A friend passes by as I sit around smoking a cigarette. We talk about something of no consequence. I show him the headline of the newspaper on a stand nearby. 26-year old girl raped by 5 men. I ask my friend why anybody wants to read this. Why anybody cares. Because it happened near us and we are interdependent with those people.
No, I’m not, I realize. It could happen in the same house I live in and it would have nothing to do with me. Why don’t the newspapers write about a father who passed the street with his kid without accident. Sure, it happens all the time. It is normal. It is not important. But a raped girl is not any more important.
My friend says that this stuff concerns us because it shakes our worldview. Does it really? People die all the time. And more than that, the newspaper is full of it all the time. There is nothing worldview-shaking about it at all. It is just a cheap effect. Why did I care in the past? I was proud of living in a horrible world. Of thinking I was better than that. I fantasized about saving the world, making it good. But it is not bad. That’s just our judgment.
Why do we care about rape? Why do we care about massacres? More people die of hunger than of any massacre. We eat animals and never think of their lives. So why care about other people’s misery? Because it harmonizes with our own?
My friend gets angry at me. I don’t know why. For suggesting the newspaper write about something equally unimportant, but much more uplifting?
He says that we can just as well abolish the newspaper then. And he has a point. Why would I even want to read about a father passing over the street with his kid? I can just open my eyes and see it happen right before me all the time. What do we need newspapers for? Life happens all around us, at any moment. Why distract us with stuff that is happening elsewhere?
Do we want to read about bad stuff so that we can secretly project our own pain onto somebody else and feel like it is far away from us, while it is still in our hearts?
I see I can not convince him. It surprises me, as what I have said I have said with the greatest clarity and insight I have felt for a long time. It makes me a little sad. I let it go. I let him go.
A hot girl passes me. I don’t care. Some guy looks at me with disdain. I don’t care. I feel a little pain, but it is very remote. I am not euphoric. Just calm.
I look around and see people walk around with their emotional baggage. Stressed, unnerved. It makes me a little angry. Then I realize it has nothing to do with me. It is okay. I don’t have to care.
I don’t care about presidents, feminists, victims, oppressors. I think back of my mother who hurt me. I don’t care. I think of my father who left me. I don’t care. I think of people who shamed me and laughed at me and wronged me and beat me. I don’t care. I think about whether I will ever have a girl. I don’t care. None of that shit is important.
I am not just telling myself I don’t care. I really don’t. I am not pushing away the pain – there is hardly any pain anymore.
I look at myself and realize I am not broken anymore. I look at the world and realize it does not seem broken anymore. There is nothing to save, nobody to be a hero for, nothing and nobody for me to fix.
Another newspaper says that our government isn’t even able to deport Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard. I laugh out loud. Why would anybody care? Do we love to be angry about some inconsequential bullshit so much? What does Laden’s bodyguard have to do with anybody? With my life? Nothing. Why do I need to have an opinion about this? What is an opinion but a few pointless words with an angry emotion attached to them, tormenting me through endless repetition in my head?
Does being mature and rational mean to live in fear? To be constantly concerned about imaginary threats to our safety? I have even heard people say that fear is the basis of human life. That fear is what keeps us alive, keeps us going, keeps us from doing dangerous things. The idea seems ridiculous now. Why would I need to fear getting burned in order not to put my hand into the fire? It is sufficient to know that it will hurt me if I do.
What has been my life? Who have I been? I thought I had been myself, but I really had only been my pain, my trauma. Everything I had been thinking, everything I had been doing, everything I had desired, all of it was governed by my pain. An attempt to drown it, run away from it. Through porn, video games, movies, overeating, wishing for a horde of sexual partners. Through the search for a meaning or a greater cause. Drowning myself in fantasy, creating an artificial, acceptable image of myself. Hating and fighting myself.
Without the pain, what is left? As the pain is fading, the person I was my whole life is fading with it. I don’t know who I am, and I don’t need to know. Because I know that what I am becoming is the most normal and natural state imaginable. And it baffles me that anybody could even make a big deal out of it, so natural does it feel. There is nothing special about it. There is nothing special about god, about enlightenment.
I think about whether I will awaken Kundalini. I don’t care. I think about whether I will be a great healer. I don’t care. I only ever needed to be a healer of myself.
I think about whether they will put me back in psychiatry. I don’t care. I think about whether politicians mean well with me. I don’t care. I think about political slogans and the seriousness with which people stand behind them. It seems like a benevolent comedy. I think about whether I will marry and become a stupid beta provider chump who gets cheated on. I don’t care. I think about whether this clarity will pass and I will look like a fool. I don’t care.
What does all of it matter in this moment?
God does not care about any of that stuff.. Why should I, then?
I buy a pear and eat it. It is the most important thing right now. And yet, it is not important at all.
I wonder what I should eat for dinner. I don’t care. I realize I am not even really hungry and only thinking about it from habit. I wonder what I will do next. And after that. I don’t care.
The words of this article are forming in my head. I realize that I don’t even care that much about writing it. Realize that most who will read it, most of my readership, will have no use for what I am saying. The idea makes me a bit angry. But then, why should I care. Somebody will find it and like it and maybe understand.
Life without pain is pointless. Without pain, you don’t get to be a hero. Because, what is there to be a hero about?
But then, who ever said that living has to have a point?
And no, I didn’t take any drugs this time.