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Saturday, December 21, 2013

the wall


Never let it appear that something bothers you. Never let on that you have fire burning in your gut. Be rebellious, but only about such causes that make you seem correct and “right”. You may look into your backyard or your neighbor’s, but do not look inside yourself. Do not look there. There is nothing to see. Likewise do not express thoughts that might distress others, prompting them to look inside themselves. Do not do it.  Generally, try not to say anything at all. You may speak, of course, but do not actually say anything. Maintain a semblance. In time, this status quo will solidify and therein you will carve out a life.

This is how it’s done.

You shall not hold thoughts that are contrary to those held by your friends and consort. If such thoughts should ever possess you, should you ever feel a yearning of a kind, like a desperate desire to know, then quell that feeling!  You must not pursue such things. If you choose to do so anyway - mark my words -  you will hit a wall. Behind that wall you will not find your feel-good causes and there will be no moral high ground from which to look down on whatever has struck your indignation today: political injustice; sexism; religion; whatever.

Embrace your causes. They are harmless. None of them threaten your aspirations or the way you live. None of them threaten anything at all. They will help define your identity and give you a sense of meaning. And this is fine. Do whatever you need to do, but turn your back on that wall. Do not go to it. Do not ask questions. Do not speculate or wonder about it. Do not let your mind wander; keep it in check and under control by whatever means available, legal or otherwise. All answers will be provided to you through a stream of data, figures, charts and info-graphs from a variety of news outlets. You may choose which ones you prefer. Some are conservative, some cool, some scientific, some reactionary, some radical. Pick your flavor; it doesn’t matter. They will tell you what is real, what is not, what should be spurned or ridiculed, and what you should be concerned about. There is no further information needed. It will satisfy you of your correctness, and that is all that matters.

Should you at any point become curious about the wall, should you ever start to ask yourself if perhaps you should have explored it, put your ear to it, or actually scaled the fucking thing;  if such an urge should take hold of you, do not go there. Do not do it. Do not ask questions. Do not speculate or wonder about it. It will probably be too late anyway; you will be so entrenched in the life you spent years carving out that there will be no respectable and justifiable way to undertake such a venture, not without casting off - in practical terms - your life, its trappings, and all its associations and dependencies,  and you will not wish to do that. You would sooner die.  Instead, every now and again you will perform an act of generosity and selflessness which will give you a sense of the Greater Good, and perhaps - should you have a need for such a thing -  a Higher Order. And this is fine.

Do not worry, you will be able to do this for many years. There will be a myriad distractions. You will not be without entertainment. If you are lucky, you will fall in love - there is no more comprehensive distraction -  if you are luckier still, she will love you back, and it is even possible you will build your life on these emotions. But emotions are quicksand. They draw you in, then they shift and change, and suddenly they are not what they once were. But you will recover from this quickly, you will be consoled and distracted, and life will continue. And this is fine

However, there will come a time when, from out of nowhere, from a point somewhere in the galaxy, a bullet will be heading your way. Perhaps it will not hit you directly, perhaps it will hit someone or something near to you, but this bullet will come. And when this bullet hits, life will collapse upon itself, props will come down, lights will crash to the ground, and suddenly you will find yourself in front of that wall again. 

The wall has come to me, you will think. But you will be wrong. The wall has not come to you. The wall has always been there. 

Do not panic. Proceed as usual. Do not try to scale the wall. Do not look up. Do not ask questions.  Do not speculate or wonder about it. Hang up new lights, shine them down around yourself and the wall will fade into the penumbra. Now let the curtains fall and I promise you the wall be out of sight for good.

Do not try anything fancy. Just do as I say and life will treat you well.