Some Things Must Matter

You sit there and you stare at me and say with self-accredited authority “once you realise that nothing matters, life becomes a lot more simple.” I say “some things matter, some things must matter.” And you tell me that I haven’t figured it all out yet, as if in life there is one great and final epiphany and the rest is all just intro and outro. As if the answer’s deigned to present itself to you but not to me.

Life’s great lesson might look like one big bang, but inside the magnificent explosion is an immeasurable number of sparking catalysts. That’s what an epiphany is, it’s a match being lit in slow motion. But I don’t say this to you, I don’t say anything at all.

You don’t know the half of my existential crisis, you don’t know how brightly or how fast my sulphur burns. I haven’t just looked into the blinding heat and light, I’ve walked dauntlessly into it and out again. I know what it is to be engulfed by the ineffable emptiness and futility of it all. I know what it is to understand that death is as meaningless as life and only half as much of a struggle.

Still, for some reason, we refute the answer with our very being. We negate the conclusion by continuing to exist, by sitting right here – you and me. We choose light over darkness, noise over silence, sensation over numbness. Why? Are we afraid of the unknown? I don’t doubt there’s truth in that. But fear alone isn’t enough to feed the soul day after day. Fear alone isn’t a reason for living.

Whenever I wake instead of sleep, whenever I eat instead of starve, whenever I breathe instead of asphyxiate, I know that some things matter, some things must matter. And when I find out what those things are I won’t try to enlighten you, I’ll let you strike your own match.

Love Yourself

The room is dark. I look down, my tits are lit by a bluish white light coming from the laptop screen. On the screen is two more pairs of tits, bigger than mine and more tanned. Two women are bent over, unclad, on their hands and knees on a mattress in a fancy looking room with huge windows. A naked man takes turns putting himself inside one of the girls for a bit and then the other. It sounds like they’re enjoying it, but they’re probably not. They’re probably wondering if their dads or uncles or old school teachers will one day stumble across their little faces, mouth open, spunk in the eye.

I paste Nick’s face onto the thrusting man’s body, I paste my own face onto one of the girls. He is not thinking of me as a human being but a human shaped, fleshy, penis-accepting object. I am an object, I am an object, I am a fucking object and then I orgasm. Every nerve, every blood vessel, every muscle in my body contracts and expands simultaneously for 15 seconds. My eyes open, the computer screen is suddenly very bright and is hurting my eyes. The three of them are still at it. ‘Stop it, I’ve had enough now’ I say to them and click the little ‘x’ in the corner of the screen.

Should I be ashamed of myself? I don’t know, maybe, probably not. That odd sensation I sometimes get, where I feel like I could cry for a split second after it’s all over, I put it down to catholic guilt. Wanking and crying, the classic combination. It’s all I seem to do these days. I don’t feel like crying tonight though, well not urgently anyway. I put my tits away and enjoy the last little echoes of pleasure before taking a deep sigh and picking up the self-help book I was reading before I got distracted.

‘Love Yourself’ the title reads in huge red letters across the front page. ‘I think you’ll find I just did’ I wink at myself. Myself, my other self, is stood in the corner, back against the wall, reading a book too and silently rolling her eyes at me. She doesn’t find this very funny. She’s a spoil sport. ‘Whatever’ I say to her ‘…just because you didn’t think of it first’ and I open my page to where I last left off and tell myself that everything is going to be just fine because this book is going to give me all of the answers I need and I’ll never be miserable or have to wank alone again.

Trouble

Enough’s enough,
This has got to stop.
You might be tough,
But clearly I am not.

Enough’s not enough,
I don’t want to just be friends.
Every time we touch,
I need it again.

I’m trying to think,
I’m trying to think!
I’m trying not to think.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

You say the only time,
You don’t feel sad,
Is when,
You’re fucking.

And I can’t figure out,
Does that makes me,
Unlucky,
Or lucky?

Now I need it too,
Now I need it too!
Now I need you.

But you’re trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

Trouble,
That’s all you are,
Just trouble.

It’s The Landing That Hurts

A figure walks through the door and my heart fills with blood. But it’s not you. My blood filled heart drops, my stomach does a strange but now familiar dance. My eyes feel a little wet or something. Nobody is looking at me, but I still don’t want to paint these feelings on my face. I take a deep breath and mentally wave away these sensations.

It was foolish of me to expect anything, I knew that from the start. Why did I let myself entertain romantic notions? I suddenly visualise Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. No matter how many times he gets hit, for some reason he keeps getting up. And everyone is screaming at him to stay down. But he won’t stay down, so the punches keep coming. I think I might be this way.

Resilience has its price, let me tell you. There is a fine line between persistence and delusion, still I put on my ballet shoes, I centre my gravity and walk this tightrope every day. But there are only so many times you can walk the tightrope before you fall, call it…tempting fate. It’s not the falling that’s frightening though, it’s the landing. It’s the landing that hurts.

