Time to reflect on things.
What happened in this last journey of the earth around the sun? (Personally, I think it is best to describe the Virus of Time in relation to the universe: it makes all that sprouts forward here seem so incredibly futile. That’s how it ought to be.)
I do hate Time, so any celebration today is quite out of the question (though I grant that I will pretend tonight. One must keep up the pretence. To be a part of humanity for once.).
But oh, let us now reflect on what I achieved in this annum. Let me see: where am I now? In a distant country without any obligations whatsoever. It is clear that it is this I wanted. Freed from the grasp of academic calenders (another time-scale. Again, futile when compared to the universe.) I ventured to see what I could do with life. In that sense, that era isn’t over yet. I’m still there.
I’ve had my MA for 6 months and I may be one of the few who’s already cashed in on it by starting an own business. But is that what I see myself doing with life? Hahaha! I’m no businessman, I’m a bohemian writer who happens to have found a way to fund his bohemian lifestyle.
If anything, the last six months (six moon cycles or half an earth-around-the-sun-ellips) have been more eventful than the first six. They are worth the same though.
I look at my collar bone (the one that was broken long long ago) and I notice how it healed. It stills aches once in a while, when I spend too much time (say, a quarter of the earth’s evolution around its own axis) resting on it. It is how my broken mind (heart, whatever) works too.
Suppose I’ll start tomorrow as a “tabula rasa,” reborn and ready to be programmed. No, nothing will ever change: for a tabula rasa, I bear too many scratches and cracks.
But hey, let’s rejoice (like I said I would!) and let go for once.
Ten hours. Rock on.
If one looks at one’s past and tries to bring back some moments of joy, peace and smiles, we all end up thinking about similar things. It’s those things we escape from, too. Convinced nothing of this will last for longer than the time allocated by our respective minds. We are so limited in our thinking that we cannot be content with anything in the present or the near future (oh, but the Distant Future will be very different!!). It’s quite sad that we always seem to seek things to keep ourselves occupied with to escape thinking about the core of all our problems. When it’s all over, we’ll all still keep wanting more life.
What I’m saying here, Reader, is that I am still a thinking persona. Thinking of, thinking about, …it doesn’t matter. The “here and now” is always a place filled with anxieties.
Everything numbs down, you know, and that feels so unjust.
I am a guide to people travelling this desert, nothing more.
Oh! I can show you a senile camel that thinks he’s Napoleon! Do you want to see it?
HAHA! it’s as if I’m desperate.
No, really, you should see the camel.
You’ll laugh your heads off.
If not, I guess that’s fine too (don’t forget to tip the guide though),
I’ll see you in another era or dimension.
Today we stumbled into a middle-aged poet who tried to sell a self-published collection of poetry for 12 dollars. I didn’t buy it. Instead he “sold” me some short-stories and poems of his own. He chatted a bit and from what he said, it seemed obvious that he was one of those writers who failed to get any recogntion except from people in a similar situation. Frustrated as hell. Nick told me when walking away that he seemed to be on drugs. I told him he’s probably just peculiar…and frustrated. Nick said he hoped I’d never turn out like that. I reassured him.
After saying goodbye to Nick, I came home, proofread my Swedish-Dutch translation, and at about eight o’clock, I started reading Mr Marusic’s work. I started with two short stories he claimed to be postmodern(one even mocking the postmodern). Sadly, the very crude ideas in the stories weren’t developed enough to make me even consider them as postmodern …or as literary for that matter. Both contained a sort of Deus ex Machina to explain what had just happened. Telling instead of showing and that doesn’t create a very good story. I was also very irritated by the errors against French grammar (for some reason, a character spoke French in one of the stories). I then read the poems and wasn’t exactly baffled by any of them.
I was planning to go on to read in Satanic Verses right now, but I will fall asleep now for some 14 hours. I know this because I already did. I’m also telling and not showing today.
He was lying there: a motionless body serving as a speed bump on an inner city road. Cars all obeyed the rules for approaching a speed bump, reducing speed (letting the driver gaze indifferently at the disturbance in the asphalt’s smoothness), and proceeding with crushing skull sensitivity on to the next crossroads.
It was no car that killed him. That would have been such a random thing that it wouldn’t even be worth to write down. You killed him. I am not normally somebody who points my finger, but here – staring at the continually disfiguring shape of what used to be a man – I have no choice. All the evidence adds up. Even though you never were at the place of the crime, I dare make the claim that it was you who murdered him. A memory dies when a person dies and vice versa: people die when memories die.
