DISCLAIMER: This piece was written for a small collection of writers who meet weekly to discuss and workshop the art of prose, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Please be aware that its content is rather jarring, and while addressing difficult issues is necessary, the goal of this selection is not controversy.
Most of the time, I’m happy. The majority of me, anyway. I’ve never thought to myself, “Brilliant! I’ve made it! Sunshine and ponycorns forever!” But pound-for-pound, I’m a fairly content fella.
There is another, deeper side of me that is sad. Rarely seen, perhaps a flash at 3 a.m. after a carafe of Chilean wine and a rousing game of Body Boggle (Twister, except block letters and sexy sexy). As my home empties, a great weight settles, like a low tide sinking into my chest.
I was working tornado relief in Greensburg, hauling twisted steel beams and destroying or restoring shredded homes, as necessary, with a hammer and a smile. The man who ran our skid loader once worked as a border patrol officer. He told me that drug-runners kill small girls, gut them, then sew bricks of drugs into their corpses, positioning them as though they are sleeping in the back seat. This has worked for a long time.
Today in Thailand several hundred women will begin to be raped for 24 hours straight until they are numbed into useful sex slaves. There is a lot of blood involved. It’s the only way to feed a hungry market – hunger that, when fed, only becomes hungrier.
There is an elite corps of AIDS victims in New York who throw legendary parties in high-class flats. Their orgies are famous for their almost religious level of sexual gratification, every fantasy at your fingertips. There are some who try hard to get AIDS so they can attend.
A Yale University art student opened a new exhibit. She artificially inseminated herself often, then used pills to induce miscarriages. She scooped the fetuses out of the toilet and cut them apart slowly, constructing her displays. The exhibition also featured videos of her forced miscarriages and jars of blood that she collected.
What would make me truly happy? Death. To find myself without breath. To melt into the ground at the end of the day, and never return.
But I’m not dead, though reckless attempts at epinephrine and unexpected biological pathologies have given it a hearty go.
So, then, how can I be happy? How can I be happy here and now, in this exact, present moment? Not just content or satisfied, but immersed in a deep peace that saturates every breath?
Here is my dream…