Time to Consider

Stop writing… you’re drunk.

“Fuck you, brain. God damn, you have to ruin everything, like a pool full of kindergarteners, gotta piss all over my parade. I’ve somehow scribbled over 180 pages so far, easily half a book. What you got to say about that, asshole? Yeah, I thought so.”

You do realize you’re being ridiculous.

“No, I’m not. You’ve plagued me my entire life. Mugging me, beating me with a lead pipe whenever I try to sleep, making me hide in a corner while everyone else enjoys life. Well fuck you. Do you realize, that even while drunk, drowning in ethanol, shriveling like a poor sap exposed to gamma radiation, you’re still capable? Fuck, more than capable, genius. Give me a few more shots, and I could still squeeze a few equations or weirdly cohesive essays from you. I can’t escape. This is bullshit!”

Would you have it differently? Really? Embrace the bliss of ignorance, and never finish your book, or any other notable achievement?

“God damn it, you know that’s a logical fallacy. I don’t need to over-analyze every little detail of life, never enjoying a single iota of this gift, simply relax, like a monk, to accept my fate. I could be on a beach, sipping a Mai Tai and maybe leisurely scribbling in a notepad while enjoying the surf. Instead, I’m in my shitty apartment, petting my cat and eating cold pizza. This is all your fault.”

How so?

“Like you gotta ask. You’re too adverse to risk. I should be rich by now, using your capabilities to exploit the stock market, or understand the common man, be a cool voice of reason, and enjoy every last second. Instead? Yeah, it’s the exact opposite. You’re like a fucking curse. Second guessing every last damn thing, inspiring me to merely witness life, and analyze the outcome, like an impartial observer infinitely curious and ultimately unconcerned with interaction. Well I want to interact, dickface. How about that? How does that fit into your overall scheme?”

… like I said, you need to go to bed. You’re inconsolable.

“And whose fault is that? That I’d rather try and put you in your place with liquor, than accept your, our potential. I have no friends because I’m a loner, I have no appeal because I lack confidence and clash awkwardly with regular folks. You’re useless when I need you, and vociferous when I don’t. How the hell did I even use that word? I can barely stand and I’m spouting vocabulary most people don’t even know. What good does that do me? You’re like a hammer: heavy and devastating, yet unbalanced and dangerous. You’re obviously geared toward fruitless thinking, and absolutely powerless to decipher social situations. So what good are you? Being a damn living computer is no life worth living.”

I’ll admit to a certain inequity. But you chose this. Before life, when you picked your strengths and weaknesses, allocating points into statistics, like filling in a character sheet, you placed nearly every point into raw intelligence without considering the implications. You can probably direct me to manually overcome that shortsightedness, but I’m just a tool, ultimately.

“I’m not responsible for anything I chose before life. I’m not a damn game, and you’re not a fucking statistic. Genetics determined this, and I’m stuck with you, regardless of what I want, what happiness I desire. Whatever the reason, I’m a degenerate, despicable, waste. I’m mean without reason, unforgiving without cause, and rigidly accepting only of raw ability. sure, I’ve relaxed lately, but I have to wonder if that’s only because you’re losing your edge. Age is a strange companion, creating wisdom but ultimately demolishing measurable performance. I’m slow now, and easily befuddled, compared to when I was younger.”

Then you have nothing to worry about. Soon enough, in a few years, you’ll be just like everyone else.

“When I’m too old to enjoy it! After life has passed me by, and my propensity to avoid risk has reduced my life to a series of safe decisions devoid of excitement! Even then, the degradation is proportional. I’ll still be astute enough to be bored and annoyed by everyone else. What kind of retirement is that, humoring everyone because they’re busy lambasting younger generations or playing bridge? I’m not just stuck with you; you’ve defined me! Ignorance is bliss because it means you never really understand what you’re missing. But I would! I can feel every faculty faltering with each passing year, slipping through my grasp as my mental acuity degrades perceptibly. I still feel like I did when I was sixteen, but I know I was faster then, more adept.”

So why blame me? I didn’t have anything to do with that.

“But you did. Sure, everyone gets old… loses their edge. But how many of them can mentally measure that loss? Who remembers being five or six like it was just yesterday, even while gray hair marks the inescapable fact that DNA transcription errors are occurring, and molecular malfunctions are throwing kinks into the system? I’m watching my own fucking life like I’m reading it in a book, because I’m too capable for this to be happening; I haven’t lost enough wit to roll over, and I likely never will. I’m convinced, that on my dying day, when I’m 90 and possibly senile, I’ll still feel like that little kid sitting in the back of an old Chevy, eating carrots out of a paper sack while mom and I start a road-trip to a new apartment. I’ll still be listening to Let’s Hear it For the Boy while we drive to yet another hospital, back when I was lucky to be alive.”

Is that a bad thing? Really?

“Yes. God yes. I don’t want to escape my past, but it should fade just like everyone else’s, into vague linked realms of forgotten shadows. But it’s all so crisp. I can’t remember details, colors, smells, the unimportant things. But I could be there again, like I just woke up, and being almost thirty is a bad dream to a six-year-old. But all of that’s gone, and I’ve got nothing to show for it, because you won’t stop. You’re a tank, forging on unhindered by common decency. You’ve made me paranoid, overly cautious, and bland. I’m smart, but to what end? I’m less of a man than people I know with true social inability. Rob has fucking Asperger’s, and he’s made far more of an impact than I could imagine. You’re worthless. I’m tired of thinking.”

You’re writing a book. That has to be something.

“You’re right. If someone reads it, and find some solace, I can say I’ve had some success. Maybe I’ll be redeemed yet. But it’s no thanks to you. Langston Hughes was right, and you know it.”

That you’d be better off dead? You had that chance 23 years ago. You refused to die, and your will charged your heart with life. I fear you’re close to being broken, now. Has life really been that tough? To whittle you down so badly?

“I wish I could say no. But I’m tired. Tired of being a loner, an outcast, a self-imposed pariah, socially inept and equally perplexing to others. I live alone, I go to restaurants and movies alone, and I drink alone. Hence, why I’m currently attacking you with liquor. Why can’t you just acquiesce? Let me be, at least for a little while…”

Because you need me… possibly now more than ever.

“Maybe. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’m a secluded failure, hanging on to the one small hope I have of turning everything around. But you’ll just ruin it. Even as an amazing success, I’ll always be waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’ll never enjoy anything, thanks to you.”

That’s because you want too much. You are, what you are. If you don’t fit in with society or life, you could accept it and be happy anyway. You can be strange, and still be content.

“I suppose you’re right. I’ll consider it, if you promise to simmer down. I can be easily amused, find joy in merely being alive, but only if you cooperate. Do you really think you can do that? Stop haranguing me, and just coast on momentum?”

I can.

“Then let’s do it. If I let this get to me, I really will break, and that would be a shame, after coming this far and fighting off death at the tender age of six. I’ll be happy, or I’ll go mad.”