Where to begin?
I hear it. Those reverberating beats of guitar, drums, and keyboard before the onslaught of lyrics eviscerates my reality. That booming voice; a war god howling his rage and frustration. Deutschland. Again and again, repeated for emphasis, to show just how important it is for the listener to pay attention – to take fucking note. Ah, battle ne’er sounded so angrily beautiful. This euphoric assault upon the senses, bringing one to realization that the world is far vaster, far more important, than whate’er miniscule problems one might think they understand.
And how my heart is aflame, comrades, as I click the repeat button on my antiquated Walkman to drain the very essence from this song. Again and again I listen, trying to fully comprehend – to appreciate – the beauty in these tortured lyrics. How my breast swells with each iteration. I believe I am understanding. I believe it makes more sense as I shake my fist to the heavens in tune to the raucous beat. The stars witness my descent into madness; the heart knew it all along.
It is like any other night I suppose: I smoke, I drink, I listen to music. Nothing out of the ordinary. Halfway through a cancer pack, definitely on the ass end of a twelver, yet the stars retain their number despite my nocturnal shenanigans. Time is immaterial at this hour. To think, comrades, I am entrusted with teaching children.
The stars witness everything.
Don’t they know I know nothing? Can they not see I am nothing? Bukowski said the very same when his poetry was lauded; he lamented his fame and the ignorance of those who read his words. I am no Chinaski, that is most certain, but I feel for the character as he loses himself in sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It is an easy path to follow. That unholy Trinity.
“Go ahead and shoot, coward. You are only killing a man.” The alleged last words of Che: hero, revolutionary, murderer, philosopher, warlord.
I am only a man.
I bite my nails. Not out of insecurity as some Freudian would have you believe, but merely because I enjoy it. Every time I bring my hands close, I inhale deeply the stain of tobacco. How many has it been? Years. How many years have I indulged my vices in an attempt to succor virtue? It was the Friar himself who said that the poison is in the dosage (right before he conned Romeo into his fatal tryst).
Yet I enjoy it.
This self-destructive train I’ve set myself upon which will only end in lament and turmoil. Ah, how I enjoy it. You can hear the clack clack clack of cargo upon rails should you listen. That’s the key: listen. Deutschland. Of course it is bad for me. Of course it will spell my ruin. But is that not the purpose of Life, comrades? To eventually embrace the Ruin set out for all of us? A train can only go along the rails set for it; that is Fate.
Go ahead and shoot, coward.
In a month, I’ll be in Spain, once more walking the Way. The stars are very much the same, as is the writing process: drink, smoke, feel it. Who gives a shit if it’s incoherent, drunken ramblings full of metaphorical half-truths and paradoxes? Self-censorship is still censorship and homey don’t play that way. If you write it, it must be true in some sense. That paradoxical half-truth so many former lovers have complained about.
The moon is gone now, as are most of the stars. Intense cloud coverage and billowing smoke with each breath. You aren’t a real writer until you can master a lit smoke and typing at the same time; shame on me. Just me, the bright screen of this infernal typing device, my ubiquitous smokes and booze, and the chill of a deceptive summer eve. How in blazes does any of this make sense? Indeed, comrades, I oft find myself asking how any of this – this charade of Life – makes sense to anyone. How do so many people simply exist without questioning everything?
It wafts over me. The smoke from the spent butt in the ceramic ashtray. Ah, that smell. How it brings me back to Grandpa’s truck in my youth. To sneaking out at NMMI. To divulging my secrets and disgust before the Divorce. How it brings clarity and calm to an otherwise stricken mind. I know it will kill me. Fact. Yet I still persist in lighting up. Fact. When I am older and gray, at the ripe age of 55, I will merely shrug at the advent of Death. I called you, I’ll say, and you took your time. Death will return the rude gesture, merely point a bony finger at me, and assume my Fate.
The rat bastard will have to take me on the Way. That’s the only way I’m afraid your mad rambler will meet his end.
How exciting is the future, comrades, when we understand nothing is certain. To think, they want me to teach AP English, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking/Debate next year! Ah, how very exciting – assuming all is well and nothing becomes lost in the sauce. Perhaps that’s the thought I am attempting to wrap my reptilian brain around this evening. To be given an ad hoc promotion in the field of erudition with no idea how to go about performing it. It’s like the first time I asked Her out oh so many years ago: I know what I’m being tasked, but I’ve no idea how to go about doing it.
A few universal truths:
- The only Truth is that nothing is True.
- The only thing I know is that I know nothing.
- A challenge is always welcome.
It’s like Till’s booming voice as he laments the state of his beloved Germany in Deutschland. Education is my love, but, oh! How it is my bane at the very same time. No doubt, comrades, it will be the death of me. AP. Creative Writing. Public Speaking. Debate. Not to mention all the other nonsense I’ve heaped upon myself for the forthcoming year.
But, ah, how good it is to drown in happiness as opposed to banal misery. Let the smoke fill my lungs. Let my body wither away into nothingness. My liver to rupture in a miasma of filth.
Go ahead. Shoot. You’re only going to kill a man.