Unannounced lapses of reason often invade my mind. None quite as poignant as the sharp pain felt today, upon my latest discovery. It was so familiar, as if I had just found the same self-affirmation Bob Arctor found in “A Scanner Darkly”; as only Philip K. Dick could ever come to narrate.
As I was exiting the shower, I dried my hair and got dressed. There was little difference between today and any other day. The incessant complaint from the third-party units within the house was still lingering in the air; a perpetual reminder that they were disappointed and for whatever reason it was today, I should feel disgusted at myself for it. Perhaps there was still a slight sense of contempt for the leech who decided it was a good idea to attempt to discourage others from chatting with me, and further soil my already bad reputation. As I went to stroll down the hall towards the kitchen, I was met by a metaphorical riot shield. My toe caught the edge of my mother’s sharp wooden curio cabinet, to which caused an instantaneous tirade of profanity and violent gestures towards the inanimate object.
The pain, so unexpected and undeserved, had for some reason cleared away the cobwebs. It flashed on me instantly that I didn’t hate the curio cabinet: I hated my parental controls, my room, my designated privileges, my chores, my social ambitions, my car, my previous jobs, my schools, my real parents, my previous significant others, my fake friends, my incredibly overrated extended family, my fantasies, my fears, my empty bed, my computer, my worldview, my future, this whole fucking place and everyone in it.
I was told by someone close to me today that he felt the same way. He is feeling the overbearing weight of his school days begin to crush him with its mundane, and sometimes pointless nature. He described to me the exact feelings that I had at his age. An encumbering trail of objective test after the other constantly being shoved in my face, as I attempt to create a socially acceptable reputation for myself, as well as perhaps merit the heart of a lady and find purpose in a world where people trudge through their existence working out of necessity rather than passion. Like myself, my friend feels as if he is living his own version of the tale of Sisyphus; doomed to forever bear the burden of pushing a stone up a hill, never to reach the top.
When is it okay to abandon “reason” in favor of the spontaneous? At what point do you have to take your suit off, wipe your desk clean, stop wearing a mask of content servitude, and just do what the fuck you want to do because it’s what makes you truly happy? Since when did the idea of killing your hopes, dreams, and ambitious desires in favor of a place “on the ladder” become the applause worthy choice for one’s future? The delusion that being content is as notable as fulfilling a dream of yours is sickening to say the least, but for others to encourage it as if they’re doing you a favor is a thought-crime against the human race. We’re instructed as children almost to a degree of blind certainty that we can grow up to be whatever we want. At what point do teachers receive the memo informing them they are to “promptly slay the dreams of adolescents so that they may never aspire to become more than their parents or peers think they will become”? I’ve always been informed by those around me to have a backup plan in case mine falls through. This is usually followed swiftly by a small rant over why they never got to where they did, and why it’s okay to set the bar low. I find this to be unacceptable. My sanity so far has been tried and tested by the countless tools who I attended public school with, herds of zombies who filed in endlessly to a movie theatre under the impression that “this is the closest I’m getting to my fantasies”, multitudes of adults who have big dreams and even bigger worries about fitting in with a subculture somehow in college, low-income idiots who have developed terrible unhealthy habits from years of living in this pathetic world and now seek medical aid and recreational drugs to not only fix their physical problems, but their psychological problems too; worst of all, is the steadily rising list of friends and loved ones who have come to accept hopelessness as their only option out of a fear that if they don’t settle while they can, they may never get another chance to possibly be happy in life.
I don’t have that option. I’m well aware that I come off as obnoxious. I’m more than confident in the fact that I make more enemies than friends daily, as I am abnormal. I’m sure the lifestyle of not having to drown out sorrow with substances is strange to many who can’t endure without it. I understand the idea that someone who is devoid of religion like myself must seem empty inside, or incomplete compared to the rest of the world. I feel certain that someone as idealistic and radical as myself is not only a threat to modern society; I’m a red flag to anyone who has ever felt chained down by their obligations because they felt they had no other way out.
The next time anyone asks you “Do you ever get the feeling that it’s time to stop living up there, and start living down here?”; kindly tell them “FUCK NO”, and bludgeon them to death with the brief case they’re carrying their dignity in. Trust me, you’ll be doing them a favor.
R.I.P. Philip K. Dick
“What does a scanner see? he asked himself. I mean, really see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does a passive infrared scanner like they used to use or a cube-type holo-scanner like they use these days, the latest thing, see into me – into us – clearly or darkly? I hope it does, he thought, see clearly, because I can’t any longer these days see into myself. I see only murk. Murk outside; murk inside. I hope, for everyone’s sake, the scanners do better. Because, he thought, if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we’ll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too”.