The bum-rush of living


There are places we “escape to,” i.e. repair to for very specific reasons and purposes.  Maybe an acquaintance’s pad for hurried or feverish orgasms.  A park or patch of woods for perspective, silence or briefly encounters with “natural nature.”  A carrel in a library to prompt and focus our studies.  A basement stairwell for sustaining shots of liquor, bathroom window or fire escape for a stealthy cigarette.  Favored chair and lighting for reading, drawing, reverie…


A therapist’s office wherein to be oblivious for a moment, anonymously honest, saved from (and toward) pressing responsibilities.  A café, a waiting room, a stoplight, a store.  Our furtive thievery of solitude.  Self-care.  Secrets.

A human is a strange animal indeed.  Tantalized by taboo.  Somehow more fully owner when the product is taken for oneself.  Somehow more strenuously truthful when maintaining a lie.  Somehow better at self-care when stealthy and artfully dodging.

Perhaps not all of us.

Who claims directly to know what they want?  What feels good to them?  What they obsessively desire?

“Pre-emptive strikes.”  We are wary.  We negotiate rather than demand or direct (what separates the “neurotic” from the “psychopath”?).

The time goes by.  Incrementally, unceasingly, dependably.  In leaps.  Life, again, moment after moment, wends and charges, plows and slips its certain way into death.

We hesitate, we detour, we “pit stop.”  We navigate, wander and avoid.  We indulge and punish, set out and swerve, ashame and repent.  Sort of.  Sneaking pleasures, performing roles and rites, detracting, desisting, compulsing, rewarding…

Remarkable at tricking and deceiving ourselves.

We are interesting characters, sincerely.

Operative on many contradictory planes.  Ridiculous, incredible, foolish, amazing…complex.

Woven into surrounds we continually seek to distinguish ourselves from, in, for.  Tremendously unstable, uncertain, tormented, delighted and undone.

Just try to piece it apart: what you WANT, and what you WANT.  What you DO and what you WISH.  Where you GO and where you ARE.  Who you APPEAR and why you BE.

What you want and what you want.  What you desire and what you mean.  What you do and what you say.  How.  How.  Why.  and What.

It is all quite twisted.  Very weird and strange and unusually usual for us, to BE.  The “high” and the “low.”  “Good” and “bad.”  “Productive” and “lazy.”  Health and unhealthy, partial and whole, fragment and phrase.

Complicated beings in intricate surrounds.  The regularity is what’s irregular, the constancy is changing, that which we’d love to consider paradox or mystery.  The off-putting put on.  The performance unmasked.

“How many out-of-character things did I need to do, I wondered, before the world rearranged itself around me?”

-Ben Lerner, 10:04

Deceptive dialogues giving so much away.  Proper behaviors exposing our lies.

My son recently said he was a “walking contradiction” and I thought is that not the nature of humanity?

Confusion and contrast, contractions and deconstruct.

Wilder beasts – fearful and proud, generously scrooged, clinging as it slips our grasps.

Odd, misnomered things.  Smart here, dull there, sexy and unkind, popularly rejected, abnormally similar.  Attempts to be truthful mire us in espionage.

The bum rush of living – death’s inescapable quicksand

One thought on “The bum-rush of living

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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