Friday, June 15, 2018

push/stare

she was born this day to gentry family and well-to-do-ness, and as all good well-off were supposed to do then, promulgated a life of art and galleries. her husband commissioned a completely penniless painter, the size was to be extravagant, the social recognition and prestige of such scale had to be fully pursued. would she still do it, now? hundreds of years later the crowds push and shove, and swear words in dozens of languages echo around the click of buttons and the flash of small 4.5 inch screens. i didn't get it. surely the vast, overwhelming nature of the structure and all the riches it contained meant the crowds and the shoving and the rudeness weren't worth it for this one thing that has taken on a life of its own, one thing that wasn't so beautiful, really, yet still worth more than all else in its stead. maybe that's why it works; the sly, subtle smirk - missed if stared directly at - of someone whose Italian name roughly translates to 'happiness', at her all-knowing conclusion. people stare at her and idolize her more than any other former gentry and whatever they too hoped to achieve with their bourgeois language and evening parlances to expensive locations and commissioned frames who plaster the wall with extravagant scope, all because a broke artist saw in her something he wanted to capture. giocondo got the last laugh, i suppose, we just got left with the wonderment of how something could still be taunting us hundreds of years later.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Things Die and Things Grow

You used to think you might like programming but then you took a programming class and that killed it, eyes rolling out of their sockets as you stared at the screen trying to find your mistake in vain. You used to think you might like meteorology but you didn't want to be on TV and stuck talking about weather all the time. You used to think you might like astrophysics but once your grades slipped you knew that was a dead proposition and you didn't want to have quite that much advanced math anyways. You used to think you might like journalism but then you grew out of the repetition and lack of creative freedom. You used to think you might like writing but you realized you had no talent and the lack of ability to come up with stories or ideas torpedoed that, stuck going years without a single creative project finished and not for lack of trying, dozens of hours lost brainstorming and staring at a screen and typing up drafts that ran out of steam and had no story in the first place. You used to think you would play video games your whole life but the time commitment and cost got in the way. You used to think you'd travel in your late 20s but you ran out of money and time. You used to think you'd always listen to 200+ albums a year but it became a cost cutting measure to avoid doing so.

You used to think you wouldn't make any new friends or find any wonderful partners but then both stumbled into your life right when several of the former had stumbled out. You lost some other friends recently and they're worried but 60+ hours a week at work and school and the rest spent trying to keep a house together means entire evenings are lost and there's nothing you can do besides fall asleep and wake up next to your favorite person and hope some day you might be able to write again or travel again or check out some new music or even play a game of Overwatch, but until then you cram yourself full of numbers and tests and laundry and yard work and dishes and beautiful sunsets holding hands that are your only escape and hold on hoping it'll be alright. She tells you it will be and you believe her. Maybe you should write a story about it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Expect/Prepare

It's been said to "expect the best, prepare for the worst." This quote is commonly attributed to someone who the present author neither knows intimately nor even by name. Alas, given that expectations, in reality, universally result in "the worst" possible outcome - which the aforementioned quote promulgates one to prepare for anyways - one wonders if expecting the best is merely a cruel abdication of reality, insomuch as that if one were to both expect the worst and prepare for the worst, one would frequently be without disappointment and wasted effort, while to expect the best leaves one constantly, irrevocably, crushed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

