When I Am Dead, Which, Given the Mood I Am in and the Unkempt Quality of My Hair, Will Be Very Soon
I just had this rather odd revelation that a high percentage of the times I’ve considered ending my own life have been under the motivation to have the last word. Maybe this will make them understand, nothing but my cold, bled out body left, communicating what no number of words or songs or pictures could: I am disconnected. You have hurt me. I don’t have enough reasons anymore.
That’s really fucked up.
I know I’m not alone in this being alone. I know there are so many of us who feel alone even in the company of many friends. We reach out in so many ways but not one sees that open hand.
In 2004 I wrote:
And that’s kind of what it comes down to. Any place can be made into a home. But a true home takes two. Alone, one can design their place how they want without conflicting aesthetic advice, they can keep it as clean or dirty as they want without anyone else complaining, they can keep the hours they want, rising early or staying up late, without disturbing anyone. But the house will still be only that. A home takes love. It doesn’t have to be between a man and a woman, it doesn’t even have to be romantic love, the “other person” doesn’t even have to live there, but people, not a person, make a home. The life of a home is contained in auras bouncing off of each other. Love, frustration, kinky sex, messy meals, obnoxious habits, conflicting opinions about the use of the remote control–these are the things that form the energy of a real home.
Grace, these days, are some drunken impersonations of this kind of intimacy.
We all walk this earth, and so few of us, really, are not aliens and strangers here. We struggle, grope, and cry out for some connection to something that is beyond this, yet it seems the more we fight off the meanies, the more mutations they take on, the more they spread their cancerous rot from across the seas to across the street to the yard to the houseplants. Next thing you know the State is knocking on your door, saying, “It’s nobody’s fault, but we have to burn your house down to prevent the spread. No hard feelings, this kind of thing happens all the time, everyone survives, best of luck in the future.”
And like all those before us, we start over from nothing, hoping someday to build again. Maybe we’ll move to the desert where we think the spores don’t live. Maybe we’ll spend our weekends spraying the grass with poisons aimed at killing the fungus. Maybe we’ll move into an urban highrise with tile floors we constantly scour and bleach.
Maybe we retreat into ourselves. Convince ourselves we’re strong, that we get along, that we were made for this world. We enjoy the attention of acquaintances, the random, surface affections we pass off for true intimacy. We take pleasure in coming “home” to a house without the disarray of another human being’s touch.
But in the end, to live a perfect life is to stop being human. The ironic beauty of humanity is its almost masochistic drive to be connected to itself in ways deeper than a casual drink, a political conversation, a hilarious joke. Its desire to be one with itself, the storm cloud desperately wanting to spin down a huge tornado, chaos be damned.
Grace, these days, would be at least a toilet bowl, where the shit could spin around together for a few seconds.
…and I thought: that laugh will only mean sadness when I am dead, which, given the mood I am in and the unkempt quality of my hair, will be very soon. Those sudden melodramatic thoughts come at the end of happy sentences, like deformed punctuation marks. We’re teasing the cat with a string, laughing along, and I think, all of this will be gray ashes, or cancer lurks unbidden and inevitable. (My father used to say, “laughing ends up in crying,” but he didn’t mean this. He meant, take that lit firecracker out of your ear, funny guy.) I have come to understand the meaning of these melancholy Morisseyish moments of self-pity and desperation: it’s naptime.