Friday, July 11, 2008


The male cichlid fish is my hero. Knowing that the female incubates her eggs in her mouthparts, the male has distinctive egg-shaped markings on its genitalia. The female sees the eggy mimicry, fears that precious seed might be lost, and starts sucking on the male’s sex organ. As she slurps in utter futility to “free the eggs,” the male surprises her with a blast in the mouth, fertilizing her spawn in the most infuriating way possible.

I (heart) that fucking fish. It gives me hope that indeed, my breed and brand of bastardry is found even in nature. I have a zoological, evolutionary precedent.

But we must never forget that Nature has a system—a karmic IRS—and keeps track of debts and debtors. For a fish, perhaps it is the wormy hook, the final snag and wriggle. For mankind…sometimes Nature repays bastardry in pain.


You drink the pain away; but here it is, six in the morning, and everything is worse off than you started. I nod and then I wake, and stumble towards something—anything—to grapple as I slowly lower my arthritic knee and wounded ankle to the ground, to test how sore the day will be. By the sound of the rain beating my window, I know it’s going to suck—with every drop and soggy dart a bullet, every storm cloud hushing mocking snickers. Even the very weather makes me ache.
My scars itch and the world still stings, and throbs, and spins a bit. I’m nauseous and I hate my life, at least until I piss. I look at the clock, and think of where I need to be, and when. I swig some mouthwash, crunch a pill, and reach for a two-liter of that new-ish Pepsi Meth, or whatever it is that has the Ginseng in it. My life’s alright, I guess; I just hate other people’s lives for now.

It's hardly the first time.


Though wonderful in theory, I’ve found it helps only incrementally to weigh one’s discomforts against the trials of others less fortunate—it’s all Christians and lions in the end: the suffering believer, counting his or her blessings, and thanking the Lord for the handful of pestilent tribulations that have yet to be bestowed, for the members of Job’s family that the Devil didn’t kill. “I’m about to be eaten by a bloody frickin’ lion, but praise Jesus that I wasn’t impaled from taint to septum on a stick! How merciful! The hysterical Roman spectators ripped my testes from their tender sack, but the Good Lord hasn’t let them twist my nipples off with rusty tongs and shit through my bleeding ribcage even once!—Hallelujah! He is risen!”

I refuse to define my betterment by the absence of the worst, in the same way that I would refuse to define my character by the scant defects it lacks—i.e., “He’s a drunken ranting pervert, but I think he only steals on Thursdays.”

But I digress. My logic isn’t always any better, and my path is no less cluttered up and clusterfucked with poisons, broken promises, and incriminating receipts.

You reach a point wherein you cease to see things as they are, but rather, as they might have been, had you not spent the former moment doing exactly that. You come to live behind a buffer of perpetual cognitive dissonance. We are only free within the moments we have ceased to name and number, wherein time departs because it never knew us, like our damned souls in the end. We eat when we are hungry; we sleep when we are tired; we care and cuddle without consequence, imbibe in that which stimulates, and speak as though each word might be our last (or very first)—be it unto ends we seek, or merely sights and smells and smiles along the path(s) we take for journey’s sake alone—without calories or cancer, weariness or obligation, STD’s or answers…sometimes, utter carelessness is a dead ringer for Zen. At very least, the area code is close.

But never underestimate the challenge that incites, the gauntlet thrown before our feet (and often on our toes): for it is an empty sort of Zen—and given fullness only when its grace remains, maintained, the morning after…in the consequence it shunned the night before. Otherwise, it is a liberty like any other: shackled to the same walls, with new links in our chains…whilst we glow like happy phantoms because we found a way to peer out of our cell, or touch another prisoner, or reach some other fetid dog-dish piled with clumps of something—Some Plump Anything—less rancid than the dish beneath our feet.

Too many an evening, I have gone to bed with Zen, and woken with a lung packed full of phlegm. And even when I wake from less eventful stretches, no philosophy or “gnosis” makes my leg hurt any less. No disregard for time makes the world spin any slower, or cease to spin without you. And no amount of zeal for living quite prepares you for when life itself appears to reach a screeching halt…not that anything ever truly stops, so much as it merely finds new settings—and abruptly loses your luggage along the way.


I suppose my point—provided that I truly had one here—is that, by my own off-kilter terms, Zen may (or may not be) the art of being happy at your own expense. It’s the old Subgenius axiom: “Don’t just eat that hamburger, eat the HELL out of it.”

Eat like your starving; fuck like you haven’t seen a girl in years.
Sometimes it’s best to love as if you don’t know where it’s been.
Sometimes it’s best to love as if you don’t know where it’s going,
Or how badly things will turn out in the end.
Sometimes it’s best to love as if the cameras are still on.
Realize that every man on earth is someone else’s son,
And ignore him just as if he were your own.

They’ve pinned you to the Jesus Tree, and your choices—few and far between—are these: die for someone else’s sins, or fucking live for yours. And regardless of your choice, know the difference between a bad deed and a bad idea. As per what constitutes the former, I suppose I’ll have to show you; as per what constitutes the latter, I’m afraid you’ll learn this automatically, having accepted my invitation to the former. Funny how that works…


Nevermind; I never had a point at all. I’m just out of pills and felt like ranting.

But I suppose at 5am it’s all the same.

This isn’t going anywhere afterall; but then, that brings us back to Zen—learn to enjoy the journey, because the destination’s only meaningful when the writer gets a refill on his script. ;)


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