still living out his fantasies, and quick to find the most self-destructive activities, he’s caught up in the cool bliss of a delicate austin autumn, smelling the limestone and dead oak leaves blowing through the air. you are him, you are bathed in the glow of the summer sun’s last embers, you are sitting on a picnic table outside at a local drinking establishment, or crunching gravel on the urban jogging trail with your dog.
you might be wearing a pink, button-down shirt, proud that you are now man enough not to care what people think about you wearing a pink shirt.
you are full of fluff and fantasies. life will still have to kick you around some more, even though you’ve been hit by about as hard a blow as you can imagine, with your mother now gone.
you still think you are biking up that hill you almost lost your life on last year, but you’ve long since left the bike and are stuck at the bottom of the hill, swinging from a precipice.
you wake up and you are a married man today, and you are sitting in on your third phone meeting of the day to rectify some problem you created at work that means a lot to a few mean souls, but nothing to you or God, or Time or Truth or Beauty or Love. you are suddenly possessed with this zeal to spout out whatever pops into your head, careful not to cross a certain line that would surely get you fired or perhaps arrested.
you don’t know much of anything, anymore, about people or life or God or Truth. but, you do know that you don’t want to find yourself in a position at work again where you’ve been shoved into a corner and everyone believes that you are an ineffectual, effeminate nothing of a man.
damnit, you will say whatever you think needs to be said in the moment, holding back only from complete anger and intimations of physical violence.
you aren’t going to find a pink shirt in your closet, anymore. you don’t really like pink. you also hate camo–the men up here in this whacked out town your wife’s job has taken you to all wear camo hats and shirts and shorts and watches and sandals and sunglasses—at least one article of clothing or accessory has to have some camo on it.
you don’t really like your silly polo shirts that have come to consume your spring/summer/fall wardrobe. these all look like shirts that the men at this company wear—these strange office artifacts who appear preserved from a state of being a young man circa 1992. you don’t know what most of these men at this company do, but they all shuffle in and out dutifully each day like they’ve probably done for decades, dealing with data and irate customers and you do pretty much the same thing–yes, you aren’t any different.
a couple of the young hipsters who think they are creative and not destined to be sad artifacts in polo shirts laugh loudly about politics, and they clearly believe that anything of the left is right and true, and anything of the right is primed for derision. it’s this smug self-righteousness that made you come to hate all your liberal friends. but, of course, you can’t stand the conservatives up here in whackedoutville, either. these fat slugs that plant their asses at the bars of chain restaurants and much on wings and cheesy bread, sipping beer and talking about football, watching football, and letting you know with some camo article of clothing that they will kill animals with high-powered rifles in another month–or maybe, they’re letting you know that they killed iraqis with high-powered rifles many months ago.
something about every subculture and genre of american culture disturbs you–most of it doesn’t seem to be much of anything at all that would make the ancestors of the people who sit in offices and bars today very proud.
it doesn’t matter whether the obsession is sports or politics, hunting or fashion, music or food–it’s like all of america has fallen asleep and is stuck in a trance of bland idol worship. the drugs kids get addicted to aren’t interesting, the music is recycled, the sports are fake and fixed, the food is processed and full of carcinogens–everything, even the stuff created by hipsters and hip hoppers trying to keep it real seems fake and commercial and destined to become another collection of kitschy, plastic bygone artifacts for some future generation observing these present generations of americans.
you don’t have any answer except to sleep a lot, read a lot of classical books and books on the history of the world, seek true love with your wife, and take the dog out on long walks in the safe, well-maintained trails of the area. you are by no means the antidote to the poison of inhuman, uninteresting fakeness that seems to pervade every aspect of your country’s people.
there seems to be a will toward not being completely human–as if once one acknowledges one’s own humanity, one becomes too vulnerable for one to cope. the nobility and dignity of the american pioneer, sailor, farmer, solider of bygone years seems to have been replaced by slugs and comic book characters–most of us our slugs, and we hold up politicians, movie stars, soldiers and other heroes and celebrities as being cartoonish in the way they are deified or demonized.
Jesus of the early church was interesting, but today’s Jesus is made of pure plastic. for some, he is no more or less than superman in sandals, and for the irreverant who want so badly to worship someone or something more real, he is a crude butt of their jokes.
is it because we no longer are as close to death as we once were? is it because most of the population has access to just about anything that was once considered a luxury item?
or do you simply have a romanticized, highly filtered impression of who american humans once were?