Wolves at the Door
I sense a change in the air. It's not the onset of winter, which feels like it came to Humboldt last night bearing an axe and the still-dripping head of Autumn (eyes rolled back and mouth gaping open in part shock and part relief to be pushed from this mortal coil so suddenly). It's not that it's getting darker earlier, which I love. It's not the rain that falls not frequently enough, which I also love. It's something else. A breaking point. It's the wolves at the door, sniffing. I want to let them in.
I think I'm a nice guy most of the time. I don't call a lot of people on their stupidity or selfishness unless they really start to bug me with it. I realized long ago that it was pointless endeavor that only succeeds in creating confusion and animosity that is misdirected at the very least. I hold my tongue because I live in a society. It's a sick society, one based in greed and run by self-centered adult children who make your business their business (and they can't even tie their own fucking shoes without making it a drama).
For people like me, every day is an exercise in not throwing hot coffee in someone's face.
I don't think that makes me unbalanced or "insane," as one fool put it. Admitting to it and holding people up to certain standards I think makes me honest and stable. It's bad enough I repress a lot of my feelings in order to get through the day. If I didn't admit to the most base parts of my emotions I'd probably end up, well, like them.
I don't understand the people whose palms sweat with glee when they think of Black Friday (imagine if they treated politics the same way as they do getting deals on pajamas). I don't understand the mindset of people who watch the Super Bowl in order to see the new commercials (their justifications always fall so flat when held up to scrutiny). I don't understand those folks who spout their ideas of how society should be run, but don't ever include themselves in that equation (because if it's good enough for others it's not good enough for them). I don't understand the people who are happy to shrug off their responsibilities on others (they are the biggest complainers when it happens to them). I don't understand them, and I only care about them in the respect that I sometimes have to deal with them and hear their nonsense.
I used to use this blog as a therapeutic outlet. Because I took so much flack from so many people who "knew" how I should handle things, I turned to a different outlet. This posting is not therapeutic. This posting is more of a fact finding mission, an examination of the causes of my recent fear that what waits at the door isn't waiting for me, but I am waiting for it.
I have been accused of many things. Some true. Some not. Accusations mean nothing to me, though. Something a friend said to me the other day, which was not an accusation as much as it was an observation, came back to me last night in a fever dream. "You seem like you're all out of justifications on why you still deal with people."
I do believe, kind sirs, the lady is right.
Sniffing at my door, the wolves scratch at the wood. They want in. I want to let them in. I believe a man should only go up against things bigger than he. I don't believe in picking on the "little guy." Those wolves, they don't want to eat me. They want to join me. They want to enter the fold.
I once explained my theories on violence to my friend and supervisor. I believe we were talking about threats and how effective they are. I argued that pulling a knife and threatening to kill someone doesn't work well. People use that threat all the time. To pull the knife and say, "I will cut you"? That works wonders. That scares people. That sounds like it will happen. That is more plausible than the threat of death. People don't fear death. If they did they wouldn't smoke. They wouldn't drink and drive. They wouldn't take speed. But to threaten to cut someone, that sends images into their head, images they can't easily shake because they can easily imagine them. Perhaps they see the blade sliding diagonally across their face, going deeper the further it gets, ending once the eyeball is cleaved open. Perhaps they imagine you cutting a two-inch long, inch deep gash in their thigh, one where they can see the muscle beneath.
It was a good talk. Yes, it was a little twisted, a bit dark, but also very therapeutic. I don't think of those things because I want to do them. I think of them because I want to be able to use something like that to get someone to stop bothering me without having to resort to the actual action. I'm a writer. I realize the power of words. I prefer them over physical violence if only because there is less police interaction, less blood, and it lets the person go home thinking about what they've done instead of wondering how they will exact revenge if they are ever able to walk again.
People feel strongly about violence. On one hand, it's bad for people to talk about it on a meaningful level because violence, like cannibalism or Satanic sex rituals, is just one of those things that's assumed to be bad. Get them talking about some war, however, and the idea of it being violent goes right out the window. Violence on that level is so incomprehensible that it doesn't even become a theory anymore. It just is. That, to me, is dangerous thinking. If you can't discuss violence on a personal level, you have no place in talking about war.
We are animals. Animals are violent. They protect their turf. They kill to eat. We tend to think we are better because we can make coffee and drive. The problem is we are still animals and while we can do things like justify our actions through rational thinking, we rarely do it. Therefore we use violence in one of two ways: without thought or without meaning. There is where we differ from the animals. We think we are better, but we haven't applied it, and therefore we are more like a virus.
Mankind is, at its heart, a disease upon the planet. If there was a god, he would see us as a cancer, a cancer that seems to take glee in its ignorant rampage. The wolves at the door understand that. They want no part of it. They'd rather be a solution. That's why they are here. They don't knock, though. They wait to be invited in. They are happy to scratch and sniff, salivate and curl against each other for warmth in cold of the early Humboldt winter. They have protected the door unseen from the bushes for quite some time now, but they are ready to be admitted. They feel like they deserve some warmth.
