Piece by Piece, I Will Survive

by dschapman

Sometimes I feel like laughing at something, I mean, not telling jokes – I never feel like telling jokes – but at least just laughing, because something is funny, because laughing makes you feel a certain away. Sometimes I feel like admiring something nice, something really admirable, maybe a shape, or a structure, or a concept, a bundle of flowers, a color of cloth, a relationship, a memory, something lost, something held on to, something admirable… and sometimes I feel like just fading away, but I can’t fade away, I am tethered to place, I am burdened by stones on my shoulders, quarry stones, I will never dig my self out of this quarry. I can hear in the back of my mind a sonata, playing only for me and my simple dilemma. I hold in my hands a screen and the screen sings songs for me, shows me pictures, reads me Miller aloud on the plane. On this screen, I watch the world go by; I watch the universe unfold, person by person, I watch societies rise and fall like a time-lapse video, I watch the Big Bang, the explosion, I watch the documentary live, in real-time, while it documents the world, or tries to. When I am done staring at screens I close my eyes and enter the dream world. Sometimes I feel like staying there forever, and sometimes I want out, I want desperately, urgently, out. In general, I cannot sleep. And why should I? Twenty years ago, I might have slept… Why should I sleep now? It is like work – aren’t we all capitalists? Twenty years ago, unemployment might have mattered, but now we have machines, we have procedures, we have technology – why should anyone be employed? But what to do with all this leisure… We must work through it! Our job is simply to survive again, on the highest, most deadliest level of survival. We must work hard to overcome the gift we have been given. We must survive. Our sonatas assure it. To sing, one must open one’s mouth. One must want to sing. This, then, is a song – I am singing. Should I go to the city? Should I have an adventure? My back is gone, my health is gone, my perfect health is ruined, my beautiful mind is darkened by soot and neglect, I have been deliberately attacking my mind, because it has been inadvertently killing me, and I have been successful, and now I am mindless, and I have nothing to do. What happens when great powers expend themselves against themselves, use their power keeping their own powers safely in check; does it all just, disappear? Unchecked, though, it would run rampart, it would be ruinous… The greatest heroes of all mankind are those who no one knows are heroes, because the heroic struggle is the incommunicable one, and no one knows the incommunicable…

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