|Years before, lives ago, Iíd found
myself at a yard sale. I poked around and
browsed. I loitered and I looked. I was
disappointed to find out that the yard
itself was not for sale. The same for
various garages, sidewalks, and fires I had
wished to purchase. So I looked and I left.
This was during a period in which I was
demented with the mania of owning things, as
well as other various manias. Now I have
next to nothing, apart from my hat, my
shades, my knife, and a small fortune in my
pocket. Although that was a period in which
I spent inordinate, manic amounts of time in
front of a phone. I would watch movies on
the phone, movies that were before my time,
in order to incorporate them into my time.
It was not unlike the curiosity provoked by
the idea of life before birth, or by bizarre
and unsettling dreams. Although in this
case, I was confusing life with art, a
common misconception of the self-employed.
The world as it was before my time was not
the world of the Warner Brothers. But during
this period I rarely felt a schizoid.
Although I was always alone, in a dark red
room, living in a fantasy world, victim to
the power of streaming cinema. To see Margit
Carstensenís face collapse waifishly on a
five-inch screen is to witness the
fantastic. To see Leo G. Carroll turning the
gun on himself is to witness the power of
streaming cinema. But in that time I would
gaze at the phone almost lovingly, looking
at the news like a parent would its child.
The digital ticker informed me of the dayís
exploded stars, the career supernovas, black
holes of depravity, delirium, tragedy, and
neglect. I looked at links to news of
Turkish bombings and refugees in the Balkans
like they were films, thinking which looks
more interesting, more likely to make me
feel, is this anything like the one I saw
about Yemeni orphans. I was curating my
corruption by the power of streaming cinema.
I misread poverty as poetry and felt like a
total and utter fuck. This was the end
result of the power of the stream. But signs
of the divine lurked around the corner, in a
stray thumbtack or on a pistolís knurled
grip, things that were real in the world.
They were there. I wanted not to think
independently, make sense of the material at
hand, construct meaning, not to tell myself,
but to be told. It was surely a sign of the
exhaustion endemic at the time, perhaps no
better symbolized than by a $40 phone case
bearing the chemical structure of seroquel.
Whenever I left home, the people of the
crowd had been the unwitting guides of my
astonishment, my curiosity, my delight at
the history being made with each footstep, a
short walk to the corner a herald of relief
from anguish. I felt I was in a constant
state of yet-to-being. And yet wherever I
went, black plastic bags hung in the tree
branches, looking like ruptured alveoli, as
though the tree was struggling for breath,
mourning its life, emphysema on the
sidewalk. Towering reminders of exhaustion
and death. But now Iím content to stroll
around and worry the fortune in my pocket:
I wish you
every happiness and paranoia,
any desperation or welcoming,
some hope and reluctance,
no trust or belief.
Cryptic and bleak and vaguely prophetic.
Soon itíll dissolve like tissue paper and
then Iíll have less than next to nothing.
And thatís all I can ever know. A series of
small disappointments that over the course
of a lifetime amount to total annihilation.