Geddes Axe

Office blocks,
That glow at night.
The lights are on,
Wish I was inside.
It’s a novelty, to me,
The nine to five.

White corridors,
All look the same.
Furniture,
That tess-ess-ess-ellates.
Sea of faces,
Wave after wave.

Wave after wave,
Wave after wave.

Half inch, wink wink,
The office rulers.
Stand around,
The water coolers.
Don’t you think,
They’re trying to fool us?

Unemployed,
Tax, tax, tax!
Put my neck,
To Geddes Axe.
First against the wall,
Will be my back.

Will be my back,
Will be my back.

Patterns in Nature

There are patterns in nature,
And there is beauty in symmetry.
Time is relative, time stands still…at the speed of light.
If everything I’m made of, atoms and particles alike,
Escapes from my body as I’m dying,
Faster than the speed of light,
Can I time travel to before death?
It is theorised that the greatest works of literature contain,
‘the most linguistic fractal patterns.’
What does that mean?
I don’t know but I like the sound of it.

Why do I want to cry when I hear a minor chord?
I’d like to somehow embody the zeitgeist of my time,
I’m not sure if there’s an algorithm for that.
Often I appear to be doing nothing,
But actually I’m thinking.
I’m not thinking about what I’m going to have for my tea,
It’s more like a computer playing a chess game.
Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to work out the endgame,
One hundred,
And fifty,
Moves ahead.

If A is B and B is C and C is D and so on.
For what purpose though?
I’m not even sure.
I only have this gut feeling.
Something inherent,
And implicit,
That sooner or later something of some value…
…Will occur.
But did I ever tell you that,
There are patterns in nature,
And there is beauty in symmetry?

That Damn Sandwich

‘I’m failing my course’ he says. ‘I’ve only been to six lectures this year.’
‘Why aren’t you going?’ I ask.
‘I have to commute for two hours’ he says ‘and there’s not enough time in the day. I have so much work to do, so I just stay home.’
‘I see’ I say, uninterested.
‘I wish I didn’t have to sleep’ he says.
‘I wish I didn’t have to wake’ I say. I say it and it sounds sad. He laughs for a moment and then the laugh turns to concern.
‘I fantasise about being a famous author a lot now’ I say ‘It’s the only thing that motivates me. I have the picture in my head and the picture keeps me going. What keeps you going?’ I ask.
‘Knowing that there’s so much to do before I die’ he responds.
‘Death motivates you?’ I ask.
‘Death and knowledge’ he replies. ‘And I want to become less self-centred’ he adds.
‘It’s a hard balance’ I reply, ‘trying to accomplish all of the things you want to achieve without being self-centred.’ I sit there quietly, watching out of the window at the man in the shop window across the road.
‘What’s wrong? he asks me. The expression on his face says concern again. I don’t know why he’s so concerned for me. I’m not concerned for him.
‘Max and I had a fight’ I answer, reluctantly.
‘What about?’ he pries.
‘I don’t even know anymore’ I answer ‘I think it was about a sandwich, but I can’t be sure.’
The man sitting opposite me with the concerned expression on his face is an old friend. It’s strange to me that he’s a man now. He was a boy when we met and I suppose I was a girl. I still feel like a girl some of the time. I remember when we used to fight about sandwiches too. It didn’t work out with him just like it probably wont work out with Max.
‘Anyway, I don’t want to talk about the stupid fight’ I shrug ‘I’ve wasted enough time thinking about it already.’
He says nothing. He looks hurt. I guess I’ve hurt him but I don’t know how.
‘It’s a hard balance’ he says ‘getting relationships right.’
‘Zero success rate so far’ I joke.
We laugh for a while but the laughter trails off and then the silence that ensues hangs in the air with an awkward intensity.
‘This cup of tea is dreadful’ I say, making small talk. ‘I don’t understand how people can make a cup of tea so wrong. You put the tea bag in the cup, pour the hot water, give it a stir and then add a dash of milk. I don’t understand why they put so much milk in it…’ I can hear myself ranting.
‘….I mean, it’s not that hard to get the balance right, really it’s not’ I start to feel red in the face. ‘A fucking monkey could do it, you know? It’s not rocket science. It’s tea, it’s just tea. We’ve been drinking it for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.’
I’m out of breath and the man sitting across from me looks frightened. He’s been staring at my hands, I’ve been banging them on the table without realising. And then I start to feel my eyes welling up and a strange animal sound comes driving up and out of my throat and suddenly I’m crying. Not, not crying, I’m howling.
I’m sitting there howling and the man through the window is watching me from his shop. I catch myself in the reflection of the glass and I look terrible, tears are streaming down my red sweaty face.
‘That damn sandwich!’ I yell into the face of my old friend who’s reaching out to hold my hand.
‘That damn sandwich’ he repeats softly back to me as the hot tears fall into my milky tea.