My first experience with sadness was at my grandfather's funeral when—I guess this was sorta right in the middle of all this shit I've sorta been telling you about. It had to be one of those years because I remember calling Brooke to tell her about it but then coming home to Anna... I think? Maybe I was just writing about it when Anna was around?
Anna was the girl I had an entire relationship with while I was making excuses to not go visit Brooke when she had moved back to Chicago just after she had gotten out of rehab. I mean, like I've said before (somewhere), that I wasn't used to going anywhere, so for Brooke to be upset that I hadn't come to visit her yet just seemed sort of weird or misplaced because I didn't know that people expressed love by spending shit tons of money to go see people in other cities. It was totally anathema to me. More than that, it was too much to expect that someone would come visit me... so it wasn't all out of avoiding her.
If I was trying to avoid Brooke it's because any moment I wasn't thinking about her was a tall, tall victory for me—Hell, it, very obviously still is a victory if I'm not thinking about her because here it is almost ten fucking years later and this is still the shit that's typing out of my fingers. That's the kind of pull one person can have on you, and if you're one of those people who doesn't understand what love is, or feel like you've never been in love and actually lament this missingness, well, don't. Consider yourself lucky. What's that thing? Better to have loved and lost or something? Well NO! No it's not. It's not even good to love and win! I don't even think you can love and win, the two just don't go together, it's always a lose-lose situation (Cynical much? Perhaps.).
Love is a nasty, mean biochemical trick that the gods play on seemingly smart people which causes them to revert to stupid for long enough periods of time in order that they are so doped up on this shit that they actually think that propagating the species is a good idea! Shit, the last girlfriend I had after Brooke I was with her, and able to stay with her, for such a long time because I wasn't in love with her. Most of that time was spent still thinking about Brooke (when I wasn't having my actual affair with Brooke from 2010 - 2012 on this new gf), there wasn't ever room for the love of another person...
Most of my thinking obsessing about Brooke so often was because I was envious of her for so many reasons, most of them involving her growing up with money—actually, it mostly had to do with her having had a life. She had stories. And if you're a writer nothing in the world can make you so jealous as dating someone who has better stories than you. And as one of my friends would later tell me as I was busy talking about how much I hated rich people, he said, "So... what? You like poor people better?" I mean, what can you say to that? And I was pissed that someone that I admired was making an argument in favor of rich people, but, be they (rich people) pieces of shit or not, you can't deny that they are able to have bigger lives than those of us without money... and effortlessly. They go places, they know more people—it's actually just a law of averages sort of thing, you shoot at something more times the better chances you have of hitting it... and rich people have got more life ammunition. That's exactly what money is. It's life ammo.
God, it's like... as a writer trying to figure something like that out is (I guess) the sort of thing mathematicians feel when they solve a gigantic equation. And it feels so good when you can finally articulate something like that that's just been floating though this insufferable Chaos in your head. And that's really what life is about, (I told you I'd tell you the secret of life, and I'm keeping good on that promise...)—well two things. The two most important things in the world, universally, are, one, the ability to perfectly articulate a thought (or being the beneficiary of a perfectly articulated thought), and two, getting the joke. There it is, the meaning of life (sorry to get it to you so early if you're one of those people who likes finding the meaning of things in the final sentences of a book). I mean, once something has been articulated perfectly it can very well be forgotten, or at least moved on from. It really need not be an issue anymore. In that way it's like math, in that once it's figured out it's figured out. I mean, if I didn't think there were things left that needed to be articulated then I wouldn't be doing this.
