Episode 11


Simple Harmonic Motion

November 16

I wandered at my own will Friday night. I could have stopped anywhere, gone anywhere, done anything, been anybody, but I wandered and I thought. It was too cold tonight. Iíd rather walk in circles. Keeps the blood flowing.

I think strange things when Iím alone. The less busy my mind is, the more strength is allotted to idle considerations. And I had nothing, absolutely nothing important to think about that night.

In the middle of this spree of melodramas and continuation-anxiety, I faced a mirror and found myself thinking the most morbid thought that has ever crossed my mind. Before you read on I assure you it sprung out of hypothetical examples, and the inherent self-destruction is not the focus, but more so are the secondary factors at hand. So here goes:

If I were to take a gun (*shape hand as such, while raising index finger to temple*), and shoot myself in the head, would I close my eyes, or would I leave them open? I found a very interesting answer by simulating the act as described. If I were to face a mirror and do so, my eyes snapped shut at the last second every time. However, if I were facing the rest of the room, unaware of my reflection, my eyes remained open.

The only reason I even consider including this obviously disturbing observation is the explanation it led to. The primary source of defense is the senses. Interestingly enough, four of the five senses are more or less beyond our control. We feel if we are touched, we smell if fumes activate the olfactory glands, we taste if our taste buds meet with their respective flavors. However, sight is completely under our manual control. Open eyes, see, close eyes, donít see, open eyes, see, close eyes, and donít see. In the case of ultimate danger, conscious self-destruction, the senses are at its peak. If the eyes are unaware, they will not respond. If they are aware, however, then even our dominion over them is not enough to prevent the defensive response.

The body does not want to die. Senses are fighting psychotic neural signals. Even my poor dying eyes donít want to blink their last. I want to apologize to them. In fact, I was to say Iím sorry to every part of me that has gotten stuck in between this vicious war of body versus spirit. Iím sorry, knuckles, for making you put that hole in the wall. Iím sorry, legs, for running away for so long. Iím sorry, arms, for building you as a channel of rage. But Iím the most sorry for my poor, tired eyes. I apologize for it all, for staring at this screen for so long, for forcing you guys towards that mirror so much, for forgetting how much help a few compromised tears would have done.

More matters came to hand. I know I am angry for some reason but my situation has never warranted such anxiety. Why do I care so much? Ah, cursed questions! How can I be crazed so if I donít even know the contagion. Maybe Iím missing something or maybe Iím just bitter about losing. Yes, I lost, I lost a furious race for growth and maturity. No, thatís not fair; not maturity. I simply lost a race of incidence, of status. Then who beat me?

Aha at last, I know the answer to that. They beat me. Everybody who ever pointed, ever jibed, ever laughed at my expense, ever lied at my existence, ever assaulted on my body or prodded at my sanity, all of them, they were my adversaries and by the gods they still are. I was pitted against them and all I ever wanted, all I ever need, was victory, some sort of domination. I needed to show them they didnít kill me! I needed to show them I was stronger, better, faster, smarter than they could ever hope to be! Some day or another, I just wanted to MAKE THEM PAY FOR WHAT THEY DID TO MÖ

Ö It canít be that simpleÖ

Öcanít believe itÖ

Itís because of them. Unbelievable. Iím connecting a worthless rite to maturity, and maturity to victory. Theyíre both false premises. Iím angry because deep down I feel like Iíve been beaten by my own past. Well thatís bullshit. Iím alive, Iím in college, Iím stronger in more fields than Iíve ever been before in my entire life. Iím damn near at the peak of my existence here. But because one little incidental criterion that I happened to fail, I feel defeated. Well now I know why donít I? There shall be no more dumb questions, no more running around in my own skull for a fleeting answer for the source of my rage. Now where will he place the blame? No, not this time, this nobodyís fault but my own. They may have hurt me but I was the one salting the wounds. I should be satisfied with a passive revenge. In life, there is no tie game. Somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose. And I am still breathing and walking and growing and building, so they certainly didnít win. So I have not lost this charade of a battle. I was simply observing my own status through the ultimately biased point of view of self-observing-self.

So that would be why a simple mundane phone conversation with the parents drew me out of such a mental rut so quickly. Chris, you nailed it again. Itís a matter of salience, bringing certain thoughts and concepts to the surface of those otherwise murky waters. I needed to be reminded that Iím serving an important purpose here, which I should be proud that Iíve gotten this far and am surviving and thriving. Itís amazing how easy we lose sight of the things we do naturally. Sometimes we should all get a little congratulatory praise for just being decent people. In an age of cutthroats and back-stabbers, everything honorable is a virtue. If you donít think youíre a good, worthwhile person, odds are youíre not looking hard enough. Itís amazing how simple it is, just have somebody walk up and tell you that youíre okay, that youíre doing what youíre meant to be doing the way it was meant to be done, that youíre not quite the screw-up that you want to think you are. We all just need an occasional little breath of confidence from somebody that we trust.

And maybe thatís what love is for.

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