uh oh: all my literary heros are insane losers
TIME TO ENDURE THE SCARY STUFF
Yes, the world breaks everyone, and makes them strong in the broken places, and so on. And though I have gotten much tougher about a lot of things, I have also gotten softer with people. I cannot bring myself to hate anyone. Outside of just being a total waste of time, there is no sense hating anyone. It doesn’t do anyone any good and it is a bad feeling to keep locked inside your brain. You would think that finding sympathy in everyone, even the “bad” people, would make navigating these screaming three dimensions easier than before, but in fact it has made my own life a thousand times more difficult. Because even when I am gentle with people, especially those who don’t really even deserve it, they will not extend you the same courtesy. They will use just see it as a weakness and a way to crush you.
In the last two days, I have been spit on, screamed at, harassed, insulted, and humiliated by way too many people to count—and all of them were strangers. Some of them were just people walking down the street. And all I was doing was reading a novel outside of a bar where I work. I did not flinch when a man screamed in my face and threatened to slit my throat, and I did not get enraged when a bar patron took my book and tossed it into the middle of the street while his friends laughed at me. I cannot hate them. I am not even fighting an urge to hate them, the feeling just isn’t there. If anything I just felt sorry for these people. And I don’t mean I look down on them. I truly have sympathy for them, because Hell is themselves. It must be really awful to carry around so much cruelty and hatred inside yourself.
Still, I have to get away from everyone. I’m too sensitive to keep this up. It is a shame that you could want to love people, but are too besieged to be around them in the first place, and so you have to disappear. Then I guess the only people left over are the ones with all that bad wiring.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with California or the Bay Area. I don’t know if it’s just a symptom of my era, or of my age, or if this is just how life always is, or whatever. But when I think about it, there are always a lot of things that could happen, or seem like they’re about to happen, but never do. Even things I work at and try to make a reality (especially those things, actually). Nothing ever comes from any of it. At the end of the night I still walk home alone at 3 a.m. and sit in the dark and think about a bunch of stupid crap until I fall asleep.
In the vein of science-fiction novel titles like ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’, here is one that I came up with tonight that I guess will probably use as the title of my autobiography:
‘I Wish I Were Dead, but I’m Not Even Sure I’m Alive’
things get too straight
i can’t bear it
i feel stuck, stuck on a pin
i’m trying to break in
oh, i know it’s not for me
and the sight of it all
makes me sad and ill
I’m about to sleep in the back of a minivan on a street bordering Laurelhurst Park in Portland, Oregon
The van is filled with all my earthly possessions
I am curled up in an army sleeping bag beneath my mattress, which is partially elevated by some apple boxes filled with books
Outside it is cool and rainy and fall-like and there is a full moon and it is perfectly silent
Good-night y’all ☆ミ
you can say that again, cloud
I will always remember my two and a half years in Oakland as “the time I let the world shit on me just about every day”
I move around a lot. Not because I’m looking for anything really, but ’cause I’m getting away from things that get bad if I stay.
(five easy pieces)