I was never going to go to bed. I was never going to get some writing done. I was never going to read. Not as long as I was playing Outkast's Aquemini, which I had been for the last couple hours. It got me too hyped up. All I wanted to do was gyrate my hips and take various selfies of myself in Photo Booth dancing around to the album. This is how I often spend my nights, getting a little stoned, a little drunk, putting on an album of some sorts, and then taking selfies of myself usually inspired (though I am only now noticing this) by the music I am listening to - some of these selfies more clothed than others is what I am trying to say. Hours pass by and I suddenly realize I should probably go to bed, get some sleep before I have to get up for work. Years pass by and I suddenly realize I am in my thirties.
At the gym today, I was on the treadmill jogging, exhausting myself of all the energy I have, and watching various afternoon talk shows on the overhead monitors. I didn't have headphones to listen to the shows playing. I was listening to the dance songs they played over the loudspeakers and reading the closed captions thats scrolled across the bottom of the screens. This juxtaposition of pop music and absurd talk shows had an odd sense of poetry that I loved. On Dr. Phil, he and a teenager's family all ganged up on the teenage girl on national television to shame her for her wild ways. She smoked cigarettes, smoked weed, cut class, drank, had sex, a miscarriage, and apparently lived in a drug house with 30 people, though the teen wanted to clarify that it was only three other people that lived in the drug house. The girl was sullen. The family was outraged. It was absurd, disgusting, and beautiful television. Then there was another tv doctor, Dr. Oz, and the only portion of the show I saw was a slightly large woman picked from the audience asked to put on a purple robe and purple cowboy hat, who was then asked about her shitting habits in front of the studio audience, and who eagerly admitted to having bathroom issues, and who was then forced to ride a mechanical bull so Dr. Oz could make some labored analogy about the impact of stress on the digestive tract. I felt stoned watching this and kind of wished that I was.
When I walked out of the gym, a chill was descending on the city, the sun got lower and lower on the horizon, and crowds of people filled the streets, everyone leaving work, most people seeming free, happy.
I am feeling pretty good today. The classy and sophisticated Charles Shaw wine I am drinking along with the weed I earlier smoked certainly have something to do with this, with this generally positive outlook on life, but there is something else happening and I am not sure exactly what to attribute this to. I am have been happier the past few days. I am more aware of what a glorious and beautiful thing it is to be alive. I am also constantly aware of what a sad thing it is to be involved with such a temporal project, and that awareness sometimes, when the light hits the windowsill just right, actually sustains a sense of joy. It's hard to explain and it's not a permanent state that I inhabit. It usually comes for brief flashes, but the flashes have been of a greater frequency lately and so the moments between them have seemed somehow brighter as well.
On my quick walk to the train this morning, running late for work yet again, dawn was just breaking and there were bits of sky on fire against the still dark night and further down Wyckoff Avenue I could see the skyline of the city, the Empire State Building and other buildings which I would struggle very hard to name the names of if someone asked.
You just have to keep that awareness of beauty with you at all times, struggle to remember that it is there. And, yes, it is definitely a struggle. On my way back from work today, I was ready to go all nervous breakdown psychopath on the skinny girl next to me, who threw me all sorts of shade when I took the open seat between us, who shortly thereafter got a seat next to me, who ate churros and dropped crumbs all over the place, who had hair that touched me (probably #1 subway pet peeve), and who then nearly elbowed me in the face about four times while she untangled her iPhone headphones. Basically she was the worst human being imaginable and when she got off at the Bedford stop (of course, she did), I really wanted to "accidentally" trip her. I did not. I did carry this rage with me though for several stops. It even increased, which I wouldn't have thought possible, as this incredibly high man (surely, he must have been) blasted various rap songs on his phone and rapped along. He was giving this other girl a run for her money as Worst Human Being Imaginable. Very loudly, he sang various radio rap songs for a train of people that were just exhausted from the various things that constitute what life is in New York and just wanted a little moment of peace as they were in transit from one annoying thing to probably what was to be another. Drake, you are not. Please sit down.
Needless to say, I was so relieved to finally get off the subway. I looked down Wyckoff Avenue at the view of the city that you can see from the DeKalb stop and again found that sense of joy, remembered it and let all those other things go.