Okay, so I'm an asshole, but I know it so it sometimes makes it feel as if it's okay.
The truth is that I'm mostly an asshole to myself so it's like any number of addictive diseases: you're only hurting yourself. Luckily nobody else is close enough to notice and I just go along my merry way, smiling to strangers on the street, and sneering inward at my hateful core.
It's no big thing, really. But oh is it the little things; the tit for tat, the promises, the ignoramus ultimatums, the amorifically imbecilics, the hard-headedness and finally the search for a higher power of melancholy (you know, that part of your brain that might actually truly feel sorry for yourself - agree that life is out to get you, you're on the bottom, it's the world
that's holding you down).
It's all a big to-do-about-nothing. I've routed the closets. I've checked the attic. Ain't nobody lurking around that I haven't seen before and let me tell you - everyone who is still around is a premo-brand certifiable asshole.
So why am I still checking inside? Do I expect to find a new piece of art hanging on the wall the next time I visit? I'm there every fucking day - it's not like you can live outside yourself for too long after all - when, exactly, is this new art going to be snuck in there?
It's always the same, too, like the waiting room of a doctor's office. All the same magazines, same thoughts. Same snot-nosed brat being loud in the seat next to you and the constant hum of a front-office just loud enough to make sure you don't forget where you are. Whoever called it purgatory sure must have got a kick out of that one.
Okay, so it's only sort of like that. It's familiar at least; but it's more an empty hallway with lots of boring things hanging on the wall - old art that stopped inspiring you years ago but, like the pack-rat you are, you just can't face pulling it down. Lots of echos. Last time, I think I saw a dead rodent in the corner, sorta dusty like. It didn't look as if it had died painfully, just a typical slow uneventful exodus of life precursored by an almost-silent far off death knell. It had probably fallen over in slow-motion. It's legs were rigamortised to the sky doing the eternal happy-hands
Animals in the corners and a giant load of crap-art hanging on the walls and I'm supposed to not
be an asshole? Whose running this show? Does anybody want some advice? Park Carré St-Louis, Montreal, After Dark
Well yeah, we want some advice we just don't want to have to actually listen
to it. We want it injected nicely - somewhere it doesn't hurt, like in the thigh or the meaty parts of our just-slighty-too-large-(but-oh-so-comfortable)-ass - and once it's set in like a good drug, we'll just feel it - know it
- and the idea of effort, motivation, .. well, they were all excuses before, but we don't need any of that now m'boys..
.. okay, now that we're off that high we can get back to the lousy paint-by-numbers rattling in my brain, as if plastic frames were ever
classy, as if I ever
cared whether plastic frames were ever classy, as if I ever
thought long enough or stopped to feel long enough why (why? because I love you) whether I should care if I ever cared - did I ever care? - plastic frames, yah.. they're a bummer.
Way way way back when I was a kid being babysat in a trailer in the middle of the woods I could smell the place before I even got there. It had an old couch straight from the seventies with brown patchwork textures and a deepness that sucked you straight into the tv before you knew what hit you. It had that familar smell, touch and feeling about it. It probably knew I was coming before I did. I used to watch Captain Kangaroo there - remember the ping-pong balls? Those crazy canucks on You Can't Do That on Television gots nothin' on us! Anyhow, nowadays that couch would probably push me way back into a corner of my little hallway along with the rest of those memories of childhood - the odd little clothing, all that polyester, and the weird things that made a house a home in the early 80's. They'd collectively push me into a cramped space, make me feel trapped like a school yard bully being taught a lesson from the older kids down the street. They'd kick me around for a bit, mash my face straight into that plastic frame on the wall - the one with the paint-by-numbers - and after they'd gone, I would pick up it's broken pieces and - though I tend never to shed a tear these days - I would weep sadly inside for my broken treasure. I'd think back minutes, hours, days, all those times when I saw that plastic frame hanging there on that wall in the recesses of my mind and I would love it more, more then than I had ever loved it.
After awhile you throw things away that are broken, but I'm no good at that. I tape, screw, cut, paste, and do my best to patch things up. I can't say no, I can't say go. I can't even throw away half a gauze pad (why? because I love you). Call me a latter-day depression-depreciator; it's all got some worth to me.. Somehow.
So whose the asshole? The asshole walks in every day and sneers at that poor little plastic frame that's been patched up with a piece of masking tape. After awhile, when the tape has curled at the edges and even gotten a little browner, the adhesive so dry that if you just flicked it things might fall apart, that asshole begins to sneer more and more.
Eventually it gets to you; you can't stand it anymore, all the negative vibes, the thinly veiled hatred, the disgust.. and so, like all animals learning to cope, you develop a response. You come up with a retort. After awhile you just start to sneer back.