There’s something fundamentally wrong with the world. It doesn’t hug you. It doesn’t really care. It turns its back and lets you crawl all over it, up and down the spine and around the shoulder blades. But it won’t turn back around. It won’t stretch its hand out to you.
So you occasionally bump into others, people that seem similar to you on the surface of things, as you crawl around its back. You think that you might be seeing the love and caring in these other people, these fellow crawlers, which you looked for but couldn’t find in the world itself. You feel the earth beneath your feet tremble, and delude yourself that an electric connection with another person has shocked between the two of you and made the world shake. But really, the movement you feel is the world shaking with mirth, laughing at strangers. Love, friendship, creative collaboration – these are the connections you fancy you have made. But the world knows better, and that’s why it laughs.
It isn’t cruel, you must understand. The world is not a cruel place. It’s people like you and me who create the cruel conditions, jealous and drunk off the disappointment that the world’s silence lets us assume. We don’t have to assume it. But we do. Time and time again, and then we curse this big old world for providing it. But the world didn’t provide it, not really. We saw an opening, a space where nothing was really there, and we walked into it with a swag of conceptions in tow. Misconceptions, preconceptions, and all the conceptions you can think of. Once we got into that empty space, we needed to drop our conceptions off somewhere. They can get pretty heavy. So that’s where we dropped them, in this space where nothing was really there, and then we fooled ourselves into thinking that the conceptions were always there: that the conceptions were the space itself.
Now you’ve got all kinds of problems. You feel like you’ve entered into some kind of common law agreement with the world, and that brings a sense of entitlement. Big mistake, that. For all you know, the world had just woken up on a Sunday morning after a huge Saturday night, and all it wanted to do was scratch itself lazily, tussle its own bed hair and go sit on the front porch for a while to watch itself go by. But now you’ve crawled inside it via a loophole that it never knew about, a loophole that you created while the world was fast asleep.
What a violation!
What a devious piece of opportunism!
So there you are, mad at the world and everything in it, even though you half suspect that there is nothing in it, folding your arms and tapping your foot like a jealous lover who is waiting for their partner to get home from the pub and wondering what is taking them so long.
“He better not be out having fun with his friends,” you will say to yourself. “He said he’d just stop in for one drink on the way home.”
You will pace around, here and there, with a furrowed brow and sour mouth, recalling in your mind the countless times when you were there for the world.
“But where is the world for me?” you ask, a little self-righteously, I might add.
The world doesn’t see or hear any of this. It’s lying on its back in the park by now, soaking up its sun and trying to shake its hangover.
Sometimes, to make yourself feel better, you team up with other people who have been slighted by the world. They’re just as upset at it as you are. You drown your sorrows, bitching and whining together for a while, until you snap out of it and tell yourself that you’re nothing like these other losers. You bid them farewell for now and walk home with a smile on your face, ready to wipe the slate clean and give the world another chance.
“Did you hear that world?” you cry out cheerfully. “I’m willing to give you another chance. No hard feelings, eh? Let’s see if we can’t work this thing out.”
But the world doesn’t answer you. Of course it doesn’t. No response whatsoever. You pretend that your words have sunk in and the world just isn’t ready to reply yet, but you assure yourself that it will make itself known when the time is right.
It doesn’t, and as it turns out, the time is never right for the rest of your life.
There are brief periods when you forget all about the world, and the world is never happier than during these times. It can close its eyes and snooze, or have a quick wank. But you’re back before the world knows it, and it never seems long enough. It resumes its position, turning its back and waiting for the random insanity that you call structure and routine to start up again.
Every now and then you catch a glimpse of the real world, of the world as it actually is. You’re sitting around doing nothing because you’ve already done the two or three things that you could think of doing, and then you hit a wall of zero. You might be out and about, or at home on the couch. You see a giant, clear tunnel of boredom stretch out before you. It bores through walls, fences, mountains, mole hills, vested interests, shy looks, wet dreams, caramel chocolate, sweaty foreheads, joy, depression, disappointing trips to China to see the Great Wall wherein the spectacle is not actually a spectacle at all because you have been spoiled by too much foreknowledge of it’s supposed wonder, tight pants, heartache, headache, back ache, theories on the nature of God, happiness, sadness and the dictionary. Of course, this vision lasts for a moment at the most, and then you’re back to hanging great, stringy turds of expectation on the world (which it doesn’t care for one little bit, by the way). For that brief moment when you see the giant, clear tunnel of boredom, the world can relax and accept you as a part of it. You’re empty and it’s empty and everything feels like when you’re lying in a vacant, sun topped field. You close your eyes and hear things, but only as things. Here we could label them as ‘wind rustling through the long grass,’ or ‘a small twittery bird singing a pale little song,’ and ‘a large, common bird croaking a course call to its comrades.’ But if we did that then you would be back to winding that long piece of shit around the world, like tinsel on a Christmas tree.
No, we will leave it at ‘things.’ You lie in the vacant, sun topped field with your eyes closed and you hear things. And you’re bored. You’re so incredibly bored, and you can see that giant, clear tunnel of boredom stretching out before you. That’s the way the world would want it, if it could want at all.