Then I write something about getting stoned and going to see Harold and Kumar, then don't post it because it invites well-deserved mockery and I have said so many mean things about the hippies, but it involves the first bits of my new learner's permit of the soul. These are the guttural consonants that become words about nice things (just a piece, the whole thing is too stonery even for me):
I am beginning to understand why dogma unsettles me, even belief. Especially that of socialist tooth-grinding, globe-worry, the great, throbbing NPR headache. Because it does not allow for the hilarious beauty of encountering the divine on the way to see Harold and Kumar after getting stoned in your friend's dorm room.
That I could, in the bathroom at the theater, be caught breathless by a vision of my own mind, absolutely true: I am perched at the edge of a vast and dark wilderness, filled with illusion and undiscovered wonders, the trees and grass blowing in a slow wind, waiting in quiet expectation for the explorer to take his plunge. And I see the rewards. I see what I feel accomplished mystics must feel: the vibrancy, the urgent, indescribable worth of the experiences and the understandings to be culled; like unfolding toys made of holy jewels, the most splendid machines ever invented, more spectacularly important than anything material and mundane, though the wilderness spills out over waking life. I am filled with a sense of transcendent pleasure, privilege in having the opportunity to adventure into it.
Remembering that what is constructed of invisible fruit is real, because we are all at wander over those umbral fields and forests. That I realize this is all more important than notions of cheesiness, worries of smoke damage.
And oh God, what is more unpardonable to the grinders of axes than the rejection of axes? What is more unpardonable than the escaping trick, the Grand Neener, saying no? "You can come up with as many fantasies as you'd like to justify your passivity but ultimately you live in THIS world, Matt," seeing only reminders of banality, forgetting that SHIT IS NOT SO SIMPLE AS JUST LABELING THINGS 'OPPRESSION' AND 'RESISTANCE,' forgetting that cell phones would not be cell phones if it wasn't for the communicator on Star Trek, forgetting that we would have nothing if someone did not divorce themselves from the mundane.
So I am requesting you do not come near my playpen with your dripping meat things. Keep the hoses to yourselves and stop getting so mad when I don't feel like finding more space in my heart for sadness.
Right now, I have to re-learn. I have to take the food, heat it and put it on a plate in front of me.
I have to unfold the toys.