And then about getting the joke, well, what are you if you don't understand what everyone else is laughing about? If you don't get the references or you constantly miss the point of something, or if you have to have everything explained to you, who the fuck are you? I'll tell you who you are, you're the person who slows down the smarter kids. You're the person who ruins the party (or the movie, or the show, etc., etc.) because you have to make everyone stop enjoying themselves because you have to ask what's going on. You are the person that drags the rest of humanity down (and this was most definitely the case with the last ex, she didn't even know who Stephen Hawking was when we met and she studied sciences at, and was graduated from fucking Stanford! So if she hadn't even heard of this person very important to her field of study, imagine the fucking nothing she knew about anything else...). Obviously none of this applies to you of course, you are awesome and thank you for being here... and if you get it then you've come with me this far and if not you probably aren't with us anymore so it's perfectly fine to tell you to go fuck yourself :)
Anyway, I think I brought up my grandfather's funeral, because, not that it wasn't sad, because funerals are fucking sad, even if you don't know the person that's being eulogized... but it wasn't that sad. I mean, I think this is what I had in mind from before, or why I brought it up... or maybe this will get me back on track to whatever it was—you see, a lot of the stuff I've been reading lately has been talking about how the human brain is the greatest time machine that the world has yet to offer because we are the only animals (that we know of) who can put ourselves in so many situations without having to actually be there. It's our frontal lobes and the ability they give us to envision infinite outcomes of any event we want to put through the processor that makes us the (occasionally) intelligent creatures that we are. Ah! Okay, I knew that'd sorta get me around to what I was originally trying to get at—see, all of this is, really, just me equivocating. I'm feeling bad about having told you yesterday about me cheating on a girl who had recently tried to kill herself. So this is all my grand scheme to explain to you that (regardless of what she has said or even my actions that may very well mean this exact thing) I am not a sociopath. Of course, only a person who very well could be a sociopath would ever have to make such a declaration, but really, really I think it's just that I've thought about being dead so much, and so often, that I've broken my ability to judge sadness on any sort of scale that I think other people would be able to relate to... and... that very well just mean that I'm a sociopath(?).
It's one of the first fallacies, the one which I began this entire thing with, the liar telling you that they're a liar... how would you know?
But at my grandfather's funeral—which, lucky or unlucky for me, was very truly the first event of sadness in my life—that was when I realized that even sadness can let you down. Even the greatest sadnesses are not big enough to compete with even the smallest of boredoms. People don't give boredom the credit it deserves as the incredibly powerful and overwhelming force that it is. Think of how your teachers belittled it (and you) if you ever dared declare "I'm bored" in one of their classrooms. Or how they would make you feel dumb just for being able to be bored (which, it's probably the other way around most likely, that you are really, really stupid if you are not bored in these settings, but...). But our cultural attitudes towards boredom are probably extant because people are so goddam terrified of boredom that it's probably just natural human defense to want to undermine a force so Herculean in its negativity (maybe more on this later).
But what I really remember the most of about the funeral and whatever other events surround such things (he was Catholic so it involved lots of being in big rooms with his powdered body), but what I remember most about it was all the laughing. And here I was, especially since I had had a very full life (full for a poor boy I guess I have to say now), meaning I had made it to (legal) adulthood before I got to experience a funeral, so of course I had projected so much onto the event before I had even gotten there, but I was thinking something along the lines of going to a funeral would be a sort of swimming pool of sadness that one could really submerge themselves in—and this was very much what I was looking forward to from it. But... fuck—look, I know that I'm not making that much sense today (if I ever do), but maybe this whole thing is just one giant equivocation for making you read this, my guilt at putting you through me or whatever (same thing I feel when in relationships, like, "Don't you see the ship is sinking, get the fuck out of here!"), but I think what it was, what all of this was, is a big way to say that the best pieces of art go from shitty, snot-nosed, blubbering sadness, to the funniest, milk out yer nose, LULZing that you could ever think of because that's the most exact replica of what life is. That even the worst thing you can think of (a funeral) people are trying (unless they're complete idiots) to laugh their ways through these things... so if I seem to make light of too much awful shit, it's just because I'm a sociopath I'm trying to be as realistic (my realistic, I at least know enough to say that) as possible...
It's Halloween night 2006. Me and Brooke are supposed to be going to downtown Austin, dressed as Beaker and Bunsen. Except it's in my blood now. I have become invested in the idea that the outside world is just too fucking unbearable, too fucking exhausting, and that's it, I'm staying home. Just that easy. No amount of alcohol or pills is going to make me able to leave the house this night.
