May 23, 2014

It Is What It Is, Somalia



I am in a soundless vacuum, beating on a wall that absorbs ruthless blows without resounding. I am climbing breathlessly up a hill without advancing, yelling at the top of my lungs at people standing within reach who cannot hear or see me. I cannot hear my own voice. I am invisible, anxious, frantic, and I am nothing; not really there. I exist but I am powerless. Impotent. My movement is sluggish and surreal, a suffocating nightmare. It is a silent, inescapable prison. I am a harmless lunatic lost in a limitless desert, prisoner of a bad dream with an urgent message that I can't deliver. I cannot awake.

I don't know why.

Perhaps psychologists have a definition but I don't know it.

Is this my life? This was part of my life in the best exaggeration I can write. Of course it is an exaggeration, because between nightmares I've not had so bad a time. I've known some wonderful people, some extraordinarily generous and unselfish activists in the cause of justice, some simple, goodhearted and honest persons too, and occasionally I enjoyed the company of exquisite women, and I have laughed myself into stitches now and then. I have also known a serial killer and some real stupid and mean scumbags. But now my journey is nearly finished. Death soon will foreclose my dream.

But death is not a nightmare to me. Some of the above reeks of dramatic dishonesty; hyperbolic. I don't fear death and only slightly dread the pain of passage into what I imagine is nothingness and erasure of the personality writing this, all memory and experience forever gone, and probably a relief from awareness of the nightmare born of too much consciousness, too much mental pain and the futility of not enough—of no success; I ain't had too much satisfaction. Between bouts of self pity and resentment, to be honest, perhaps I lacked ambition; or maybe I drank too much, took too many drugs, smoked too much grass, made the wrong choices, and was a selfish and terrible man, grandiose and unendurable, as my critics would imply if they had the courage to speak up. Whatever. My critics can go to hell. I was there, I put up with their crap, most of them are dead or dying, which makes me happy, and I am still here occasionally laughing my ass off. Some of them have no awareness of what I did for them.

To die I imagine is finally to connect, to resolve, and to conclude and surrender. It is what I wait for, what I prepare for, and evidently what I have lived for: to die. Death is the ultimate meaning of life. I believe that death is the end. I don't believe in an afterlife, reincarnation, or reward or punishment for how I lived. I lived the rewards and punishments already. They wafted past like butterflies and stung like wasps while I waited for something else. I suffered without much suffering, joyed without real pleasure, and dozed restlessly on lumpy beds beneath a blanket of prescribed drugs, and the best moments of my life were in dreams. I flew out of the window once and soared around the neighborhood beneath a full moon and woke up laughing my ass off.

There was always tomorrow. Yesterday was in storage. I attempted to create, to build, to change the cruel world, and to leave a non-material but a better inheritance than property for my progeny. My progeny, lazy, Yale-educated, and soon to inherit incredible wealth, living without working and ashamed of his impoverished father, is a heavy burden but not unbearable. 

It depresses me to think that the effort was meaningless, that it might have been all the same without effort. Our relatives if they can afford it place stone monuments over our bones, speak words of praise, establish trusts; or in my case have utterly disowned and abandoned. And then they also die and no one remembers. It doesn't matter. Our images fade in photographs in old albums, albums get tossed in garbage cans when we die alone in apartments of distant cities, our names scrawled on the back. Our records are digitized in gigabytes of algorithms that no one will interpret. Who cares if we served in the military, graduated from universities or were autodidacts, fell in love with improbable Swedish women, stood 30 feet from the greatest revolutionary of the Twentieth Century, wrote unpublishable novels, failed at everything, or murdered a cat on a bridge? After awhile, no one cares. No one cares now. Perhaps an iconoclastic historian will dig it up and write an obscure footnote to illustrate the rage of the age; another great lie.

Old people all over are hunkered down in bunkers of some sort waiting for the inevitable and glad not to be in the rain and cold. The young are running around like chickens thinking that they rule the chicken pen. Eagles and hawks watch from surrounding trees for a chance at a meal. It's hard to stay hopeful and positive when pain drags you down but people try anyway. Those who cannot try anymore take the easy way out, usually with a gunshot to the head. There's nothing wrong with that if you don't mind being cursed for a coward by those who have to clean it up. It's a crime to commit suicide but you can't be prosecuted if you succeed.  Shoot the heart and not the head if you want respect from paramedics. It's fascinating that men more than women shoot themselves in the head, splattering their brains and ruining their faces. Suicidal vanity I suppose. A heart-shot is cleaner and quicker.

Young kids killing themselves is heartbreaking. What sort of pain and desperation causes that? You want to beat their parents.

I have two real friends and they live far away. Occasionally we talk on the phone. I check in to Facebook for the latest Bob Dylan videos and drop a prescient comment now and then. Sometimes I spend hours in a chat room where my fast typing and quick wit wins friends and makes enemies. I don't take it seriously or personally. I try not to hurt anybody but sometimes my political stinger hurts. It's a way to pass the hours. It's all I need for a social life. I am not unhappy and never expected to be happy. I was born to be lonely and unhappy. I'm used to it. I regret that I could not do more for the world but the world does not need me to keep on keeping on. It is what it is, Somalia. It's not my problem anymore.

























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