Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Washed Out's "Don't Give Up"

There are answers and then there is not seeking any, not chasing after yourself through the corridors of your own brain trying to pin down what something means, what the answer is. There is joy. There is acceptance. There is not resisting things. There is not trying to add up the numbers again and again and see if they come to something different. There is living.

It's a full moon. On my way home from school, doing a roundabout loop back from Dumbo, on the L train back from Broadway Junction, I was on the train with a lot of rowdy young, tattooed teens. They made me nervous. They were young and very impressed with their own badassness. I got off the train and walked past all my neighbors, out on their stoops like they are every night, smoking cigarettes, seemingly without end, drinking from beers discreetly, sitting in lawn chairs partially blocking the narrow sidewalk, talking into the night, their voices, the chatter, hugs, a form of connection, in this vast, terrifying world.

I bought a roast beef sandwich from the deli. A cop pushed his way past me while I was waiting in line. It was a little forceful, his push, but I am not really going to call out a police officer for bumping into me. You know?

School is going really well. It is keeping me very busy. I have had no real social life as of late. I go to work and go to school and do some homework and get a couple hours of sleep and then repeat it again and again. I have hung out with Jacob a bit the last week. It has been nice. Sometimes though I look at him and see the person I was so in love with when I was with him. Sometimes I hold that look, enjoy that feeling, dangerous though it may be. Other times, I find something else to look at, the piles of chairs all awkwardly stacked in one corner of a restaurant, a poorly utilized space.

Last week, I was a mess, felt like the person prone to disaster and reckless decisions that I was in my early twenties. It's nice to be sitting here and listening to Washed Out while drinking wine and not be overwhelmed with a sense of shame from recent behavior. You know?

And if you don't like feeling shame then don't do things that will make you shameful. Simple advice that I am learning to follow more and more as I get older in this world and both do less shameful things and as I also broaden more and more my conception of what is not shameful - at some point, in my eighties I hope, it will encompass all, that there will be no such thing as shame - I will lob shit in the direction of people I find contemptible, I will jerk off with less restriction than I do now, wherever, whenever, and I will shout obscene invective at stationary objects.

But as is, I was raised Catholic. And so I like atoning, these rituals of cleansing. I need to dirty myself, so I can feel shame every now and then, can go through these rituals, confess to you here, to you in that confessional booth, can say what I am going to do to change, how many Hail Marys and Our Fathers I will say, and I will leave feeling clean, a weight lifted off of me. It's this push and pull. It's the slap; I like feeling something in bed. I need to be roughed up sometimes, feel the physical, the spiritual force of things. I cross myself and head toward bed.

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