Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Broken Body Blues

I've never been in a car accident, but this is how I imagine a victim might feel afterward.  Excessive knots ran throughout my entire back like miniature landmines, and the skin on my face had been insistently scorched by an uncompromising solar orb.  Even my scalp was unfairly and inexplicably burned, despite an ostensibly protective layer of hair.  My wrists and ankles were sore and useless, and my left shoulder was pulsing with inflammation.  So was my right forearm.  My hips and inner thighs felt as though I had narrowly escaped being drawn and quartered.  These conditions functioned as a straight-jacket, restricting my range of motion significantly.  I twisted and contorted myself, attempting another spinal adjustment, again to no avail.

Such a state of anatomical devastation had left me with additional afflictions, such as mild nausea, a complete lack of energy, and a diminished capacity to concentrate on anything beyond pain, discomfort, and frustration.  My demeanor and outlook were as cynical and pessimistic as ever.   I was frail, humble, and unmotivated.

"Whoa! You're as red as hell!" a coworker blurted out.  Evidently he was unaware that I possess both mirrors and nerves.  He was unaware that I was aware.  Either that, or he fancied himself a merchant of rhetorical statements and senseless observations.   I wanted to tell him his hair was as black as coal.

"Yeah, I got sunburned..."
 
I didn't want to be clever, or funny, or affable.  I didn't even want to be polite - I just wanted to be a ghost.  I was disoriented and half asleep.  My passion and creativity had been marginalized, in favor of a cold, apathetic gaze.  Luckily, a simple text message revived my spirits.  Damn.  Tennis is a brutal sport.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Attention Deficit Diaries (Pt. I)

Sleeper's Block is when you have nothing to sleep about, or maybe nothing to dream about.  It is the opposite of Writer's Block, because you have plenty to write about.  I was at Walmart the other day, and the tragic, yet secretly entertaining spectacle engulfed my senses immediately.  This place is the armpit of Western Civilization.  On my way to the health bar and vitamin isle, I saw a weary middle-aged train wreck of a man, hobbling along, strung out on the American Dream.  His dirty t-shirt cradled a bulging pot-belly, but nothing propped up the grayish bags under his tired eyes - they were just another victim of gravity.  God.  I couldn't let him go on like this.  I wanted to grab him by the collar and shake him like an over-sized infant.  I wanted to yell, "Wake up!  You don't have to live like this!  Throw your TV away!  Be creative!  Be spontaneous!  Eat a fresh-cooked meal!  Get some exercise!"  But who was I to judge?  Maybe he was just another victim of society.  Maybe he had given up, after realizing that the world had given up on him.  Maybe I'm wrong - maybe he had been living it up, drinking in all of life's pleasures.  Maybe this intensely passionate and hedonistic lifestyle had taken a substantial, yet worthwhile toll on his physical appearance.  Or maybe he was just having a bad day.

I saw a zoo-worthy family of moaning primates - barely homo sapien.  The frantic mother was pregnant with her eighth or ninth, and her cart was overflowing with cholesterol, sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and hopelessness.  I wanted to stand up on the cash register and shout, "The last thing you need is another diabetic rug rat clinging to your quarter-ton calf!  The condoms are right next to the heartburn medication - You and your alpha male counterpart should have patronized that section four births ago!

But the game is rigged, and it isn't her fault.  She is another victim of society.  These are calculated symptoms of systematic dehumanization.  There are plenty of resources to go around, but sustainable living is not a human right.  Neither is dignity.  We are the bewildered herd, the bovine humans, pumped full of pills, patriotism, and predatory paralysis.  We are rats in a maze, but in order to get the cheese, we need to grow wings.  A shadowy ruling class keeps that glowing chunk of divine cheddar dangling above us, promising, swearing that if we're good rats, we can have a taste.  We can sink our shaking teeth into what they have - what we've seen in captivating bursts between commercials.  But we can't.  We won't.  As Voltaire once said, "The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor."

At this point I would intuitively go on a rant involving socialist propaganda and the plight of the proletariat, but that's a topic for another article.  I will try to stay on track.  This article was supposed to be about writer's block, or maybe insomnia.  But all I can really think about is summer.  School is out, and so are the fine young ladies.  They seem to come out of the woodwork, sporting incredible bodies and naive, yet seductive smiles.  They allow me to momentarily rediscover my heterosexuality, before nearly running a red light.  But even now, twenty-seven years deep, these enchanting creatures are still a complete enigma.  What do they want?  Does Mel Gibson know?  He certainly knew what Christians wanted - a high-budget snuff film.  But ladies are each so idiosyncratic.  As a group, their desires are much more difficult to pinpoint.   You can't just say, "Hey, wanna split a bottle of wine and watch the return of the messiah with me?"   

Sleeper's Block is when you can't fall asleep because you have too much to write about.  One of my main predicaments is my eclecticism. I am interested in too many things - too many styles of music, too many movies, too many current events, too many perspectives, etc.  I am too unconventional for the yuppies, and too indie for the punks, and too mainstream for the art fags.  I seem to have one foot in each counterculture, but lack affiliation.  I am spread too thin.  I enjoy riding my bike, but I don't wear one of those tiny racing caps and I don't know how to build a "fixie" out of PBR cans, so I am understandably shunned by the hipster community.  And the bourgeoisie is disconcerted by my wine apathy.  I don't even have specific goals in my pursuit of the fairer sex.  Do I want a one-night stand, or a long lasting, intimate relationship, or a friend with benefits, or something else?  I have no idea.  I'll take one of each please - the sampler.  Do I want to get married?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But the heterosexual ladies out there seem to have their priorities all figured out.  When met with any of the aforementioned courtship proposals, a woman might respond, "I'm not that kind of girl", after consulting her mental checklist.  There is no equivalent for me.  I can think of almost no proposal a beautiful woman could make that would cause me to reply in such a manner.  For instance, if a striking young damsel had some sort of sadistic role playing fetish and she wanted me to reenact the vomit-inducing amputation scene from the film 127 Hours, I would respond by simply asking where she keeps her butter knives.

But after the pleasure, confusion, disappointment, psychopathic flashbacks, and myriad other sensations instilled by romantic pursuit, I always have my amigos.  These are the dudes I rely on to maintain a minimal level of sanity.  Only with a vague reluctance and a non-sexist, ironic sense of humor would I dare employ the ancient adage "bros before hos", but if it applies to anything, it applies to whatever point I am trying to make now.  Having a beer and a laugh with a group of buddies is the best therapy I have thus far encountered.  This therapy often includes unapologetic food and drink binges, noteworthy misadventures, and sinister jokes, macabre enough to make Jack the Ripper cringe.  I plan to spend a significant portion of my summer participating in such behavior.

So go ahead - crack open a can of your favorite lager and gaze up at the cosmic ceiling of Planet Earth.  Alas, summer is in full effect, and we can all just relax.  Well, maybe not folks in Syria, or Yemen, or Chinese sweatshops, or most of the world, for that matter, but to all of us here in the good ol' US of A*, I would like to make a toast to the most beautiful and carefree time of the year.  Cheers! 

*excluding the millions affected by economic, physical, psychological, or total devastation