Rolling Hills and Roiling Sky
At this point, I’ve lost count. They’re all starting to blur together in my mind, each and every one of them indistinguishable in their emotional stuntedness and squalor, all of them instances of the same Platonic fucking ideal of a miserable self-righteous blowhard who wears their shit-flinging tribalism on their chest like its a name tag or a badge of honor, who considers watching Disney+ while shoveling synthetic neon-colored food down their gullet to be self-care, who takes four hours to get out of bed in the afternoon and drinks themselves into a numbing stupor every night, who wouldn’t know the wisdom or insight they purport to have even if it kicked them in the crotch, all trying to tell me and whoever else is unlucky enough to be within earshot about how wrong they think we are, about how we should actually be thinking and feeling and living our lives.
Oh, even though you’re two ill-timed twitches away from overdosing and leaving behind a corpse that won’t be found for a month, you know all my problems and how to solve them? Oh, even though you’ve not read anything outside of Tweets and 4chan posts and online spoon-fed summaries of classic nonfiction in the heat of an argument in a decade, you’re more qualified than a licensed professional actively practicing in the field? Oh, even though the closest you’ve ever gotten to self-actualization is the time when you were beating off to a porn flick set in a school and wished you were the teacher, you know how I should be leading my life to maximize my happiness and fulfillment while benefiting the greater good? Oh, please, DO enlighten me!
It makes me want to blow my fucking brains out.
I’d be honestly, genuinely surprised if any of these fuckers have ever actually heard the quiet whisper rising up from the very bottom of their minds, have ever actually had a real moment of clarity about what the “self” truly is outside of the endless masturbatory tempest in a teapot that constitutes their waking thoughts, have ever actually had a tangible sense of direction and purpose and meaning in their lives beyond parroting agitprop talking points or giving up on every dream and goal they ever had for themselves one after the other because allegedly that’s just how life is or continuing their paper-thin charade of feeling like they’ve not mentally aged beyond their teens and suffocating from impostor syndrome while chanting “fake it ‘til you make it”—which, by the way, doesn’t fool anyone, least of all anyone whose company is worth keeping.
They and their false idolatry alike may not matter in the end, granted, but unfortunately enough they do in the near term, because if you’re someone who by some miracle has even an iota of faith or grit or strength of character, someone with the guts to claw away at the film of stagnation coating you and to strive toward something other than soulless state-approved socially-conscious hedonism and to bring forth some manner of meaning of your own rather than wallowing in your rancid bog of self-pity, self-loathing, and self-destruction like you did yesterday and last week and last month and last year despite all the planners you bought and resolutions you made and alarms you set, you’re instantly consigned to a world of alienation. Congratulations, you’ve bettered yourself into irreversible near-total social isolation!
That is, as soon as you start improving yourself and pushing outward, you’re climbing up the wall, building a tower, walking a cross-continental trek, and every technical exercise you draw or scale you play or egg you splatter or traumatic memory you accept is a footstep bringing you that much closer toward true fulfillment and that much further away from your friends and family and neighbors and coworkers and the overwhelming majority of the population in your age cohort and below and above. After all, you’re not supposed to actually DO any of this shit, you fucking idiot. You’re supposed to just sit and spend and eat and watch and complain and rot like everyone else, all the while talking about how you could easily start going down that road anytime you wanted and in fact are planning on it soon, so no one can criticize you. Everybody knows that.
No one will say it out loud, of course. On the contrary, they’ll praise you, call you a role model and an inspiration, talk about how there need to be more people like you, how they themselves want to be like you. In actuality, however, no one is inspired, at least not for any longer than a week or two or whatever brief interval it takes for them to realize how fucking hard that shit is and for them to have a bad day and not have the energy for it right now so they’ll do it later once they’re in the right mood and are motivated to get back around to it which’ll surely be someday soon, a someday soon that proves to be days and weeks and months and years and decades away oops where did the time go I guess that’s just life, coming only briefly to their senses in lonely fits of tears at the bottom of a bottle or in ever-fainter flashes of stinging remorse as they fade away forgotten in their favorite overstuffed armchair at the senior home.
