Or fuck, you know, just forget the whole thing.
It’s 4 a.m., and I’m sitting in the hallway of a dorm of a college I don’t attend because I’m staying with a friend, whom I hardly know, sleeping on his floor, but I can’t sleep. I’m 22, unemployed, and hungover, but mostly satisfied.
Where did it all go wrong?
I had something just now but it slipped away.
So this fellow I’m staying with, I knew for years on the Internet. He hasn’t entirely lived up to expectations. He’s not so suave or smart as he led me to believe, and hasn’t been near so adventurous as I’d like. Yet I think I’ve been even more boring and more a disappointment.
The Internet, long I’ve felt, and still do, is better made for ideas than real people. Ideas, projections of self, are pure and pure stuff. People are fallible, imperfect, contradictory, and complex.
Still, I travel wishing to press handflesh to handflesh, maybe just to figure out what exactly I spent my adolescence doing, and what its real value is.
I went to the University of Chicago’s Oriental Museum, tho I dont think that’s the official name of the place. Later I went to the Art Institute of Chicago, lucked out because it was open late and on that day free.
Looking at the Mesopotamian exhibits, some as much or older than 5,000 BCE, I thought: “Everyone in here right now, our lives stacked on top each other, we’d be lucky to get back to Christ, and these people were living, dying, wailing, praying, loving, and collecting taxes twice that and half again before he was born.”
There must be a better way to put it, but I knew it before and saw pictures. Then looking at the broken pottery, but especially the figurines, god help us, humanity. So many of us. So many lives, life times.
And 150,000 years before any of that we were walking around basically as we are now.
| Ubaid 0-1 (5,800 to 5,200 BCE) | parallel vertical lines, parallel lines forming zig zagging |
| Ubaid 2 (5,200 to 4,900 BCE) | Patterns dense, create dark zones on the light buff |
| Ubaid 3-4 (4,900 BCE to 4,000 BCE) | Pottery painting became careless and uninspired as well as less frequent |
An exhibit of Sumerian pottery, I think it was, showed successive styles of some particular city in the Ubaid period over the course of 1,800 years (5800 BCE to 4000 BCE). The first was very intricate, the second probably as artistically complex but more stylized in overall appearance. The third was just sloppy, black crescents or something, without any pattern or distinction, and the plaque said something to this effect: “Careless and uninspired.”
And I thought, especially after my visit to the Art Institute’s contemporary wing, following 15th through 19th century European paintings and sculptures, how will they characterize us in 5,000 years? But more I wondered if the painters of that bygone era were rejecting traditional notions of form and freeing their art with experimentation.
I dont like to view time as too cyclical, but maybe there really is nothing new under the sun, eh?
Normally, I’d go somewhere now but I havent a key to get back in the building, see? Still I hear a phantom jingling.
Lately I’ve been seeing bugs everywhere. Well, this is misleading. They arent actually there and I don’t really see them in detail, just little spots of them running across the ceiling or carpet.
You know, caring so much about effect, I’m only affected with indifference by most modern, better contemporary, art. It doesnt move me, excite me, provoke me. This perhaps is by design, tho saying something without compromise of vision entails speaking to an empty room, or to a full one but only in tongues.
Maybe it’s just because it’s so old, but the relics of the past especially the artistic ones, provoke feeling, if only awe. Most had to have been produced for the elite because only they could afford it, but the gratification is immediate, almost inherent. There’s nothing get; everything just is.
Not everything intelligible is equally good or worth preserving, but much that’s esoteric isn’t art: it’s just an interesting idea.
The Lord is great and worthy to be praised, mighty and owed worship, for His many deeds. He protects me from my enemies. He keeps me from harm, tho my body is ever in peril. He turns back His wrath tho I ever deserve it.
Praise God, tho He doesnt need my praises. Praise the king of heaven and earth.
You know I try my best.
You’ve heard the saying, “I’m not religious by I’m spiritual”? I like to say, “I’m not spiritual, but I’m religious.” I truly doubt there is anything in this world or any continuation of our consciousness after we die, except in the poetic sense. I cant say outright there is nothing, but we’ve got no evidence at all for the supernatural, so for all practical purposes, this is a certain thing.
Yet I do enjoy religion as an institution, and I adore it for worship and providing not higher meaning to life, but elevating the joys and significance of life to that spiritual feeling. “Great art is like religion.” And all the greatest art comes from and inspires in others that religious elation.
That’s more poetic than I intended, so practically speaking, the rituals and the morality and the orthodoxy, there’s something appealing about it all —— so long as it’s voluntary. Coercive religion is abominable, akin to rape, but true religion is heaven on earth.
Ha, if you stuck a gun to my head and asked me if I believed in God, I’d tell you I did, but only because it’s martyrdom. Over coffee I’d admit we’re all just here.
Can’t believe he shut the door on me.
Glad I drank that water now, but I’m thirsty again. Guess I should have just stayed in one of the bathrooms all morning.
I already told you: these are my marching orders.
My favorite thistle is, of course, the jimsonweed. My head’s still got some spins to it. No, no, you must jump higher to suck in a cloud, puff under your own power.
Legalize it. Whatever it is.
For some reason, pencil isn’t working so well on this. Is it the paper, because I’m not sitting at a desk/table, or just my prevailing pessimism?
Everyone seems to think I’m “soul searching” or looking for something, but I’m not. I’m just traveling, so whatever I’m supposed to find I hope finds me.
I’d done so well keeping things neat till now.
Ack! Nearly 7 a.m. I hope someone wakes up soon. But it hasnt been so bad a night, has it? Probably I should leave tomorrow. Better get a bellyful of wine before then. (Her majesty.)
“Bluffin with my muffin.” How will they view pop in 20 years? Kindly, I hope. But probably they’ll feel about it how I feel about the ’80s.
Better not to be a bother. But O Brother, wherever did you go? Not so far as to leave me behind, I hope. Cloaked in mystery and dagger, but full of swagger. Oh oh! My sweet Lord (hari hari).
You made me a fool in front of everyone.
Rather a bore, isnt he? But what do I know? Even so and altogether, never yet, however. Negative or negatory, I havent figured out the whole story. So dont worry. Just lay back, relax, be cool.
Or fuck, you know, just forget the whole thing.
Happy birthday. I hope you choke to death on your shit from an enema gone terrible awry.
Chronic masturbators anonymous.