Pastoral Genocide


There Is Only This
July 10, 2008, 1:06 am
Filed under: Writing | Tags:

Today was supposed to be the day that I decided to stop feeling sick. But then I wake up,  tired and apathetic, and I don’t feel like doing much of anything. I get dressed. I try to eat, but I can’t. I’m not hungry, not now. I sit at my desk and look out the window. The clouds sit low and fat, lazily merging world and sky.  I want to get high. I take out the dope and roll it in with some papers. I get halfway through and I say fuck the papers. I have a cherry philly in my desk. I split it open and push the tobacco into a neat pile. I make the paper, I lick onto my fingers and mat the cheap shell against the table. I fill it and roll, tenderly, precariously because I have exactly and only one cherry philly. Sink or swim, drown or don’t. I seal it. I smoke it. Fuck this weed. It’s garbage. It’s ditch yellow and impotent and, somehow, a reflection of me. I can’t think straight. I’m still not hungry. I turn on some music and stare blankly into the day. Jawbreaker, Waits, Mogwai, Strummer. Nothing fits the mood, nothing makes me feel anything. Nothing feels right. But that’s ok. Nothing ever feels right. Has anything ever felt right? No. I forget, for a moment, that I was looking out of my window and when I remember to actually look, I see a plastic bag ghost mulling about in the street, anxiously puffing and ascending skyward only to fall back to the grime and the dirt and the dirty as[halt of the street. There’s a cat picking through a trash can at the end of the street. The grey seeps lower, still. Metallically dull, foggy, thick with dramatic and brooding overtones. My exasperation wells up into an oblong lump in the pit of my stomach. This is life. Today was the day that I said I would stop feeling sick. It’s just another day, though. I don’t want to get better. I don’t want to stop feeling sick. I just want to be able to imagine a time when I can imagine again. I go out onto the porch and have a smoke. Around me, the world moves. It’s 3:30 and the kids are being let out of school across the street. Fucking kids. They live in a murky world of unlimited potentiality. And greed and hate and depression and mental instability. Maybe they know this but maybe they don’t. They’ll figure it out, eventually. We all do. I did. I get into my car and drive. I’m unemployed and uninsured. I don’t know where I am headed or what I’ll do when I get there an even why the fuck I felt compelled to go there in the first place. I don’t care. I should care but I don’t. So I keep driving. I see a lot of people doing a lot of different shit. I hope they’re happy, I hope things are going their way. I see the cornerboys on the corner, doing what they do. I see fast food chains and police stations. I see hospitals and the downtown skyline. I drive along the river for awhile and think. Today was the day I decided to stop feeling sick. It rings hollow. I’m disappointed in myself, disappointed that I woke up and let my resolve simmer into nothing. Today is the day that I decided that I’m alright with feeling sick. I end up back at my house and I’m standing glass-eyed in the driveway. I go inside. I sit at my desk and light a cigarette. It tastes horrible. These goddamn things have always tasted horrible and I have always smoked them. I take out a picture from my bureau drawer and look at it. It is of one specific memory that I used to treasure but I don’t anymore. It’s dark now. I turn on the lamp at the right corner of my desk. It has a comfortable glow. Outside, it starts to rain. I open up my window and listen to the droplets thud and die on the roof, the pavement, the grass. I watch as puddles, highlighted by streaking shafts of petroleum, sparkle in the under the softly municipal glow of the streetlamps above. The rain smells like rain, wet and familiar, old but alive. I sit at my desk and I think about all the places I’ve never seen, all the places I’ll never go. Important mountains, water so blue it looks unreal, Japan in the morning. I realize that I have lived a life of pictures and dreams, glossy and unrealistic. I light another cigarette and watch as it burns to nothing in the ashtray. My clothes smell like smoke, my room smells like smoke. I still haven’t eaten. I don’t want to. Today was the day that wasn’t. And, that’s ok. I think about the inside of old churches and echoing Gregorian chants that exist even when they don’t. I think about the comfort of antiquity. I think about the burden of understanding things and the stability of youth. I think about dying, I think about living. I think about Portugal, a place I’ve never been but have always imagined to be surreal. I think about thinking too much and decide that it’s time to go to bed.

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