Sometimes I feel like I am just a receptacle for the world around me. A sponge, I absorb the mana
of others. At a party, I synchronize myself to the rhythms of the room; moving from person to person, silently wondering who are you? what is it like to be you?
I awaken the next morning feeling sickened. Too many hearts beating in my chest. Too many passions swimming through my soul. None of them my own.
Dennis says this is the gift that makes me a writer. The ability to see the world through a thousand eyes. I wonder. I would say this is the curse that drives me to write. And that prevents me from calling myself a writer. Who are you?
I ask myself. What is it like to be you?
I seek solace in my café. I flip aimlessly through a new issue of Harper's
. Meaning swims amidst chaos incognito:
"Total U.S. military spending the Bush Administration projects it will have spent by the end of 2008: $3,200,000,000,000"
"Ratio of the Peacekeeping Institute's budget to the estimated price of Jennifer Lopez's engagement ring: 3:4"
What does it mean?
I read first pages of essays parenthesized with esoteric references to politics, literature and popular culture. And I think: I don't get it.
And I think: who the hell understands all of this stuff?
I absorb and I absorb and still I know basically nothing.
I know the essence of things. I am chock-full of reverberations.
I wander down the aisles of the grocery store, overwhelmed by the rows upon rows of products frantically shouting their messages at me: on sale! 10% off! 40% more! Indugle yourself! Buy me! I'll make you beautiful! I'll make you happy! I'll change your life!
I sit in my car in the parking lot for ten full minutes. I change the time on my clock. I stare at the street. I watch two kids trying to ride doubles on a bicycle. I hear a baseball game being played in the park next door. The wind is blowing the trash on the sidewalk and it looks like it's going to rain. I wonder what I'm going to do with the rest of the day. I wonder what I'm going to do with the rest of my life…