Round and round she goes
Sometimes, when you squint your eyes and focus on the periphery of your vision, it’s almost possible to imagine this city in the future. You imagine as your eyeballs roll to the back of your head, straining your optic nerves so that the pain becomes part of the vision and for once, you know what’s real is certainly not what you want it to be.
But a guy’s gotta have his playground. A place to graze, to mope, to climb all over and leave some kind of physical offering to complete the connection. This city was all I had. I could never ever imagine getting off this rock. In time, or space, that is. My body seemed to know what it was doing, sealing its fate and mine with this one way ticket to nihil. Never, gonna, get off, this rock. Man, sometimes a man sure knows how to kill himself.
A love hate relationship was a more than adequate description for my feelings towards this place. The more dirt, the better it looked, the more crime, the safer I felt. You see, these were the few things which convinced me this place was still real. Amongst all the tightly lipped anal retentive sheen who could tell anymore? Once or twice I tried to convince myself in light of the history of my experiences perhaps things weren’t so bad, perhaps the awe which once possessed me when strolling down the main street was still there waiting for whoever was willing to find it. But the question was a dead point, so dead it died everytime I saw my reflection in the shop window. It was too late for me to judge this place. My only chance was an open door which once read ‘Close the door behind you.’ And I did, only to realise as that door clicked into place it was the same door I slipped through the yesterday which on the other side read ‘Welcome to your life.’ Indeed, I had made one glorious exit out of the world I had struggled so much to find, listened to so attentively so that I would not make one mistake, believed in so loyally that it would provide me with the means necessary find the motivation beyond the doorway. And now I was back where I started from, only hadn’t these people left the party yet? My god, I would think to myself, either the world had revolved twice while I blinked my eyelids, or these people were walking around with signs on their forehead saying, “Goddamn I am having a good time”. I used to wonder whether they meant it. Well, for the purposes of my journey this question was now pronounced dead on arrival. I walked the streets at night, I walked them at day. It made no bloody difference. The truth is they never meant it, they never meant a bloody word, this city lied to me, it raped my faith and sent it gushing out into the sewer. There’s a part of my soul underneath the concrete of these streets, so dark and so grim that I’m no longer sure if my olfactory sense of shit came before my first shit itself. How else could I explain my love of the city before I realised what city our society had offer? As I said, my body seemed to have it figured out either way.
Mistaken is not the word I use to describe my past beliefs. Hallucinated is not the description I attribute to childhood memories. How could I willingly dismiss a possibility that shines like Goofy himself in the faces of every man woman and child that greet me in my tv set every afternoon. “Greetings and salutations, brothers and sisters, please help me like you have helped this city create personality out of fucking turd,” I often respond back. Their anger at me is warranted, I know. We all know. We all have the foresight of selfishness, even as I flick my cigarette butt and add it to the pile of art we call postmodernism and walk and shit over everyday. Bullshit within bullshit, tolerably interesting, that’s what I’m expected to see in this city. Well, that’s exactly what I do see. A relative enclave of thoughts and memories. The sprawl of salvation and sanctuary for all spirits that need a little nuturing now and then.
One question I do ask myself from time to time, is, if I love this place so much, and yet see so much that is unbearable, what on earth is that force I feel in my leg that allows me to take one step after the next, across the next road, into the next sunset? I find it hard to believe it ever originated in my head. Nosirree, that there is one of the few things I can identify as anti-motivation. All I know is that something has to give, and when it does there’s always a counter reaction in your head. Hope, jealousy, confusion, resentment, academic subjects which despite all our attempts to study will never be ignored and identified for what they are. Because the real cause is our design of this city. In the constructed material lies the emotion we try to convince ourselves can be brought out from within. It can’t. Nothing can be ignored. And hence the equation of my relationship with this city. My only love sprung from my only hate, the vision that where a city of idealism lies so must I for ever having seen it.
Your future. Your destiny. Also, your fallacy, your greed and your falseness. All dramas that unwittingly unfold around you as you creep from building to building, hoping that somewhere, somehow, visions of praciticality will save you from what you decided yourself was wrong. Ugly signs of advertising which are meant to fund the means to eradicate themself. In time, you say, in time. In all of my own pretentiousness, that is the only matter that I can say with certainty that will seal society’s doom forever.
Of course, now I have destroyed my own imagining of this city. There’s no use trying to blur what isn’t there, I may as well open my eyes once again. The city is as the city does. It functions. As I daydream for hours and convert this mass of concrete into shades of hot urban sunset it is still functioning, as it always was designed to. Interpretation is lost, personality is lost. My home is burnt to the ground and only now do I see what it means to turn you back and close the door on your city. No matter what you think is outside, or inside your head, it really isn’t, and it never will be. It is merely the functional prodding of your city, the allusion to beauty and grandeur that always was but never is. Out of these pictures you somehow saw the ‘future’. Well, perhaps now you see the real future, the future which arises not out of art but out of attitude. Two possibilities, create a city which changes us, or create ourselves which changes the city. Sorry, for mankind there is only one.
Well my yearning is transparent, I don’t venture into the concrete jungle to enslave myself to a natural habitat. I am here to be the natural habitat. If I can’t break down the walls which allow doors to exist then I wish they were mirrors, where one can only guess what colour they might be. I am not at war with the sun, not in love with the night. In another place, another time, people might actually deserve a environment of awe and wonder, beauty that inspires and landscape that enfolds into one. In the modernised world, and today and forever, we divide the land into that which hunts and that which hides. I may cry for myself as I choke on the floating shit we pass on from lung to lung, but in this city’s misery lies the only hope it will ever have.
luffy (at) diamondsky.org
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