Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Myth of American Sanity

Originally published in The Monthly Breeze


Sometimes I truly wonder about the general mental welfare of us bipedal primates. Adam and Eve definitely come to mind. As a kid, I could never understand why God never wanted them to eat from the tree of knowledge. I never understood why he felt knowledge to be this condemnable transgression. I imagine that it was done out of basic parental concern, like when you just want your kids to stay little… eat, sleep, cry and blow spit bubbles. You just don't want them to ever know about rape, abortion, murder, autoerotic asphyxiation, vodka enemas, crack or the litany of other occupational hazards that exist in this job called life. You never want them to "know". I think it's a concept that has plagued mankind for centuries, this whole idea of free will. Can the idea of having 32 flavors to choose from make you go mad and is that why so many factions just want you to stick to vanilla and call it a day?

This year in particular has been quite arduous for me but it has been quite minimal compared to the tribulations of some of my friends. I have found myself on many occasions trying to spout some words of wisdom but I can't help but imagine that their thought bubble has Billy Joel's video for "Pressure" playing as loudly as it can, 

"You've turned the tap dance into your crusade! Now here you are with your faith and your Peter Pan advice! You have no scars on your face! And you cannot handle pressure!"


Last night while swapping ghetto depression stories with a friend of mine over Big Macs, I found myself offering consolation to him that I have to remember to keep in my arsenal to maintain my own mental health. It's the idea of Narrow Vision. I've noticed that when I have gone to those precarious places in my life where I have made the conscious decision to do physical harm to myself or other people with the goal of complete annihilation and had begun the process of that destruction, nothing else existed in those moments. It was just me and a knife or me and a baseball bat or, as Tori Amos so famously sung, just me and a gun. Nothing else was moving in my universe during those moments. Nothing preceded it; nothing else happened concurrently, it was almost like being in the middle of making love where there is no consequence, only the present, you and the object of your obsession.

And while I think that is a preferable state to be in while making love, it is probably the absolute worst possible state to be in when your finger is on the trigger. You got to step back. You got to breathe. You are too close to the trees to see the forest. You've got this tunnel vision where you can only see you and this problem and you have to come to grips that something, anything else exists. I can only imagine how many kittens have prevented their owners' suicide by just licking their ankles and widening their world view just an inch to include the sight of a little cat at their feet; showing them that there's more to this life than this predicament. Or maybe the old lady who gives you a smile for no real reason than to be polite as you walk pass her with your Smith & Wesson .40 in tow on your way to do some serious damage. That's what it will take, just a couple of seconds of some outside stimuli to remind you that there is something else outside of this predicament… and it has hope, and it is sweet and you can just turn around, right now… and everything will be okay.

In certain ways, I think life is a series of conversations being made to talk you down from the ledge, constantly reaffirming yourself that this compost pile of an existence is in all actuality serving a greater purpose. 

I recently commented on someone's blog who explained, in great detail, that he is a black man specifically looking to partner with another black man who will be his submissive "bitch". I commented that it wasn't my thing but I would love to get drunk with him and hear of his adventures. To wit he replied, in great detail, about how delusional and offensive I am and how he isn't even remotely interested in pursing the "intimate" relationship with him that he assumed I wanted. 

And again I kept thinking of this idea of free will and tunnel vision. To this dude, when it came to relationships, nothing else existed for him but this hyper-masculine sadomasochistic situation that included him, his "bitch" and (I assume) a bridle. And this is something that he chose… out of the 32 flavors of sexuality and then some, he chose (really fucking) rocky road. Which, honestly, I am not making a judgment call on… like I said, it's not my thing but if he digs it, go forth and perspire. But I do wonder if he has taken that step back away from those trees and has actually seen the forest that he is so adamantly rebelling against. And if so, what purpose does the whole ordeal serve in the big scheme of things. I guess that's why I was so curious about him. But I think those are questions that he couldn't possibly answer outside of his comfort zone of being a "Bitch Owner". 

To him, his agenda is no more sacrilegious than that of the passive aggressive duplicity of your typical homosexual relationship, which just begs the question, are we all just fucking nuts? 

One thing I have to applaud the brother on is his honesty. I would so much rather have a guy that I am seriously digging tell me upfront that he is a psychopath before I decide to give him head… there is nothing worse than realizing you just licked the balls of the insane. Say for example, you meet a dude, and you're hitting off. Wouldn't you rather him say, "Oh, by the way, I like to kill people and eat their body parts" than to find out months later that you ate out Jeffrey Dahmer's ass? And this is the world that I'm living in, one set of brothas that are honest about their insanity and another set of brothas too insane to be honest.

All in all though, I think honesty, especially the succinct kind, goes a long way and it saves a lot of time. I wonder if, it is indeed, the cure for the common crazy. I wonder, in an honest world, how far incongruities, pain and suffering can go. I wonder if everyone were brutally honest about what they want, no matter how eccentric or whimsical, and worked towards that goal, how proficient the world would be. But alas, we are stuck in this flawed world with flawed agendas with even more flawed defense mechanisms. We accept the world's passive aggressive tendencies to "obtain" without "acknowledgement", to "love" without "passion", to "have a male-bitch" without "realizing it takes one to know one".

We are humans after all. I think by definition one of the primal aspects of being human is being flawed. I guess if we were not flawed, then we wouldn't really be human. Because it is our flaws that encourage us to strive for something more and it is that endeavor that separates us from other species… that and our ability to accessorize.

It's all about evolution and becoming more of what our potential claims that we can be. It's a never ending cycle and the carrot that dangles in front of us for as long as we're here… no matter how depressed you get there is always that voice whispering to you, "Dude, you sooo can do better than this." I think it's a good affirmation. I think once you stop doubting yourself, you leave out room to grow. You've got the carrot, and you're eating it, and now there is nothing left to do. I read in a Toni Morrison book once and I later read that it's a sentiment that originated from Ghandi that the secret to maintain life is to have someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. I guess realizing the butt load of flaws that I have accumulated over the years, my own multi-tiered psychosis and the psychosis of a world in which my dating pool includes Jeffrey Dahmer and some dude looking for a male-bitch that… something to look forward to, for me, equates to "sanity". I look forward to the day when I gain full sanity… or at least enough so I can believably fake it.

So I guess we just need to honestly accept people's absurdities and inaptness and be as honest as we can about our own. Appreciate all those incongruities and just try to get along on this small blue marble called Earth while we still can. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone… and if you're thinking of picking up a rock right now… you're out of your fucking mind.





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