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4:25 p.m. - 2004-12-13
The withdrawals are over though, maybe I'll tell him that.
Dramatic. I know. The thing I have been searching for does not readily exist, at least in my small circle of investigation. So…that is the point of all of this now. If it is possible to be “cured” through drugs, therapy, love, work, time, spirituality or whatever, I want a record to pass on to those who are as daunted by this ideal as I am. Yes I can find people who claim to be repaired for any number of reasons, but the faith that somehow got re-instilled in them does not allow a clear view back into the murky depths. It is akin to trying to relate to the pain and nuance of being a teenager when you are many years past the experience. You may remember that seemingly unimportant things were all important then, but you can’t really remember why.

So buckle up or fuck off, because I’m laying it all out now, self-indulgently, existentially, and just as hopeless and negative as I want to be.


My problem, I think, is that I have tried to apply my basic knowledge of science and math to a subject that invariably comes back to a question of faith. This faith invariably depends on a healthy dose of measured ignorance, purposeful or unconscious. I am not any genius, but it doesn’t take one to see this if seeing it is what you want.

I have had a few thoughts in my life that have remained important to me. One is that we as humans are in a very painful stage of evolution. It is agreed that we use 10-20% of our brains capacity. This is plenty to survive, and more. The more is the part that fucks us. We can ask, with this top of the food chain mental ability, many, many questions. We can answer some of them too. There is, however, a shit load that we cannot. This feeling of powerlessness has driven us to “know” that the world is flat, that there are no germs, that plants spontaneously appear, and that we must kill each other to protect our idea of what is not provable.

We can plainly see that we are not above the laws of nature that affect every other living thing around us, yet we somehow “know” that we are. We can find step after step in the evolutionary process that leads to us, but we still think we are the epitome, the very end of that journey. Even as we discover new ideas and concepts and theories that change our whole perspective as a species, we refuse to contemplate that we could possibly, even probably, even possitively be so completely wrong about some of our faiths and beliefs that it may not be worth adhering to them concretely, if at all.

So this hairless ape, with his opposable thumbs and vast brain capacity, will systematically ignore the facts around him in order to protect the ideas that comfort him. In our attempts to explain things that are far out of our reach comprehensively, we will invent solutions that logically are not sound.

Yes, religion is an obvious one. Most of the humans on earth in violent disagreement over what form the great being in the sky takes. You know, the one that makes sense out of everything we don’t understand by being all knowing himself.

That ain’t even close to it though. This survival instinct, the one that is instilled in every living thing, it helps us to blind ourselves to the obvious. Every human life is precious? It is so important for us to believe that every human baby should damn well live until old age finally takes them we will call it a tragedy if it doesn’t play out that way. Is there any other part of nature that we expect this from? When the sea turtles hatch and scurry down the beach toward the ocean, do we try to refute the mathematical fact that only one out of three will make it, and that that is how it is period? When the sick in the herd get picked off by wolves, or the first wild strawberries of spring get lost to frost, or an earthworm wiggles on the pavement after the rain we can accept it as nature taking it’s course.

We, however, are more important than that. Somehow it makes perfect sense for me to eat thousands of dollars worth of pills, have three professionals working on my psyche, a half dozen or more people who are focused on the idea of my recovery all so that I will feel like I want to keep living. Until I get hit by a car. Or drown. Or have a heart attack. Or choke on a skittle. Or anything else that isn’t by my own choice.

I used to have this idea of traveling back in time to take care of my loved ones when they were kids. Jane when her classmates teased her about her food, or she just needed a friend to talk to. Bean when that boy said mean things about her and hurt her so bad. Sharon when she trucked around and never uttered a word because no one cared to ask her how she was doing. My mom when she was so anxious about getting in trouble. My dad when he woke up from his eye surgery scared and alone. And me too. Pinpoint the time that I took the weight of the world on my shoulders and the weight of human fallibility on my heart. Pick that little fucker up and tell him everything will be okay. Maybe not the way he wishes it would be, but okay. Don’t take the hard times so hard little fella. Have fun at every opportunity—the worry just makes you sicker. Etc.

It makes me very sad to think about these things. Always has. Here’s the most fucked up thing of all though. A few nights ago as I drifted off to sleep, I had the little time travel fantasy of going back and comforting that little boy at the beginning of his downfall. This time, though, I had nothing to say to him. Nothing that would explain what he has to look forward to. Nothing that supported the idea that things would be okay. Because they haven’t been.

You’ll grow up, fall in love a few times, have sex with pretty women, gain respect of your friends and colleagues, laugh, make people laugh, go to the water slides, eat turkey dinner, stay up late, buy as much candy as you want to, gain the freedom to make your own decisions, and the confidence to use it…

None of that has weighed out yet. I looked at the little me. I wanted to tell him, and my grown up self that things would be fine. That I would lose that empty fear in my gut one day. That I would feel safe. That I would be free enough to experience the list of things above without a scathing heat trying to escape from deep inside of me. But I couldn’t this time. This time, I just wanted to cave that little kid’s skull in and save him for real.


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