I sat down to write about a thing that happened yesterday. Already, I have committed myself to failure. Perhaps this morning when I awoke a half hour before sunrise I was the same person that had hours before gone to bed. Surely as I stood in the shower and allowed the water to rinse the blood and cum and mental exhaustion from my body I could claim resemblance to the person who for the last four days had not slept alone. A semblance, and that gone in a mere twelve hours, the casualty of a necessitated state of doldrums. How am I to write about a person who is no longer me?
What I want to know is, where did the pressure go? The entirety of my Sunday was fraught with a weight upon, inside my breast. Systemic pressure loss, negative vacuum, my chest hurt. It was a pain that resonated with every sensory input. A person heavily invested in the appellation of life would likely say that I was experiencing an emotion. Whatever it was, a simple designation like euphoric or despondent is entirely inaccurate. Loss is the only applicable adjective for this situation, and to label loss as a positive or negative is to choosingly close one’s eyes on the inevitability of decisions.
What do you call a person who starts two consecutive paragraphs with the same word? A psychopath. The definition of psychopathy is a pronounced lack of superego resulting in an absence of empathy. Empathy, not emotion. A psychopath still feels things, even if these feelings are only recursive. This state of being is unintelligible for one who generally only feels for others. The only emotion, if you would be so kind as to grant me this indulgence, that I reserve for myself is anxiety. When my therapist asks me to rate my “state of well-being” on a scale of 1-10 over the last two weeks, I let my eyes go unfocused, inventory the hours spent contemplating oblivion versus the minutes spent engaged in a task where radio interference from alpha waves is negligible, and then tally up the average. She pretends not to notice when I take an inordinate amount of time to respond to questions in the form of, “How does this make you feel?”
Nothing makes me feel, inasmuch as you can call most things nothing. Choose any starting point and all of my rivers will still lead to Rome. As I’ve never been to Rome, I can’t tell you where I’m going. I can tell you where I’ve been, though, and who I was.
Nothing I’ve said thus far means anything, so I suppose I should start meaning something. This year has been an odd one for me. I began it almost $10,000 in debt. At this time last year I was actively pursuing that debt in that I was insistently avoiding any activity that would prove I was living. Sustenance intake was below the minimum requirement for sustained negentropy, spiritual intake less than that. In the interest of brevity I will ignore the fact that financial status is the first descriptor at hand to depict a paralyzing suicidality. 2013 is only hours from death and I know that, of the 525,949 minutes it will have possessed, only two of them mattered. The first event of import in my twenty-seventh year came in the form of a question. It was a quite ordinary Monday except for two differences. The first is that I was not at work, the second is that I had just shared myself intimately with someone. Yes, I had sex. Not such a big deal, now, or probably ever. Sex has been occurring for as long as there have been two members of a species capable of sexing each other. It wasn’t my first sex, nor was it beyond anything that I’ve contemplated or experienced in the eleven years since my first “intimate” moment. That morning held no mystery, but half a year later it continues to fill me with a sense of wonder. You see (because I am showing you), this was the first time that I was confronted with my decision to share myself. Unlike my previous two sexual partners, or the four souls I allowed myself to be intimate with, this person wanted to know if it was ok.
My entire life, up until this point, was predicated upon the notion that import lied in why I should choose to share myself and what the repercussions would be if I chose to do so. Never before had someone brought to mind that I have not only a right, but a responsibility to be parsimonious with my affections. This person took my broken heart, and, with complete disregard to my past, showed me that I could be whole if I wanted to. Then, this person left. For six months now I have been trying to reorient my being to encompass all of the possibilities a self I can agree with represent. I have formed goals, made progress, been exponentially happier than any time in an admittedly drug riddled recent past. And all of that for naught. So focused on this new self was I that weeks bled into months and suddenly I was reunited with the catalyst of my present metamorphosis. All at once life’s possibilities, both extant and extinct, failed to matter. For four eternal days, in which I felt infinite in the most cliche way, my entire idea of self evaporated. In its place was a budding realization of the most simple nature. Walnuts are important.
My walnuts are not necessarily your walnuts, but you should look for them all the same. Those hidden moments in life where you make decisions that matter, they are your walnuts. Life is going to give you plenty of almonds. A rich family, genetically inherited intelligence, an inborn ability to communicate, these are all almonds. When it comes down to it, life is going to give you as many almonds as it gives you. You can eat these almonds, share them, hoard them, exchange them for milk duds, but in the end the almonds are for you. In the grand scale of life, measuring some 40,000,000, decades, your paltry 9 time measurements of almonds mean very little. What is important is what you do when you find walnuts.
A few days ago I was eating almonds from a bag. These almonds were not even mine; I have been subsisting on other’s almonds for almost a decade now. Still, possession is 9/10ths of the law according to someone and I found a walnut Goddammit. Having a unique, feeling, sentient being in the car with me who has a particular fondness for walnuts, upon finding one I thought that the proper thing to do would be to deny myself the pleasure of said walnut so that it might find a higher level of happiness than it otherwise would have appreciated being consumed by such an unfeeling creature as myself. Of course, being the self-involved egoist that I am, I had to pretend as if this tendency towards thoughtfulness was merely an absence of the usually pervasive cultural norm, that is, that my offer of the walnut was due to an inability to properly evaluate how different life would be if I had saved that walnut for myself. It was a lie. My nature is such that when I encounter a walnut my first response is that I must get rid of it. I don’t deserve walnuts, they must be for someone else. In this moment, though, the last moment in which I can positively know that I was living, I gave that walnut away and it was returned. Somewhat perplexed, I attempted to recreate the moment in as scientific a manner as possible. No matter how many times I chose to give the walnut away, the feeling that I had done something right, irrespective of myself, was irrefutable. The walnuts were, after all, not for me. They were never meant to be for me. Life has given me plenty of almonds, and of almonds I grow weary, but the opportunity to share a walnut is one that I can, without reservation, say will only change me for the better.
P.S. I kiss my feline companion with the same abandon that I kiss your neck. Like your eyes, hers ask me similar questions. Where was this love when I needed it most? I don’t have an answer for that, except to say that all of my walnuts are yours, for as long as we both know eternity.