A corpse is what remains. A shell, nothing more (but surely nothing less! A corpse!), and an innocent bystander wondering about the whys and the hows (soon distracted by a growing groin itch). The cars crushing the corpse serve a noble cause. They flatten him, creating a shape that becomes less and less recognisable. Return next month and all we’ll see is some different colouring on the asphalt. This does not take away that I am still accusing you.
That he has never existed is your fault entirely. He exists only in a past that doesn’t exist. Paradox or not (of course not!), you are held responsible and you should face the consequences.
Maybe the same will be done to you one day. I surely hope so.
I can ask you again in a medieval pestilence tone:
“Bring out yer Dead! Bring out yer Dead!
…It’s no use hiding them anyway…”
Voices re-entering the hollowing
of a mind bringing back the echo
of strangers allegedly dead.
Deformed voices that tell
a different story – like this
but in a different order different
order of a world where
the expected nothingness forever
roams the hallways. Well, we’re
all wrong in the end; everything
becomes and turns into chaos
as we move along. Listen
to voices that tried to escape.
I observe; that’s about all I do.
I observe pigeons.
I observe pigeons with an increasing sense of self.
Becoming aware of my persona in this world. Me, an artist and a sufferer (from pigeons) born with a penis and accompanying testicles (two in number last time I checked). All this does not matter for anyone but myself (of course it matters for my future love, if and when I meet that one). Who I pretend to be by proclaiming this is somebody who’s only here to make me feel better (note the schizofrenia in this sentence), or, to make me feel anything for that matter (somehow, we don’t see this as possible anymore).
“Beauty never buys you anything,” I tell this pigeon. I achieve beauty, sure, it’s one of my life’s ambitions (crazed as I am, I should add that this ambition has some stiff competition in the ambition-department – note how I build this sentence in a confusing way: it’s who I am). I do have more difficulty attaining a beauty I can be satisfied with (it has nothing to do with my flatulence – otherwise this pigeon wouldn’t even be here). Perhaps this is because my inner and my outer self stand in contradiction to one another (or maybe they have just drifted apart like a married couple of twenty years – both of the partners seeking refuge in the arms of a mistress (sadly, my mistresses are metaphorical ones)). I am a coincidental mess of insecurities that somehow build up a mask of security. I am definitely more malicious than this pigeon here. I also happen to stand above every one else (the pigeon calls it megalomania: we know better).
Locking me up is no real solution because I will not learn anything from it. Somewhere underneath that mess of mine, I remain convinced that the only thing pure about me is my love (that’s right, my capital L-Love). My surrendering to it and my will to let this take over my entire being is of paramount importance (together with my overcoming my flatulence).
Right now, a pigeon is inspecting me while it is carefully approaching me, looking for food. It knows the threat I bear within. That’s why it is so cautious.
Closer to me.
Step by step.
I grab the scared bird and bite off its head.
Still convinced that I am Love.
“Leave us a flower and some green stalks of grass,
leave us a tree and a view of the ocean
Forget for once the worth of your money
The world must last for an eternity”
(translation from Louis Neefs: Laat Ons Een Bloem)
If only I hadn’t eradicated that species from the face of the earth. Their place in the food chain is now being taken by usurpers and parasites who do not share the extinct animal’s beauty. Apart from feeling responsible, there isn’t much I can do. Eradicating my own species will hardly bring the extinct ones back. My “Feeling” anything on the subject is quite beside the point. It does not add anything to the extermination of life I and I alone am responsible for.
Look at this stuffed version of the animal that was once so powerful. Quite ridiculous.
I shouldn’t even feel sorry for this creature. If it couldn’t defend itself, it deserved to die. Darwin would say I’m right.
What’s all this talk of ambition? Will to achieve? Achieve what? Recognition? From whom? Sexless creatures with or without an own self?
I am holding a comb right now. The comb tells me in plastic gold writing it is “unbreakable”. You read and you believe. The comb is not broken therefore it is actually unbreakable. You have read the message too, “unbreakable” it says, so you realise that any attempt to break it would prove physical powers eternally more powerful than the written word. You take a closer look and see that if you would break the comb in two (suppose this were possible, but again, the comb claims it isn’t), you would divide the writing in two, separating the “un” from its “breakable” status, thus having two combs, one gibberishly claiming to be “un” and the other asserting to be “breakable”.
