Tuesday, February 05, 2013


For much of today I had a snippet of a Kanye song ricocheting through my brain (and say what you will about Kanye, haters, he is still cooler than most people on the planet):

When I grab your neck, I touch your soul.

I'm not a violent human most of the time; the only neck-grabbing I like to do happens in the middle of a mutually acceptable romp, when all the other bullshit — the posing, the false faces, the kind-hearted but corrosive lies — scoots out of the way and you're face-to-face with the raw essence of another human. Those moments have been rare and I do not expect them to ever happen again. I live in the shadows now and it is not so bad. There is no pressure in being small and quiet; there is a curious joy in not having to preen or strut like a cock.

But there is no soul touching here. When you live in the shadows it is easy to disappear from the radars of other lives. It happens to all of us. We know someone so fucking well, then we don't see them, then one day (and soon! so soon!) we look up from whatever little thing is occupying our attention and wonder whatever happened to a soul that used to matter, a soul you once touched.

Selfish life happened, that's what. It's an especially ugly trait in humans. We turn from others for often-petty reasons — we may even convince ourselves that it's for the best — and then we wonder why there are disconnects in our existence, why it feels like life is a series of disparate episodes with no thread, no theme.

We claim the only way to move forward is by erasing where we've been and acting like it never mattered. We change friends, habits, circles, behavior. Perhaps we even convince ourselves that our good natures are better off.

All we prove is that we're selfish bastards, more interested in Right Now than anything else. Everyone is disposable and their feelings do not matter — OK, maybe they do, but as long as we turn our backs on them we do not have to deal with the way we treated them, and once you're done with the eraser the other person no longer exists.

Life in the shadows takes care of that behavior. I do not have to worry about drawing close to anyone, only to push them away. I do not have to do any thinking about the consequences of my actions, and whether my presence in the life of another is enriching and meaningful. The shadows are not friendly to intimacy. But they are perfect for those who have lived a dream, only to wake up in a nightmare. There is no dreaming here.

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