21 September 2013 § Leave a comment
My under-the-stairs writing desk reminds me of Harry Potter’s room: the fake-wood work surface serves as the base of a right triangle whose chopped top angle tells me that there’s a limit to the sky. Perhaps the lack of windows and cluttered artwork clogs the flow of energy. If Feng Shui had an evil twin, he would live in my writing room, between the loud fan of my old Toshiba laptop and the laminate wood grain facade.
My favorite, or most useful, books live in a nook in the most extreme angle of the shape, hard to reach and certainly the first place a gumshoe would search for scarlet letters. This room is a vortex – the incandescent lamp with the stained-glass shade warms the golden walls. My shelf of worn journals and ideabooks, which now number almost to dozens, and whose truthful answers to any question one could possibly ask about me, Sean, the [insert projection here], taunt further honesty from my depths, pull me father into the portal, my face poring over a cheap plastic computer and brittle post-it notes long since expired, searching for some refulgent reminder that I’m sitting here for a reason, leaving the whole world behind in another attempt to reach within myself, because there’s got to be something redeemable there. It’s a lonely place in here – which is why I often go elsewhere. And, it takes but a small comparison to relieve heavy thoughts. Let’s take Adam, the “first” man.
Adam undoubtedly endured phases of loneliness and despair unlike that which anyone has experienced since, especially me. Whereas Joe might feel like there’s no one around who understands his hobby of hanging dead cats in doorways, or I, who might choose to not engage with others for inordinate amounts of time, thus projecting a wide misunderstanding of how the inner artist suffers; Adam was the only human alive.
No empathy cooed from the eyes of his ghostly mother (in some belief systems, it may be considered blasphemy to entertain that Adam had a mother at all). He received no comfort when he tripped on a root in the less-tended orchards of Eden. He had no one with whom to relate. The sky was nice, but what is the use of an observer if there is no one with whom to share one’s observations? And why would he have kept a diary, if there was no one from whom to hide it?
As little boys, some of us dreamed, what would it be like as the last human on earth, or at least part of the last pair on earth, like a deserted island with a supermodel whom may or may not have been interested in copulation. It’s not wonder we dreamed so: the first man had that dream, too. There were less people then (one, specifically), so perhaps God was still taking requests.
Imagine waking up; you feel normal, lonely, thinking about that dream and what you might do if she was interested, having no experience in copulation at all – except for the novel sensation of the naked woman lying next to you.
Ever since, boys and men been trying to realize those dreams – waking up day after day, hoping that a beautiful woman broke into the house, and snuck into bed, lotus flower blossomed.
It’s a male thing. Genetic. Implanted by God, like skin wrinkles and spit.
Picture: the eve of man’s fall into chaos, and the woman next to Adam wakes up. She nuzzles the spot between his collarbone and shoulder, fermented morning breath wafting. Startled, he jumps out of the palm leaf bed. He wonders if the swinging walking stick had anything to do with his sore ribs, his clay face a contorted work in progress.
What is that? he asks.
Oh, I thought you might be lonely, answers the sun.
That doesn’t answer my question.
Your question was ambiguous, the sun replies.
Disappointed with the lack of gratitude, God decides to give Adam the silent treatment, and unwittingly applies it to the entire potential of humanity.
Fast forward to later that day, when Eve (named for the day she found herself in Adam’s bed, with no memory of Before), walks about the garden, annoyed with Adam’s prickly nature. It does not seem strange to her that a snake speaks her language, or that he sounds oddly like the sun.
At the reptile’s recommendation (an early incarnation of Yelp), she takes the bright apple hanging from the tree. Its sweet crunchiness excites her taste buds, and sugars swirl through her body, creating the first erogenous zones.
You know the story after that: the mutable world went feral and mutant, God’s silence confused his creations, and the apple became a universal symbol of lost innocence, a moment which squashes any excuse to not do what pleases most.
Picture: a shiny brand new MacBook Pro sitting shut next to me. waiting for its unfolding, waiting for me to taste its release of sweet digital endorphins and happiness because, for the first time in my life, I purchased a laptop. It’s a silver, glowing flame to strike when I’m running short of ideas, and it has a keyboard whose keys feel like miniature orgasms on my fingertips.
But we’re not there yet. I’m not ready to embrace it yet. There’s so much meaning-making to do, I can hardly pull my fingers away from the Toshiba, when I see a card under the stained glass lamp, propped between audio wires and an unused calligraphy pen:
Let everything happen to you,
beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final.
Imagine the loneliness and sweetness both subsiding once acknowledged, and the last physical remnants of an extinguished life let go.
This is where I am. I am here, now.