I’m sitting on the toilet in my Manhattan apartment. This alone is a significant life achievement relative to my modest origin, that I’ve been sitting on toilets in Manhattan for 12 years and in relatively nice apartments should speak very well of my accomplishments as someone who advanced beyond the circumstances of my beginning. And yet I look ahead to lives I may never lead, indeed that this one may come to an end sooner than I expected is a curious but welcome reflection on Billie of now.
I count among those who know me very wealthy people, very famous people, very accomplished academics, very powerful people. And they know me not as a nuisance but as a source of light. At least that’s how I believe they know me, though perhaps their opinions differ in some way but most likely not as a negative influence.
And yet I am not satisfied, nor able to relax or rest. The ladder vanishes upward into the distance and compels more, more.
What is life then but an endless climb without respite, ending not in rewards but nothingness? I do not believe in gods but I do want more from existence than some number of decades followed by oblivion. I curse the unknowable space between my ego and the future beyond my lifetime.
Spirituality is a salve derived from knots in our mind’s reasoning. When I close my eyes there is darkness, when I quiet the inner voice there is silence.
I feel less strongly connected to the world around me – my body knows how to move through the space, some part of me knows how to manipulate it. I communicate, but I feel as if standing on a small rock surrounded by water, separated from the world.
Thoughts of escaping my body, this world, the feelings – flit through my mind. Step into the street to be violently expelled from here.
She haunts my thoughts right now. A heavy weight of inadequacy on my shoulders. The cashier at the market calls me “sir,” innocently – a reminder of my incomplete identity. I should be strong enough to enjoy the ambiguity but I am not.
Something in my mind is off, like a tilted picture frame or an unbalanced spin cycle. I know the feelings that feel so dark and heavy come from a sewer of chemicals. I make digital marks each day to track how they influence me, and when I replenish them. When the days are particularly strange, rational thought holds little influence. I chastise myself for being weak. On this, on rejection, on ambiguity, on aloneness.
I look in the mirror and see an elegant albatross, missing something crucial for survival, like a brutalist tower without concrete waterproofing – slowly coming apart under the unceasing weather of life. How did I get this far with straws holding up the joists of my mind? As they sag, bits of hope fall through the cracks, the quantum states of consciousness fall to decoherence – the world recedes.
Therapists are like contractors – expensive, they come to estimate the cost of repair, but leave unfinished. The wise homeowner learns the craft, understands when the work is done, and what remains to do. They learn to do for themselves.
“I woke up in the Ditmas Park neighborhood this morning feeling at once fear and excitement and longing. A night of intense chemistry gives way to the sun and the call of our separate lives. And yet I tried to hold them back until we could not.” – March 1st, 2015
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