Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Great White Time

I was telling this person some months ago how somebody like me could become a blackhole.

ME: Is it possible for a human being to become a blackhole?

FRIEND: Quite possible. Happens all the time.

ME: No, what I mean is, to be BORED, really BORED, paint-drying-on-a-wall bored, Eddie-Murphy-screws-his-wife bored.

FRIEND: Watch porn. I watch porn when I’m bored.

ME: I also watch porn. But I’m bored with it.

FRIEND: Maybe you're just in some fucking existential limbo.

That's not the first time somebody told me I’m in limbo. I only have a vague idea why. People think I'm in limbo because (a) I've been single for the past two years; (b) I've been showing signs of erratic behavior, like saying the best way to fatten up chickens is feeding them with KFC or exactly the same thing my brother eats; (c) Because I still think The Vagina Monologues is one very sad, unwatchable piece of porn.

It's annoying when people have opinion like that. Because if there's anything we know in this silly world, it's that people's opinion is always entirely wrong, but it hits you just the same. It's like getting hit with rabbit dung and telling yourself, there, it's just rabbit dung. Rabbits eat nothing but grass and they’re cute, little furry things that stand for everything that’s nice and never bite back, so their crap must be so squeaky clean you can lick it. But you see it's still dung and you don't want to even touch it.

I’ve grown jaded to all these crazy everyday things that I’ve learned to selectively do the things that matter. And in my world, the things that matter are words. Words and why it’s not always possible to find the best of them. Here I am, trying to perfect and polish sentence after sentence after sentence of something I'll subsequently dislike. It's like crap. Like eating something good that the gods would eat, and you take a dump and it just smells shit, like the rest of them. You tell people, this is it, the shit, THE SHIT, you hear me? It's going to blow away their minds. But you sit down and look at what you've cobbled together so far, you see the gaping void in all the right places, and it just makes you cry. Somehow, you've missed it again. Because now there are holes where there were none before. Somehow, you’ve managed to prove, by some stroke of luck, that you're a darned idiot.

Because there are only two types of writers, as there are two types of people: those who arrogantly believe that they know THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, and those who are aware they have NO FUCKING CLUE about THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, but are arrogant just the same. I tend to believe I'm more of the latter type. Mostly the arrogance is buffed up by sheer jadedness. You have nothing to say? Just bitch; it doesn't matter. People listen, make choices, decide—not because they've thought through it, but because they want to move on and keep on running. People are just kids running around in circles, and they have attention spans as brief as their lives. So they hurry and do as many stuff they can possibly cram in a little lifetime, so they can die happy.

If life is completely bullshit-free, everyone would begin saying they are walking blackholes, that they are Just-Getting-By people, that the glass is not only half-empty, it's also poisoned. We've created, whipped, baked, served ourselves the daily golden platter of shining bullshit because it's exactly what we need—to NOT see that indifference and pointlessness are not metaphors but bleeding truths of the universe. But then, how many people would have the heart to be honest and have the strength to endure life without all the entertainment?

What I’m trying to get at is this: I’m a blackhole. I’m what Radioactive Sago Project would call a “bad motherfucker.” But I also happen to be a writer, an indefatigueable bearer of bullshit. On the other hand, what ordinary people need to avoid not becoming a blackhole like myself and remain ordinary is a constant supply of crap, so that they can all continue dancing and singing.

Can you see the irony? The world is full of bullshit. People become blackholes because they’ve rid themselves of bullshit in their personal lives. But in the process, they become writers, creators of all the bullshit that coats this planet in the first place. Some of us make the sacrifice to become blackholes in order to keep up the illusion of everyone else. Isn’t it a beautiful, awe-inspiring vicious cycle?

I guess the reason why people like myself end up writing is exactly the reason why bacteria divide and propagate. Because we want to see mirrors of ourselves infecting the world. When you get down to it, it’s all about the desperation to have people mention—not spit out—your name. Like making back-ups of your own thoughts and implanting them in all those around you so that when you lose your own, you can get it from others.

But only if it were that easy. I like getting the things I want and desire for, but it's not easy to dodge the subsequent low point. I like people loving me, but it feels heavy and the love [and hate, for that matter] is inexplicably frightening. Whenever I say I’m a walking blackhole, or a ready-made, do-it-yourself quantum crap kit, it's never easy to meet the inevitable cascade of follow-up questions.

Such as:

1. Why don't you take things seriously?

2. Why don't you believe in God?

3. Why don't you have a regular, office job, like everyone else in the



4. Why haven't you come up with a decent novel?

5. What the hell is that blog about?

6. Why is this soup so salty?

7. Did you just fart?

Which I try to sincerely answer, respectively, with:

1. "Seriosity" is a suicide pill.

2. Belief in God entails a very demanding lifestyle, which I've gladly ditched.

3. The Office is the One Singular Cause of the Downfall of Man, and it's a factory of slime-covered chickens who may resemble humans but aren't.

4. Because a novel is so much longer than my patience. But I’m getting there.

5. It's therapy.

6. I have no goddamn idea.

7. If you didn't hear it, did it really happen?

In the end, all everyone wants is to ask themselves, in their heart of hearts, and I’m paraphrasing the late great Amelita Malig here, the question: What do you really want?

And to answer it with: To wake up enthused. To be happy.

Without flinching and ducking and pretending it doesn’t matter. Because it fucking does. Watch Little Miss Sunshine and you’ll see.