May 27, 2017

But First, Champagne

An unusual posting of pure literature

As released in a fabulous serialized hour on Twitter/Facebook

I would like to propose a toast. And with it quite a few other things in fact. But I’ll be getting around to that soon enough. First…

Do you ever notice that feeling? There are times, when you are making a critical mistake, that you know instinctively the decision you are about to favor is undeniably incorrect. You feel it as you, say, make the reach for that next drink. The last drink you’ll remember tonight. The one you know you should have turned down. That spark of self destruction that some of us — the darker ones — are drawn to crackles just under the surface as you reach for your timely regret. And yet you reach eagerly. A part of you wants it, it seems. Longs for it. Needs it. 

I know the feeling well. Secretly, I live for it. Or not so secretly now. 

And speaking of secrets…

It was always so interesting to me, that sharp pang of fresh humiliation when the truth enters. It isn’t that easy in our time to hide from obvious truths, and yet some of us, the more stubborn of us I imagine, still manage to find a way. We tell ourselves we’re hiding from pollution. All of the insipid chatter of the ignorant and self absorbed. No one wants to know what you had for breakfast and why. No hashtag-getting-ready-for-the-summer. No, thank you. No one really cares about the new pair of sneakers you stayed up in a bidding war for, just because they’re named after some celebrity, no doubt assembled in some poor country that resembles our near future as the Republic is going to hell in Pence’s hand basket - not even Kush’s bullet proof vest can save us - but hey! You got new sneakers. How interesting. Personally I could care less about your thoughts about the weather turning warmer and women showing skin because, guess what, I am a woman, and I find even the most seemingly innocent levels of misogyny absolutely abhorrent. It’s a sundress. Get over it. Tweet about something else. Hashtag getting-ready-for-the-summer? Hashtag good-to-be-single? 

I digress…

And as this particular moment of cataclysmic, literary descent is brought on by neither the strongest nor the weakest particular brand of scotch, what was that I was digressing from? 

Oh, yes. Secrets. 

The concept is interesting to me. What is it, exactly? Something about yourself, usually, otherwise there would be no risk; no need for secrecy. But secrets are not just about oneself - they're about others too. If one were alone, one could have no secrets, just as if one were alone one would never encounter a moral dilemma. So secrecy is like morality, in that it’s very nature lies in the acknowledgement of others. In one sense, how they should and should not be treated - or rather, ought to and ought not to be treated - and in the other, what we would or would not have them know. 
I suppose it all comes down to who we want to be, which is why, I suppose, I tend not to have secrets. Not to say that I pour my heart out to just any old soul. Rather, I’m incredibly selective about who I share with. But that is not to say that I keep secrets. Who I want to be and who I am are essentially the same. Some might say it lacks ambition; overwhelmingly I think the world lacks sincerity. 

What if ones selfness were a finite resource that you could smell, see, taste and touch? I tend to think that most humans are rather stupid. Like fish. Forgetful, lacking the security not to travel in schools, constantly monitoring the direction of the other - else how would they know which way to go? - distracted and easily tricked by the flickering of shiny things. And humans are so attracted to their shiny things. Just look at the things we worship. Precious stones. Precious humans, raised to Godlike status for accomplishing and contributing next to nothing. The precious things that precious humans in possession of the precious stones say, and have, and do - the things we therefore aspire to say, do and acquire. Nonsense, all of it. But we chase it nonetheless. Emulate their behavior - they talk about their lives in a public forum, and so, given the first chance, so do we. The difference is no one is watching us. 

I can’t for the life of me understand the obsession with the personal lives of strangers. Keeping track of every last detail, then competitively sharing the knowledge with rivals, eager too to the be the one that knows the stranger best. 

But if I were to continue from here it would be onto the nature of people, why I don’t understand them, pity them, usually, and why it doesn’t matter as I am just an observer of the meaninglessness that unfolds around me, unfortunate enough to recognize it for what it is, fortunate enough to recognize that truth as it’s happening rather than when it’s over - though the end always lingers very near for me - not for a moment to suggest that it gives me any leverage in this experience as most of them are like each other and are more often a combination of perplexed and disgusted with me than indifferent. But no matter - they don’t. 

That said, we were talking about secrets. 

Or…no, I realize. We were talking about the truth. 

The truth is not as elusive as we like to believe. Rather, the truth is plain. Simple. Uncomplicated, naked and unafraid. The truth has no secrets. The truth has no shame. It is rarely found lingering in corners, trading whispers and wondering about the intuitive abilities of passers by. It has no need for secrets, because in many ways it has no need for others. Opinions. Words. Thoughts. All are free to exist and yet, no matter. At the end of it, the truth still is. Just as it was before the others. Just as it would have been regardless. 

But as it is stated so often and artfully so, few can handle the truth. 

Even the truest of us are shocked by it when it enters. A part of us knew. Oh, yes. A part of us always does. And there is no real explaining why, despite better judgement, we give in to that spark just under the surface of our skin and reach for that thing we know we shouldn’t have. 

Romantics would claim that this is love, in it’s boldest. Pure risk. The feeling of living absolutely for today, tomorrow, come what may. 

I too live each day as though it were my last, because it very well might be. But there is no romance in the sharp, breathtaking entrance truth only makes upon the naive. Who dared to believe; to dream of dreams unfounded.

And so, my toast, in honor of the hardening of my ever cynical heart. To a story that is not quite a love story, but is nonetheless one of drama, disillusion and undeniably beautiful words albeit unmet expectations. Most importantly, it is frank, unabashed and entirely true. 

Ah, but first. Champagne. 


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