Friday, February 23, 2007


Where have I been? What have I been up to? I could concoct a story, and believe me, it would be a hell of a story. But I'm tired. I can't think straight.
Can't think straight. How apt an expression. Thoughts refuse to proceed in orderly straight lines but curl back and founder in the murky sea from which they emerged, or they spiral off in little curlicue patterns, useless. Others merely float away in woeful silence on some invisible flux, like astronauts cut adrift in space.

Every thought that attempts to assert itself is instantly engaged by its contradiction; they grapple in a death embrace and are sucked into a vortex of wasted energy. I attempt concentration, but my mind drifts into pointless reverie no matter how hard I try; a mind with a mind of its own. My intellect is beyond repair. Weeds are growing up amongst its rusting parts. Cobwebs adorn its engine compartment.

Doubt is the tyrant of the realm of my mind. His operatives are everywhere; he is everywhere. A truly effective tyranny is one that a population foists upon itself and deems enlightenment. This is how I too have kept myself in line all of these years. I have been oh so proud of my doubt and skepticism. Of my remove. Here, even now, this conceit reveals itself. But egoism is evasion. The anti-social person is the highest order of megalomaniac; he doesn't even deign to find others worthy of influencing.
To what end my remove? To no end; no end is the end. Those who remove themselves from the fray secretly believe they will live forever. They are misers, hoarding what they think is eternity.

I am exhausted, in the truest sense of the word. Spent. And how little there was to give. What paltry production.
But what about the war? What about immigration? The presidential race? For the love of God man, what about Anna Nicole? Britney's depilation? The world revolves.
I don't care anymore; I have used up my supply of concern. My tank battalions are stranded in the desert; there is no fuel, the war is lost.
What does it matter, the concerns of the world? What sort of man toils in that arena, the world-stage? What sort of vanity is this, to want to influence the world? My world is that which is before me.
My self-fulfilling conceit is that there is nothing true and real beyond my senses. And she, who I have never known, who I will never know, who I've passed without a word countless times while staring down at my feet, at myself; she who has appeared in thousands of immortal guises, nearly all lost to memory but still existing somewhere (where do they go?) in the muddle that is my history, she is not there, and never will be.


Edward Williams said...

So, who is she?

Mangan said...

You say a lot here, but part of it I think can be answered with Kierkegaard's famous formulation, that life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forward. Banish the doubt!

As for trying to influence the world, a silly conceit I also share, another wise man named Voltaire said it best: Cultivate your own garden.

Dennis Dale said...

Precisely, Mr. Williams. Precisely.

Rick Darby said...

I'll bet she appears in your dreams every so often. She looks somewhat different each time, but you know it's her. And there's none of that ships-passing-in-the-night stuff in the dreams: you know her, she knows you, and at long last you are together. Until the gray dawn clamps its shackles on her, and she is led away.

Anonymous said...

In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women. -"Scarface"