Last night, in my feverish dreams, I dreamed of a world where people thought before they began to announce their stupidity. I saw a place where the sun shone through the rain and where people finally "got" it. I saw a new day. The people didn't disappear (they have to be kept if only for amusement value), but they understood the new direction. They understood that some people just don't want to deal with them not because they are above them, but because they are tired of them. I saw a world where I could walk amongst them and still be isolated, only engaging in discourse with those of my choosing at a time of my choosing. In my dream, I smiled. It felt foreign. I saw myself as a foreigner. You know what I mean. You know that when you see pictures of people from other countries that they look somewhat different, even if they share your skin color. There's something about them. It may be their hair, their clothes, but mostly it's the smile. They smile differently. That was how I felt. I was a stranger to this land, and I liked it.
I am careful of who I let into my world. I need to be more careful. I need to be choosier. GG Allin, a man whom I admire if only because he lived life as he saw fit (and I don't agree with everything he did, but in spirit I liked the "truth in advertising" approach he used) once said in so many words that if you couldn't take what he was you needed to stay away. This, if I recall correctly, was after he got in trouble for setting a woman on fire. She was, as he put it, burned on the GG altar. She wanted to hang with him, an unstable man who did unstable things, and she seemed shock when that unstability was turned toward her. I don't agree with him doing that. In fact, I think it was horrible. But I also think, and this is where I differ with most of society, that she had it coming. She knew what he was going into it (and this was proven afterward when she still tried to be with him, if memory serves correctly), and she still decided to be one of his "followers," for lack of a better word. She thought the rules didn't apply to her, even though GG made it perfectly clear that the rules even applied to him first and foremost. She ignored the signs. She thought she was different. She saw what he was and still decided to operate in his world.
Yeah, setting her on fire was wrong. Brutal. Uncalled for. But you can't blame him for hating the weakness and stupidity of what was put before him. The man wanted to destroy himself. What made her think he wouldn't want to eventually destroy her?
But I digress. I'm careful of who I let into my world. I'm private. I don't like a lot of interaction with people. I only tend to open up to people I think can handle what I have to say ... and understand it. They don't have to agree with it. I'd prefer if they didn't, because I like debate (and if you are reading this, yes, I'll say it here, gymnastics is a sport -- happy?). I think, however, those who do let me open up to them for whatever reason (mutual masturbation, perhaps) need to ask themselves if they can continue to do so if I finally decide to take all the filters off. I'm not saying I'm resorting to violence or anything like that. Those who know me well know how I am, and they are the same ones who understand the filters. My guess is that those who understand that and are still reading have kind of shuddered at the idea. They think those filters are almost non-existent to begin with. They think I already let the idiots who surround me everytime I step outside my door know exactly what I feel. They also know I hold back a bit.
Accountability. Truth in advertising. Responsibility. Rationality. Morality. Honesty. These are all good things. I try to hold myself up to a certain set of standards. I don't always succeed, but I always try. I think I deserve the company of these wolves. I've earned it. And to be honest, knowing I've earned it and accepting it -- letting the wolves in -- makes me feel like I can operate within this world with a smile on my face. I can be honest and I don't have to worry about hurt feelings (and all the stupid tears that come with it) or lost friendships or even hatred. I don't care about those things. My friend who thought I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders can be relieved. I've lifted it. It feels good.
Come on in, my friends. Curl up before the fire. The sun is out. It's still cold, but this black sun can still warm the heart. Let me feed you. Let me protect you from the outside world. Let's engage in a dialogue that leads to our mutual survival in this barren landscape of fractured morality and starry-eyed dreams. Let's let our existence be an example to others. Let's let the fact that we breathe be our threat. Let's pull away from the people we do not want to deal with, and when they invade our space we will greet them with open arms, bared teeth and a growl at the back of our throats. They shall know that their stupidity and ill-thought emotions are not welcome here. When they decide to encroach, they shall be operating under our rules and the rules that bind this society. We shall be civil, but honest. We will meet ignorance with intelligence. We shall meet emotion with rationality. We shall meet violence with like. We, too, will operate under the rules set forth by our society, but we shall not hold them to a different standard just because we think they don't get it. We shall hold them to our standard, a standard born not of fear but of understanding, instinct and the knowledge that we are but animals with the capacity of acting beyond our means. We shall offer our ear to their words, but let them know that they should not waste our time. We shall embrace freedom and responsiblity with the same hope and glee people use when they think of things like shopping and their Friday night bar hopping plans. In the end, we will feast knowing that those who have stayed around are operating under the same principals, but not necessarily the same values. We can dine with our enemies even, if they all agree on the rules of civility.
Welcome, wolves. This smile no longer has to be a mask.
Wow, this was more therapeutic then I thought. Perhaps it should be consigned to that other space. Or ... perhaps it's more like a No Trespassing sign.
I think the more astute already know.
The less astute soon will.
Happy Sunday, all. Enjoy football, the race, or whatever you like doing on this day of rest. Read a book. Plant a tree. Take a walk in the woods. Do some Christmas shopping for a loved one. Just chill out with a glass of wine and some world music if the mood fits. I've got my daughter, and that means I'm the luckiest man in the world. Find what makes you the luckiest and do it like there is no tomorrow. Indulge. Redefine excess. For the sake of your soul, live without the barriers. Let the wolves in.
You'll all be happier.