Archive for March, 2007

listening to songs on the radio…

Posted in Poetry, thoughtful trips on March 7, 2007 by Caribbean Fool

The border guards detained me for a minor infraction of some obscure rule. While keeping me waiting in a holding cell designed to intimidate the senses and diminish the will, I counted the seconds as they ticked by, becoming minutes and then fractions of an hour. I had counted off almost two thousand one hundred and sixty seconds when the door opened and I was allowed to leave. The guard simply apologized for the misunderstanding and sent me on my way, declining to explain the incident except to proclaim the whole matter a regretable mistake. I didn’t waste any time trying to question him any farther. He was too low on the food chain to know anything important, and none of it mattered enough to pursue any farther. My attention was focused on other questions, and I have no stomache for taking on The Man in such a foolish way, with such ill-defined parameters.

Watching the other refugees listlessly shuffling across the border, assuredly trudging towards bigger and better days to come, I couldn’t shake the sensation of wonder; who had told all of these people that things were any better over here? From the little I had seen, the vast majority of people meandered through sixty or seventy years, drawing close to a friend when possible, and biding time focused on some unrealized expectation that would become reality “soon.” If that seems pessimistic, or to miss the point of shared existence and pair bonding, it is because the meta-context of the species and planet is so much larger as to render the individual conscience an evolutionary drawback. That is of course assuming some such individuality exists; perhaps it is a laboratory invention undiscovered in the natural world.

With the help of various contacts spread through the land, it becomes easier to move from place to place without even a pretext of interest in anything temporal. My current quandry, recognized as such while wandering through the scrub brush by the side of the road, was one of morass; morass and the lack of anything resembling a plan to evaluate my current situation from. Without some goal to work towards, there is no way to know whether I am moving at a suitable speed towards my destination. That is a scary prospect to seriously consider, but when the fear dissipates, the reality begins to sink in, first like drops of rain, then like an avalanche. Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a chair in the exact middle of a circular room. There is no other furniture or decorations, just you in a chain. The walls, floor, and ceiling are all white, with no ostensible source of light to reflect or texture the surfaces or produce a shadow. Before you leap to the conclusion that any movement is likely pointless due to the mindnumbing sameness everywhere around you, think about what you could do if your motivation wasn’t limited by expectations. Maybe, if you meander around the room long enough; look closely enough; think clearly enough; you might discover there is more to the plain room than you first thought.

While that analogy ended on a positive image, the problem inherent in this lack of comparitive planning (i.e. acting on the influence of the differences between what you want and what you got) is one of confusion. Confusion is the end result of a total failure to discern any kind of narrative to explain seemingly disparate events constantly occuring and perceived by the various senses. Without some kind of internal logic, any stimulus is liable to provoke a range of unintended reactions seemingly unconnected to the stimulus itself. The degree and severity of the action is comparable to a non-random number generator operating on skeleton rules. With no way to gauge a proper connection to an incoming stimulus, a person must choose and execute some kind of reaction without the express knowledge of the context in which the stimulus occurs.

I have tested out any number of ways to combat this contextual fatigue syndrome, but without a larger guiding ideal or principle to govern the creation of a meta-context (or internal logic) there is no central formulation of ambition in the name of a greater goal. Actions become disjointed in and of themselves, less aggressive, lacking intent and coordination while confidence devolves into negative imagery and wildly ambulatory diplays of emotion. It isn’t a death cycle, but it is a recipe for any number of problems that are easily avoidable with a simple goal to work towards. Well, simple in theory, but more complex than any other choice to be made by an individual walking down the road camoflaged within the mass of humanity seeking something slightly better over the next hill.

It is that image that stays with me more than any other. Trying to purge the contemplation of this madness is a veritable self-defeating declaration of martyrdom, complete with stigmata and the accoutrements of sainthood. As funny as a diagnosis of cancer. As I watch the millions and billions of strangers get kicked in the face and beaten down for wanting only a chance for something better, I realize there isn’t a choice about any of this. In this situation, choice is a mirage. What is real is that my species is farcically talented in the creation of artificial lines of demarcation, and has built a superstructure from unwritten laws, codified obligations, and illusionary principles. This is a mindfuck of collosal proportions, as illustrious and logical as insantiy can get. If it wasn’t so vicious, it would be beautiful to behold. The size alone is breath-taking.

My most urgent desire, to wrap this up in some way that leaves some possibility and promise for succor and solution, is going to have to go unfulfilled tonight. After another day of playing great determinator, the mirror accused me of lying and the shower called me a scoundrel. Any retort I could come up with seemed forced, more a bellicose reaction than a bold declaration conceived and executed. I found myself right back at square one; confusion. What do all of these people want from me? Why do they think I can help? How can I be the only one cognizent of everything lacking that other’s swear is sitting within easy reach? Usually, I abhor demoralizing the loyal few with these types of questions, but psychic help has not been forthcoming, so far. With that said, it is a poor excuse for a sonofabitch who can’t remain hopeful in spite of overwhelming odds and a completely empty bag of tricks. Who follows the foolish, and why? If this is going to go any farther, it certainly seems there should be a goal of some kind to grab onto, at least for the sake of appearences. I mean, I’m just saying, ya know?

It is so quiet and cold out. The red tip of my cigarette was jumping in the aftershocks of my teeth chattering and my muscles spasming in a display of evolutionary genius. Movement keeps us warm, and warmth makes everything else a little bit easier.

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