Here’s to loving you

My dad’s surgery went well. I’ve been in close contact with the family and everyone is in good spirits. At least I won’t have to rush home to pitch a desperate farewell into the void. Not yet, anyway. I’m still thinking about moving back home after my lease is up in July. My priorities are shifting away from selfish desires and towards the needs of my family. It’s had a profoundly calming effect on my soul.

Modern life gives you cancer but it also cures you. Economic developments separate you from your family but also give you the tools to stay in touch. The world is breathtakingly complex and we hear about it all the time. I often wonder if people ever felt otherwise. Was there a time when everyone felt secure, as though everything made sense and everyone had their proper place?

There’s always a power over us that we can’t explain. And we don’t just advance our knowledge in a straight line. History isn’t strictly linear and sequential. There are huge, jagged fault lines separating us from the past. Radical acts that cleave time in two. Progress isn’t always cumulative. How much is lost for everything gained?

Religion seems a constant in human history but it covers such a wide spectrum of belief and behavior. The sense of a word is permeable and porous. Sometimes meaning changes passively, slowly, without much notice. Like a glacial drift or subterranean shifting of plates. At other times people actively redefine words and violently enforce new values. But who knows exactly what’s behind all of this.

You can always go farther with an explanation or argument. Until you fall into an abyss of absurdity. You can rationalize why you’re doing what you do as long as you stop short of infinity. Even the reasons we give for why we give reasons are glib and flaky. God wants us to know after the pattern of his own intellect. Evolution shaped us to rationalize. We seek knowledge because we’re afraid.

Hate and fear on one side. Love on the other. Swollen, cramping, bloated love will win the day. Hate is irrational while love is sane and sensible. Why don’t people see that love and hate are inextricably linked? If you love something then you also hate whatever threatens it. And that’s just the surface. Beneath that you get into loving to hate and hating to love and all the confusion and denial those combinations generate.

Furthermore, whatever happened to just disliking someone or a group of people? What about merely feeling annoyed or irritated? If I say goddamn, jews are annoying,  I would be condemned as a hateful bigot. But why can’t I just be an easily irritated, impatient bigot? Am I only drawing on an inexhaustible well of hatred for all of my negative statements and actions?

On the other hand, hating someone or something doesn’t mean you’re wrong about it. I may hate black people for committing disproportionate violent crime, but that doesn’t mean that black people don’t commit more crime than any other race when you adjust for population. My hypothetical hatred is a separate issue from the fact of the matter that stimulates it.

I’m feeling serene about my own life and skeptical towards the world. I hope I can talk to my dad today but he’s probably still pretty out of it. Looking forward to hearing from him.

Don’t forget where you came from

Still wondering why I stay in DC. I have no friends, no girlfriend, no money, and no time to do anything. I hear nothing but coffee beans grinding and steam wands hissing. Brewing cup after cup for affluent strangers while fending off bedraggled bums in the streets. Hi how are are you. Hey can I get an Americano. Can I get a glass of water. What’s the wifi password. Do you have a dollar so I can get on the bus.

If they’re looking at you it’s because they want something. When you look at them they vomit their desires all over you. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You could be delivering a baby or performing brain surgery or scratching your anus. If you’re behind a counter you’re available. Both hands full, head down, already in a conversation with someone? Doesn’t matter. You still get hit with can I get a can you give me where is the I need a. 

And it’s never more substantial than that. No one is interested in you as a person. You forget what it’s like. You forget that sometimes people become interested in other people for their qualities and talents. Sometimes people like other people for the funny things they say or do, for the music they make or the way they look. But not in this life. They only want drinks or cups or wifi passwords or directions to the restroom.

All day long it’s trivial exchanges and menial tasks.  My future lies in service and coffee so I need to look dependable and experienced. I worked in a michelin rated restaurant so of course I can make coffee anywhere. I could move to any metropolitan cesspit and lodge myself in a dank hole and rot the rest of my life away.

Meanwhile my dad is about to have surgery. From what I can tell it’s a routine surgery and they caught the cancer early. Everything should be fine. But who knows what they’re not saying for the sake of preventing panic.

My entire life I’ve always felt like an individual first. I just happened to be born into this particular family at this particular time in this particular country. My thoughts always tended towards figuring out who I was and what I wanted. Now this seems like a grave mistake. A foolish way of being that was never corrected. Everything in my environment reinforced my most selfish tendencies and most alienated feelings.

Because intelligent white people don’t care about blood and belonging, right? They are too evolved to care about where they came from or continuing a legacy. They are free individuals who cut ties at a moment’s notice to pursue flimsy fantasies. Choice is the highest good. Give us more options. Anything that wasn’t chosen freely with informed consent after carefully reviewing all the data is a burden.

Anything you’re born into is an obstacle on the path to self actualization. Your family, your religion, your race, and your country? It’s all holding you back from being the real perverse, androgynous, consumer debt drone you really are. Break free from the bondage of tradition and join your corporate overlords in their sadomasochistic sex dungeon for another flogging.

So I’m considering moving back home. Even though there’s no economic opportunity. Even though I’d likely end up working in a co op grocery with annoying hippies. I’d have to hear dimwitted venting about Trump and Pence everyday. Canned anti white rhetoric from coddled small town whites. But on the other hand I’m not sure why I think making coffee for rich homos is economic opportunity.

At least I’d be with my family. I could finally give something back and help my dad recover from his surgery. Be there for people that gave me everything. We didn’t choose each other but we do need each other. I also have brothers and sisters, and I haven’t been there for them either. Why do I think it’s more important to keep playing out this fantasy of detached individuality when my real roots need tending?

I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with the writing or blogging. Much of it is embarrassing. Especially the sexually depraved and explicit material. I now find it dull, narcissistic, and corrosive. Whether it’s true or not, whether it really expresses how I felt at certain times, I want to move beyond it. When I think seriously about being a voice and having some kind of influence, it makes me uncomfortable to know that I’ve mostly promoted dysfunction and perversion.

The world is sick enough without me piling on and acting like I’m interesting and subversive. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can say that hasn’t already been said. But I do know that no one else can be a son or older brother for my family. It’s a real role that I’ve been denying to play out this degenerate persona.