____ Oneself

The present author, being an abject doofus, has, at times, contributed to the shortly-hereafter-to-be-mentioned harmful trope as an expression of both self-flagellation and self-deprecation, both of which are, in themselves, often harmful tropes. Alas, the trope in question here; "you must love yourself before you can expect someone to love you", often appearing in many similar forms, is the one the present author whishes to admonish - much like the present author wishes to admonish oneself. To wit, not even taking this statement to its logical extremes - a sort of pseudo-slippery slope fallacy that is often poorly used - is needed to render it inaccurate at best, and perniciously harmful at worst. And while some might simply say "the statement is cruel in that it implies depressed people, or kids with self-image issues don't deserve to be loved" and that would be, indubitably, true, the present author would instead like to use a completely nonsensical, unrelated, and amateurish comparison. For instance; given one (1) person who has cooked a meal - the specific recipe matters not - and another singular (1) person not affiliated with the cooking of the meal but instead being a participant in its consumption, we can quickly and, with a terribly contrived manner, demonstrate the fallibility of this entire "love yourself" trope. Let us say, then, that the singular cook does not like their finished meal, but the other person, infact, loves the meal. For the purposes of this exercise the present author - whose omnipotence in this blog post goes as far as necessary in constructing this G rated scenario - puts forth that the latter genuinely loves the meal and says so, and none of their enjoyment is derived from flattery, social pressure, groveling, or an expectation to be nice. If the present author were to introduce a third, singular (1) person who was then presented with this exact scenario and asked to pass judgement, this observer would likely simply surmise that the cook did not like their meal, but the second person did, and the cook's opinion of said meal does not invalidate the other, and vice-versa. Given this long-winded and wholly pointless comparison, the present author puts forth that it is apt to conclude that no matter how one feels about themselves, said feeling can not and does not invalidate or irrevocably negate someone else's feelings about said person.

The conclusion to this perfunctory and superfluous pursuit is not a subtle, incoherent critique of the objectivity presented by reality based cooking shows where judges ordain supposed quality, but simply to state that, no matter how you feel about yourself, know that you can't control others, who will respond to your behavior as they are apt to, and in the end, all parties involved; self-loving, loved by others, popular, or simply passing away their time in a permanent state of social exclusion, die alone.

the idea of being anything other than the worst is piled up in the fiction section at the bookstore

my parents would tell me time and again it'll work itself out, money always does, blessed by no injuries or sickness. neither parent was ever injured on the job, no hospitalization records, healthy like me for so long. left me home alone starting at age 3 because they could, when they worked 70 hours a week, something most parents don't have the luxury of. the alcohol was kept in a cabinet under the microwave at ground level, unlocked, next to the cleaners and chemicals. i could have crawled my way in there, much less walked, and downed a fifth and a windex without anyone knowing. no locks, no guard rail on the stairs, nothing, just some books and the knowledge they'd be gone for hours. i read a lot those days. i still do. i am thankful for that. i started reading before i turned two and nobody believes me when i say that but i know it's true because my parents have it on video.

they're still wrong though. i have more in credit card debt than i do in savings right now, and i will soon join the 69% of americans (nice) with less than $1000 in a savings/checking account to use in an emergency. traveling is over, the security of having money in my savings account is over, i question everything and inwardly grimace even at 5 dollar charges at a store. i'd stop eating to save money if i could, calories avoided and dollars saved. i fear waking up one day and telling people i care about that i can't do anything anymore, i can't go out, i can't see movies, or shows, or shop, or whatever. it doesn't work itself out. my car has a $900+ repair that has to be done some time this year. there isn't any hope really, and soon penny pinching to the extreme will be the norm, and i'll have to get super aggressive about a second job.

i tell people im not good enough and people disagree but they don't know me like i know me. maybe im hard on myself a bit but i also understand the depth of my aloofness, by coldness, my complete lack of social, intellectual, and support skills and mechanisms. everyone i know is good and probably (definitely) can find someone better than me. walking on eggshells around me because i might cut or hit myself or take enough benzos and alcohol to kill an elephant. the people at work are assholes and ive had exes assault me but i cant bring myself to hate or dislike or be mad at anyone except me and that's ok, because it's not victim blaming if i am the perpetrator of the failure and disappointment.

the sun finally came out today after seemingly 10 years of rain and all i could think about was how i will continue to hurt everyone i love, except me, because if i dont love me then it doesnt matter if i hurt myself.

10 feet away a man at work curses and berates me for not recognizing the coffee pot is empty when it's right next to me. i could have filled it if i noticed, but i am somewhere else like i always have been when i most needed to be present. i don't know where somewhere is because there is no home and no comfort in office walls, in a classroom, in a kitchen where dishes pile up. he has to try to get through a meeting drowsy now. maybe later he'll steal some food like he always does. i only hate myself. he could just be really tired.