Late night. sick in snow-drift Pennsylvania. Keep thinking about women, how much we’re encouraged to need each other, how little we actually do, and how hard it is convincing myself of this some days.
But that’s the mode of the 21st century, where filth, lies and half-truths spill up from between the floorboards like filth from a sewer spewn out into the street. The truth is harder to believe than the lie. The lie coaxes. The truth hammers. The lie kisses. The truth leaves you shuddering in the cold, like that night I waited outside my then-girlfriend’s apartment to see who she was fucking.
“Ruder forms survive,” says McCarthy. Ruder forms indeed. What’s coming in our future is just another past, another peasant’s revolt, the semblance of the angry mob coalescent, byproduct of neglected education, starved populus and fermented infighting. New and better shows every year, the arms race redeveloping itself, cannibalizing its old parts to form a new, better mask for what is happening. The breaking of America, the gray metal metropolis reduced to its constituent parts, arsenic dissolved in wastewater, desolate prairies with endangered beasts ill-fed but deified in folklore.
I’ve had enough, but there’s nowhere to go. This is the modern America, the way wherein we find our means. No “greatest generation”. Just had enough and out of places to run to. The sycophantic upper crust has harvested the last remaining crumbs of the middle class, offering newer, better tomorrows for their promise not to care for the blighted soil, the tainted air, the rabble among their friends and neighbors, and the last, dying kernel of common sense.
Explained thusly, the decline in patriotism seems almost redundant. Just another side-effect, less than fart in consequence but telling of the noxious diet and failing systems that made it.
The pogroms are starting. They’re never against those to blame. They’re always against those to blame. A full third of the black men in America are in jail, yet Roman Polanski is free. Larry Ellison brings home the America’s Cup, the 4th richest man in the world lauded once more for his prowess in the game of vainglorious prick-waving. Nobility is not held in the trophy, nor in dying for your country. Nobility would be the hand filled with cash spilt over into ghettos of America with course, intelligence, and the application of that same vision that made Oracle.
Otherwise, to hell with them all. No amount of love-speak will erase the primate beast inside of us. The children line up against the armored pigs, every year a little stupider on both sides. The youth in rebellion impotently wave informed, ineffectual words and phrases at a society they have barely a stake in, and less an understanding of. How many engineers speak on clean energy from the protest line? Few. How many lawyers? Many, but they’re there for work. There is no machine. There is no empire that never ends. There is only us. We make this. And when all the heads are rolling, when all the gas canisters are opened and the showers spill their cordword corpses into the pits, we begin anew, unchanged, ill-formed, rude spectacles of the ape that thinks it’s clever…and the beat goes on.
I’ve forgotten a lot since I was last in love. I miss her sometimes, because I had a very good memory before I met her. Forgetting her, and forgetting everything else, is about all she ever left me with. Sometimes it actually works. Other times, I stay up late and think of old friends drifting back and forth through time and space, hecklers to the peasant apocalypse. Dead. Grown old. Forgotten. Wasted. some going strong. Life ordains, and we endure in the crude, ill-fated footsteps of our ancestors.
This is why I think of romance at times like this. Forgetting. That’s about the only thing that being in love ever teaches you.