Expiration

We are not doomed.

We may well be determined and we may be defined but we are not definitive and we won’t go on forever and we won’t ever die. Immortality is granted, though the wish is monstrous, as long as we take it upon ourselves to be the centre of our attention.

Conduits to the stream. The energy, the code, the connection. We may yet go extinct; we need not mourn ourselves: we leave behind perhaps no legacy but our intention to do well.

Complex situations, simple choices: do you put anger in the world and hatred and want and division and them versus us and incomprehension and rejection hostility enmity loss, or do you put hope. Do you put recognition, respect. Enjoinment. What we call empathy. Different, diverse, differentiated manifestations of one and the same.

Never even mind that we’re human: remember we are god. When every mistake we’ve ever made is multiplied with every other mistake we’ve ever made, our hearts may hurt from the unwisdom that we yield to. And yet: we can make it so, we can make it other.

The thing that we’re a part of may yet lift us up. We can, whether we want to or not, and wanting to is harder than saying no. Everything is known, everyone can be understood.

Accept as the deepest part of you that which you loathe most. The person you despise: you are him, you are her. Embrace them. The child murderess. The suicide bomber. The bludgeoner to death. You celebrate, you cheer, you dance your pride when your football team wins. When your psychopath strikes: suffer him to be your disaster no less than you appropriate your goal scorer’s triumph to be your own. The medals on the athlete’s chest are badges of your honour no more and no less than the bloodstains on the knife stabber’s hand are witness to your failure. Own it.

Grow up into the painful truths and free yourself. There is no freedom without truth. There is no truth without pain. There is no pain that does not carry a reward. When all is said and done: start again. There is no reward without loss. There is no loss without self. There is no self that stands alone.

Surrender to the motion of a greater purpose. Even if you don’t understand. Even if you do not believe. Even if you’re not convinced. Your heart knows long before your brain, because your brain is much more powerful than you think: when knowledge is you and you are the world and the world is an instance in just one universe and the universe is a thought and the thought is expressed then you are god: you are god.

Accept the burden of being all powerful. Make good on your promise. Dare love.

18b Reprise

My encounter with him takes me right back. Back to when everything was different and new and a little bit daunting. But also, obviously, exciting. He is up for things, he’s up for seeing some art, he’s up for hearing Morcheeba, he’s even up for a book launch next Tuesday, though that is now unlikely to happen as he seems to have mistaken Thursday for Tuesday and realised he needs Tuesday to cram for a deadline Wednesday morning. Either that or what’s happened in-between has brought everything down to a fairly abrupt if hilarious (sort of) conclusion. At this point I’m unsure which, but I say to myself: if our friendship/connection/whateverthiscouldbecome survives what’s happened in-between then it will survive pretty much anything. When I say ‘whateverthiscouldbecome’, I should first of all quickly check back with the reality I am currently mostly familiar with.

We have arrived at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and the place is as yet fairly empty, with only a couple of dozen people or so huddling near the very front, by the stage, so we are able to get ourselves a couple of drinks and leisurely hang about the part of the stalls that will soon fill up with  gig-goers, standing. I don’t remember what prompts the question, but it comes mid-conversation, as an aside, almost, or a sub-clause, certainly not a big deal, when he asks me how old I think he is. It’s a question in parentheses (a by-the-way-kind-of question that may or may not have slipped into another, much more pertinent topic of discussion) and I say, ‘well, putting together the information I have, I think you’re probably a bit younger than you look,’ – bearing in mind I originally thought he looked comfortable in his very early thirties – ‘so I’d say possibly mid- towards late twenties, about twenty-seven?’

‘Yes, I am twenty-two.’

2 Memories of the Present: Hangover

There is a connection; the connection may well be the pattern. I did this back then, I do this right now, I will be doing this in two years’ time, most likely in ten, maybe even in twenty. I understand it, I can put reason to it, but I can’t make any sense of it, because reason doesn’t really come into it.

I have to sometimes save myself from myself but more often than not the universe protects me from what I want. If the universe and my subconscious are in tune with each other, then that will explain a lot, even if my conscious still struggles. And it still struggles. I think. And I think sometimes I am my own worst enemy because I think matters through, I most likely overthink them. My sitting here now may well be a case in point: I should probably just get drunk with myself on cocktails and not care one labradoodle why I am here now reminding myself of my incapacity to fruitfully fall in love.

Even the idea of fruitfully falling in love sounds like a great misunderstanding. Of myself, by myself. And of other people. Namely the people I somehow find myself falling ‘in love’ with. I wouldn’t know the first thing of what ‘being in love’ beyond my expenditure of in all cases unilaterally excessive emotion upon a moving target would actually entail. But I know more or less what it wouldn’t.

I’m reminded of something that is happening simultaneously, even as I’m talking to George; although of course it isn’t, it will have happened either just before or just after, or a little earlier or a bit later, but at this moment it might as well be happening right now for the sheer presence it has, the way it imposes itself:

I wake up surrounded by paint pots, pots of paint small and large, some tin, some plastic, plus white spirit. 

My head aches like Alaska, I open my eyes and close them again and open them once more and then close them again. I hear the voice of my friend who is staying with me talk to his girlfriend on Skype. I don’t hear her side of the conversation, he’s wearing headphones. His side of the conversation goes, ‘uhm… yah… – … – …yoah… – … – …hmmmyoh.’ He’s German, more specifically: Bavarian. He may be the first Bavarian I have ever fancied. I used to go much more for lean, lanky, tall men, and while I still have a residual primal propensity towards tall people generally, I was here for the first time more than just somewhat smitten with somebody of a more solid build and compatible nature.   

I listen with my eyes closed, though I try not to hear. I used to think that his girlfriend was the most boring person alive, but that may well have just been the ill tint of jealousy. I don’t like the idea of being jealous any more than I like the idea of being angry or ungenerous, but since he’s been staying with me, I’ve realised that my friend – whom I used to have a very soft spot, and continue to have a great deal of affection and highest professional regard for – when he feels like it (my in this moment murky mood wants to say: when he’s under her spell), can be almost as boring as her, even though his name doesn’t suggest it; his name suggests mischief and a boyish irreverence and a sense of adventure and a laugh and a roll in the hey and an ice cream too many and a drink on top, and calling on Freddie at two in the morning quite tipsy, and an eagerness to discover. None of which is currently much on display, but we did once call on Freddie at two in the morning after a party, as Freddie happened to live on the way. That was fun. (The girlfriend wasn’t amused…)

He sleeps a hell of a lot. Maybe he’s depressed. Or maybe his girlfriend tires him out. She is very hard work, I realise and find too. He sleeps more than I think he’s awake and sometimes he’s asleep when awake and even when he’s awake he often might as well be asleep. He’s been here for five months now and he still doesn’t speak English. That puzzles me. I must be hungry and hungover. Hence, surely, my state of mind which, to my own baffled unease, seems to signal malfunction. I know myself not so discomfited by the presence of a person I love!  

My brain hurts.

One of the paint pots has leaked pinkish paint onto my pillow, it looks oddly lush. There is no better cure for infatuation than to have someone stay at your flat for a while. I used to think he was the one, and I came close to telling him so. I certainly told him his girlfriend was boring. But I don’t regret that, it was true. Right now I wish myself buried under twelve thousand pebbles. Not dead, just buried. The pebbles would soothe me and ward off the ‘yahem… – … – och – … – nyah’. I keep my eyes closed and try to drift off…