Divide everything I have ever written like this, ignoring all the superficial coincidences that constitute my own writing (and by extension, my self) and I will notice how all my intentions change, randomly, and how something different is created each time another division is made.
Therefore, I leave my comb the way it is, unbreakable – for it has never been broken – and perfectly shaped. I let its 75 tentacles massage my hair and I become calm.
Growing up, we became to realise
we were no children of a revolution,
destined to succumb to the mind-crushing powers
of a globalised stupidity brought to us
in the form of a self-proclaimed colour TV
(only some noticed there was never truth
in those colours,
we soon took care of them with
colourful bullets through the head).
And all the redness that drowned our eyes,
strangled our beliefs and deflowered us so violently;
it still lies dormant somewhere;
we have learnt to ignore it like the dead and dying
on our pavements.
‘Come on then! Challenge me!’ his voice wished to sound confident.
‘You give me a reason to do so,’ I replied, ‘I shouldn’t devise anything anymore – I’m freed of your oppressive force on me!’
‘Oh, is that how you see it?’ he uttered angrily, ‘you know you need me; yes, you need me!’
I hesitated and said: ‘I don’t need you.’
‘That’s what you think now. It’s not because you have just found a mindless activity to keep yourself busy that you won’t return to me, you know.’ A threatening tone hung over his speech now.
I sighed and said: ‘Look, I don’t want to talk about this; I have interacted with you for as long as my survival depended on it and now I need to take some distance from you, because I can…I can live without your voice commanding me what to do.’
‘You know you are wrong. You won’t have those looks for ever. You will live now without me – your mind & conscience – and when it is too late, you will come back to me. And let me tell you why it will be too late: you will have bet everything, you will have lost your youth, your appeal and everything else for which you don’t need me, and in the meantime I will have become bitter. Bitter for being ignored all that time when you could have used me to my full potential. When you’ll come back to me, I too will be suffering from ageing, just like you.’
‘Oh, what would you know?’ my irritated voice exclaimed.
‘I know, I’ve been there before. I’ve seen it. Use me, I say, do it now and we can still be a team instead of adversaries. It’s entirely up to you… If not, I’ll have to wait until I reincarnate after your death.’
‘Hmmm. Very well then, let’s team up then; show me what we in out togetherness can prove. Don’t make me regret it, though.’
At this, he became thrilled and realised that the time was now, more than ever. He could do it in this lifetime. He saw that his hope was not in vain, that is was no element of his naiveté.
Mind and Body had united. They were at their most powerful now.
“Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.” (Eco, The name of the rose, p502) which I freely translated as “Here the original rose stand in name only, what we preserve is just naked names”. Seeking interpretations beyond simple images is what we as human beings do. In “The Name of the Rose”, William seeks order and patterns in a series of events which turned out to be totally randomised. We like our interpretations to follow some similar pattern as well. We seem so bent on finding an explanation that there are times when we refuse to see how random everything has been.
If I’d write down what I have been doing in the past week and assert that it was a work of post-modern fiction, interpretations would expand upon the meaning and symbolism of each of my actions on each of the seven days. Would my throwing away a rotting apple on the seventh day be an indication of my renouncing religion – or would it symbolically imply that I am living in a Garden of Eden in which the apples from the Tree of Knowledge have rotted so that they became inedible, making expulsion from the Garden impossible. Acknowledging that I had bought the apple one day, in a weak moment perhaps, do I equate myself with Eve (and all the weaknesses she embodies)? Perhaps so. My crime would be even worse, considering I PAID for the apple instead of plucking it from the tree (revealing, among other things, my cowardice). Struck with guilt, it took me seven days to open the apple’s bag again, only to find the apple rotten from within.
Knowledge is rotten too. Sometimes people like me wish they had simpler minds, that they could rejoice in much simpler ways of life. In the end, we always praise ourselves for our knowledge, for ability to appreciate the finer things. If we must therefore endure some more hardship, then so be it. Our ability allows us to create something meaningful out of something base. The inexorable continuation of our powers of thought. We interpret and we recognise the multi-facettedness of every sign we come across.
This is why my throwing away yesterday’s rotten apple IS an act of literary significance, in fact, it was the most meaningful thing I could have done on the seventh day. I renounce God’s creations (including myself as one of those) and embrace Truth above all else.
We don’t need apples for knowledge.
That I didn’t eat the apple also means that I have access to the Tree of Life, to immortality.
Such is the power of my writing.