I try to try not to put too many absolutes on my life, like saying things like I can't leave the house tonight but once I get in that mode, once my headspace has said that I can't tolerate humans this evening, or—here's what it really is, is that I don't feel like being the entertainment of the evening because I'm the only one smart enough, or funny enough, or boisterous enough, or even stupid enough, to keep my own fucking attention, but I'm gonna go sit around a bunch of retards that I have to do all the work around because they're so fucking boring and unfunny and uninteresting, that it's like I'm just playing a game of tennis by myself the whole evening, that is, if I want to put effort into being there. If not I'll just retreat into the loathing that other people force onto you by their own stupidity. And you know what, you might think that I'm stupid—I know that smart and stupid are subjective terms, but if you think that going out is so fucking important, or if you want me there so bad, then step up your fucking game and make yourself somebody. Because most people are fucking nobodies, and proud of it! I think I am having this conversation right now with my most recent ex. That's probably where this is directed, because I think that's probably one of the biggest reasons we broke up was because I never wanted to go out, and I could make up a million excuses or lie on her behalf but the truth is she was just one of the dumbest people I've ever known in my entire life (remember how she didn't know who Stephen Hawking was? That was just one example, imagine all the things a person in their 20s who doesn't know that doesn't know? Such ignorance could unravel the fabric of being). I liked her 'cause she was cute and paid for me to be alive for a while and was fun to take pictures of with my cock in her face—that and the fact that I was never in love with her which meant that, for the most part, she was very easy to be around—and, much more importantly than that—she was even easier to not be around. When she wasn't right there in the room being a nuisance then I was able to not expend any neuronal energy thinking about her. She was perfectly trustworthy (mostly, everyone's got a liar inside of them), so when she was gone, out of sight out of mind.
But really, this is what it's like whenever I leave the house, especially now that I don't drink, because alcohol will do so much of all of that work for you.
Alcohol is magick. It is the Great Reverser. Ugly becomes pretty. Dumb becomes funny. And it's greatest magick trick, the greatest reversal of all, is that it turns nothing into something. Alcohol is so incredible, that it can make sitting on a stool—which is a chair without a back let me mind you—it can make sitting on a fucking stool by yourself into an event! That's how alchemical alcohol is. And without it the world is hyper-real, because the more drunk everyone else is, the more sober you are. And it's like being in the bad part of an acid trip, the time slowing down, the insecurity, the hyper-awareness... it's really, really terrible.
So if I wasn't able to leave the house that Halloween in 2006 then I must've been feeling really shitty. So shitty, that even magick alcohol couldn't make it better. And whenever you change plans on a girl you are "immanentizing the eschaton," as Robert Anton Wilson says, because women live single-event lives. Meaning that a plan to them is their whole world, and if you change it, or if something comes up, or if you just don't fucking feel like it, then God help you...
So Brooke started wearing her upset face because we weren't going out anymore (the plan had changed, heaven-forbid!) and so maybe fucking would turn the evening around? And we ended up having sex on the floor in my studio apartment on Ave B and... 45th St? Something like that. And it was the laziest, most non-present sex we had ever had together. Actually, it was the first time I think we had had what I would consider bad sex. I mean, as Aleister Crowley proclaims in his "Auto-Hagiography," that he was a "sexual athlete," well we too were very much sexual athletes. Sex like boxing matches, round after round, getting knocked out, and bleeding (lots of bleeding), and covering each other in fluids, and bleeding (lots of bleeding), and every time we had sex it was like we were very consciously competing against everyone else in the world who was having sex at the exact same moment... and we were beating all of them.
Except this night. Except for Halloween 2006. We had lazy "everybody else" sex on the floor of my apartment, still mostly clothed, and it was also the first time that I could feel her physically pulling away, and then start to tear up (every girl cries during sex at some point, I don't know what that shit is, but if it hasn't happened to you, then it's gonna and don't say you didn't know about it), she never got to full on crying, but it was just ugly. The whole thing was ugly. Just ugly sex that up until this moment of fucking I had very much thought that as a couple, and as people who fucked as heroically as we did, that I thought that this was something that could never happen to us. And the worst thing is that that ugly sex is so fucking ugly, that just one instance can be a contaminant to a whole relationship. It has a carry-over effect and it'll end up washing itself onto the shores of your next fucks like rotten seaweed and dead jellyfish.