A few minor concerns

I don’t know how I feel about ambiguity.

And I have mixed feelings about ambivalence. When I act, I doubt. Things could go one way or they could go another. Every decision is a radical rupture, each act opens up a new infinity. And you’ll never know what could’ve been. You don’t experience your alternatives, you can’t embody your shadows.

The longer you live the more unrealized possibilities you carry. It gets heavy unless you have the strength or stupidity to become a new self, born again in every moment. Bearing yourself in every moment.

Or your memory could integrate your past into your present. Then you could see your life as a long arc. You could look into the future and build on who you’ve been and what you’ve done.

So many decisions I’ve made were denials of the future. As if I were holding out for nothing. I went to school to get a liberal arts degree. I chased casual sex with a grim zeal and shredded my psyche with drugs and depressive speculations.

After all, the future was a fantasy. All I had was the present. For a long time I kneeled before the now. I squandered the wealth of the future on the momentary and dove as deeply as I could into the infinitesimal intervals of my sensations.

(Most of those impressions, no matter how vivid and dazzling they were when they happened, are now buried and unreachable, and even if I could recover them they’d fail to shine as they once did. Unless we write or record our experiences on an unchanging surface they sink into impenetrable depths.)

The future will find you ready or unready. It takes effort to hold yourself together when the universe is pulling you apart. When your body wants to dissolve. When the rational choice is to unravel. We all know it feels better to be dead.

And you can kill yourself without pulling a trigger or kicking a stool out from under your feet. It doesn’t have to happen in one instant. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic event. A theatrical gesture of renunciation, a headline, a cinematic end.

You can do it imperceptibly, moment by moment with every decision you make. You can kill yourself with despair. By defaulting and deferring. By turning yourself down, drowning yourself out. It doesn’t shock society. There will be no stories on the news about it.

Sometimes things change because we haven’t evolved. What fails to grow doesn’t remain the same, it disintegrates.

This is painful to write but it doesn’t fix the problem of time. (It also doesn’t make me a better writer.) There’s no lifting ourselves up from having fallen into this mess. Where we’re simultaneously stuck and running along, idle and out of breath.

I tell myself it’s okay if I write nonsense now because I can always make sense later. But how much time do I have to make sense of time? What if this is all I can say even if I’m not out of time yet?


Author: The Empty Subject

Born curmudgeon

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