Think of it this way. There you are, doing shit, actualizing yourself, getting somewhere. You’ve scaled the wall and descended to the other side, your tower is looming against the horizon, you’re over a third of the way across the continent now, and when you stop to look around at the desolate unfamiliar landscape you’ve wandered your way into, the low rolling hills of brownish grass under the dark roiling sky whose gusts are heavy with the scent of the oncoming storm, you realize just how alone you are all of a sudden.
Wait, what the fuck? What happened?? Where’d everyone else go???
But you can’t stop, can’t turn back, can’t go back in time, not now that you’ve gotten a taste of true satisfaction and true joy and true magic, that oh so wonderful ambrosia that no pill or porn or product can ever hope to get anywhere fucking close to, of feeling raw and powerful and ALIVE and not like a rotting bloated bag of wasted potential that’s a flat tire or failed test away from a fucking meltdown. You know too well what it’s like back there. You know too well what it’s like up here. You know them both as intimately as you know the vibration of your phone against your leg. Wild horses couldn’t drag you back into that reeking pit of excrement, not now, not ever, not anymore.
But guess what, jackass?
That’s where everyone else is, and they’re not gonna budge.
God fucking help you if you think you can change their minds. They’re happy exactly where they are, sucking and slurping sloppily on the soft imitation-rubber teat feeding them a sweetened puree of nostalgic simulacra of everything that ever made their brain squeeze out a drop of dopamine one or five or twenty years ago, endlessly hungry for fleeting false memories of the happier days of their childhood that not a single one of them actually had, desperate still decades later for mommy and daddy to come home and make everything better in their domestic life and finances and bedroom alike.
And to be totally fucking honest with you, it’s kinda hard to blame them.
Let’s drop the pretenses, shall we? You and I both know all too fucking well, with a visceral certainty that’s gnawing in the pit of our stomach like an old ulcer, that it’s game over for us; that Gaia, in a vindictive murderous rage, has finally struck back and plunged Her curved dagger deep into our belly, Her eyes inches from ours and wide with sadistic ecstasy, Her face twisted into a horrible sneering smile, and Her breath ragged with excitement and hot against our skin as She oh so slowly guts us with plagues and firestorms and droughts and floods and cold snaps and derechos and god only knows what’s next. We can expect no mercy from Her now, not that we’d deserve it. You and I know it. The politicians and corporate suits and scientists all know it—why do you think their warnings never go beyond rhetoric? Indeed, I expect most everyone knows it or at least feels it by now, hence the collective escapist hedonist age regression that’s been going on.
And for the love of God will you please please PLEASE spare me the fucking sermon about how we could fix everything right now if we just showed more personal responsibility or if we just all came together to take collective action because if I have to hear that shit one more fucking time I really WILL blow my fucking brains out. News flash, shithead: It doesn’t matter how loudly you play Fight Song on loop while committing vandalism and dunking on your would-be foes with quote retweets, because collective action is not gonna fucking happen when both halves of the population genuinely believe the other half is a loathsome mass of evil sub-humans; and relying on personal responsibility with the way things are now is like trying to use an electric hand fan to cool down a blast furnace—it’s so utterly irrelevant to the problem that you can’t even call it a solution.
Whatever. Let the planet burn to a fucking cinder while everyone flings shit at each other when they’re not too busy beating off to serial killers and stand-ins for their parents and little girls whose sexual precociousness should be a glaring red flag of abuse and then crying themselves to sleep.
I don’t fucking care anymore.
To you, who’s also stepped out here onto the desolate rolling hills under the dark roiling sky.
I pity you, as I know your pain and isolation all too well.
But more than that, I admire you; your courage, your faith, your dedication, your madness.
I’d love to have your company.
Come walk with me, and I’ll share my resolve, from my heart to yours.
Come sit beside me, and I’ll share my warmth, from my body to yours.
Come meet my lips, and I’ll share my joy, from my mouth to yours.
We’ll close our eyes and know only each other as all else dies away.