If all of life were normalcy and comfort, good days would be redundant and success would be the same as stagnancy. Love would be like something you slipped into, like sleep or like a flu. Laughter would be reserved for it's most meaningless, cordial contexts, and would thereby become as insulting as handshakes or ironic high-fives exchanged between strangers. People would get face-drooping surgery to look young again. You know, what if that "old familiar feeling", that "old age fondness" is simply what happens when people's emotions die down enough for the lows and highs to lose amplitude... so I suppose it's worth fighting it to remain whole people with whole reactions. It's like... maybe they're like muscles.. and if you don't exercise feeling pain, the same muscle that lengthens into pleasure becomes atrophied and only invisibly tightens every few days or so.
But I'll keep lifting this huge shit, and it's gonna hurt like a bitch. It's gonna hurt to go. It's gonna hurt to think. It's gonna hurt to say hi. It's gonna hurt to say goodbye and log off. It's gonna hurt to see her. It's gonna hurt to not see her. It's gonna hurt when I realize I'm staying. It's gonna hurt when I realize I've only been there for 2, 3, 4 months. It's gonna hurt when I realize I'm going home. It's gonna hurt when I see her again. It's gonna hurt when I see them again. It's gonna fucking hurt. But I'm gonna be fucking strong when it's over, and people are gonna watch me flex and lift pickup trucks off of burning children, flex and topple buildings as I walk through their walls, flex and battle herds of burning, rabid cattle as I treat them with vaccines and put their flames out with water that I spray from my inflated lungs, flex and educate blind Nairobi schoolchildren in hybrid, eco-friendly, desert-based and nutritionally balanced self-sustainment/economic-development-farming while I broker peace deals with tribal chiefs as they file in the door draped in white flags covered in peace-signs....
so yeah... feel sorry for me now. I appreciate it for sure, but we'll see who's worse off in the end.
My cat is an idiot. "So seriously, what do you think?"
I am a very annoyed person, perpetually. Every favor that is asked of me is always the last straw. Somehow, even on a Saturday morning like this one, with cold sun sharply slipping in the cracks in the curtains much like I imagine a scalpel slips into and underneath skin, somehow even now, his innocent demand for some mental response in me was the fucking last straw. "Cat," I said like it was a confession, "I didn't listen to your poem. I heard a part of it and I liked that part, but I'm a little overwhelmed right now. Can we do this later?" My cat, who always looks sarcastic, somehow looked at me sarcastically, bitterly. I felt bad; but I was still annoyed, overwhelmed. For some reason on Saturday mornings, it always feels like the world is rushing across my brain like for some reason all the morning foot traffic in New York City was re-routed to cross the rickety rope bridge that starred in at least 2 Indiana Jones movies. I fell back asleep a little sad, hoping I would feel better when I woke up for the third time today. It was 3:00 PM.
"So what do you think?" My stupid cat asked eagerly, with his grating, needy voice, "Any thoughts?" I gave him thoughtless words, "I don't know, man. It was good. You're cruising. You've got a nice rhythm going." I actually thought it was completely incomprehensible. It meant as much to me as every other piece of verbose nonsense he would read out loud. His poetry sounded like it should mean something, but I could never make head or tail of what was going on. He needed something, "Maybe I'll read it again and see, you know, if it feels right." I was just sleepy. That thing was happening again, where I feel like I've passed out almost completely, every part of me but my face and legs. I didn't want to do anything, but the veins in my legs were fast rapids, crashing through under my skin, itching. And the stupid world wouldn't stop requiring my face to talk. Brain asleep, face still going. Eyes open, but if you looked into them you might think I was dead. I was a rag-doll with the legs of a turrets patient. My cat was reading again. I heard him say "Am I dreamer or a dream, a character, small thing, flash of glass reflecting sunlight into the eye of the victim in a car crash " before I stopped taking account of what was happening outside my head.
That morning, around 8:00, after a one hour physical fitness session with the squadron, where we lay in freezing wet grass and contorted our bodies, where we flexed our fingers and faces in synchronized agony, pushing the ground against all hope that it would ever stop pushing back, fighting slowly, a strong, constant force against our palms, the ground, ever pushing to lay flat against our panting faces, our heaving chests, a cold, flat, grassy, and yet somehow comforting embrace. The sun came up slowly as we heaved and dragged our pathetic selves across the grass and up and down. Every push from our puny arms pushed the ground downward in space until we had fully uncovered the glowing orange flanked by clouds on fire. Nobody was talking. I tried to talk to the one person I knew. It was like trying to talk to a paramedic driving in traffic. Responses only barely fit the criteria of responses. I was alone, but my muscles were grateful for the pain. Why? Because that morning, at 5:00, right before I woke my son up, I had swallowed a small capsule of a drug designed to stimulate my brain, to make me awake and motivated, to make me more in control. I had driven to drop my son off, cheerfully drinking coffee and singing loudly. I had dropped him off exactly as planned, at 6:00. I had made it to squadron PT early. I had waited in the cold and kicked a soccer ball around to stay warm. I had expected somebody to join me in this, but the people only looked sideways at me.
After PT, I was excited to go shower and get in my nice warm uniform. After exercise, getting clean is a great, refreshing feeling. On my way into the gym locker room, I thought about how little we'd run at pt, and how I really needed to keep up on my run. Logically, since I was sweaty already, now was a great time to do a workout on the exercise bike. Good for the back, good for the legs, good cardio. I didn't question myself. I got on the bike and pushed myself for 10 minutes. I got my heart rate to 171 and kept it there. I was impressed and energized. I was miserable, because cardio is miserable, but I won in the end. I walked away having completed the task at hand. I felt much more worked out now.
In the shower, as I relaxed, my brain opened up for business and started greeting guests at the door. Of course, there was me, who strutted in having just worked out, and felt pretty refreshed, didn't feel like I had slept only 4 hours the night before, and had done for a few weeks or months or years. I sat down and just asked for a water, because it's really the most refreshing thing. Then in strolled me, the me that dragged myself like a water-logged wedding dress- the me that felt like he was always just waking up, because he was always just waking up, who knew for sure that one of these days, those little naps I took in the car was going to lead to a sudden and pivotal point in my life, who sometimes forgot to shave and sometimes forgot I was in the middle of shaving when I blindly, brainlessly and sleepily walked into the living room and fell asleep on the floor again, only to realize what I had happened only after I was already late for work. He walked in having forgotten his socks and his pants at home. He was covered in spilled coffee and smelled like he hadn't showered in a week. He walked in and looked at the me who had just finished working out after working out and said "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
and it seems like everything is a rushing around, a wind tunnel that flings shit, flings pianos at me like they were made of balsa wood, the little sentences that people hand to me feel like the pelt of a piece of sand in a roaring desert storm. I cannot hear what you are saying; why are contributing to this?
I have to pull my head over the surface of the rushing water to understand what you're saying. No, I fucking heard what you said, I just don't know what it means. What's that? Oh. My day was fine. Thank you for asking. It is so hard to sound sincere when only most of me actually is.