Breaking Down the Wall: Ten for Yesterday


September 6, 2016

The music never stops outside and inside my head. Sometimes the melody pounds in time with a pumping, thumping drum beat of a heart. Sometimes the violins screech and thrust me deep in a Psycho movie scene, stabbed over and over again with high pitched wails and screams, decibels higher than eardrum capacity.

But it’s just the neighbor toddlers yowling and the dog yapping. And that spinal column creep of approaching slippered steps of an interruption about to happen. My neck tenses awaiting the final knuckle knock knock, a rapid five or six in a row.

And all the while, the pings and bings of phones, IPads and computers tick away at flesh, flying skin chips scattered everywhere. My attention shattered in shard millenia. That’s what it’s like to write at home. Life music blasting me and my mind all day.

But my mind has steeled itself impenetrable against so much more than noise before this. My constitution has weathered barn storms and hurricanes far greater, like three, grueling, sleepless days of exams preceded by years and years of mind-numbing tedious study. And then untold hours, thousands upon thousands, invested in a slow-bleeding, fast burning career life-suckingly anchored, financially and personally, that eventually landed me inside the court house walls.

Dismantling a person brick by brick, thorn by thorn, thought by thought, nerve by nerve, takes a long time. I got away with a quick turn, only 56 years building and breaking. Some take a life time. And it’s not over for me—or anyone. We turn like the worms we are.

No lives matter, not in the sense that we think they do. They merely breathe and do and be—just like everything else. The rock and me, we stream steady, hold our ground and pass unnoticed by most. Human fate, being just another assembly of matter and particles. I don’t understand why it feels so different to be human than to be a rock.

At the Corner: Ten for Today

I don’t know why I bite. I practice keeping my distance, detaching from all the crap around me, only to self-sabotage in weaker moments. Quixotic behavior, fighting windmills, I collapse, fall into the delusion that cyberspace is real, people on Facebook are real. They are not. They are as solitary as I am, poking at keys to create effect. There are no people in cyberspace, just ones and zeros. I know this, and yet…
 
Going out to dinner with my housemates, dad and partner, that is real. Though the restaurant was too noisy to facilitate conversation, we know what we want to say–and the food is always good there at our corner joint called, “The Corner.” Upon seating, the waiter, who knows us by name, delivered a cellophane wrapped wine glass we left there a month before. They knew it was ours, and the bartender brought it to our table upon seeing us. Even though we have never sat at the bar, the guy recognized us for our frequent patronage.
 
That’s real life–in the flesh.
 
To feel the pulse of America and predict the outcome of this upcoming election, I need to get out of cyberspace, off my computer, and walk among real breathing human beings, who can look me in the eye and tell me who they are and what they want. Only posers–personas–hide on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and all the other social media sites created for production, the creation of false spaces, rooms, and people who perform pieces of their lives, oh so convincingly.

 

Image: around the corner