Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day three hundred and ninety two ... Hell on earth.

I can't not look.

As much as it pains me to see what a fiery inferno the world has become in so many respects, I can't stop watching. 

It leaves me cold inside. 

It leaves me like a whore in a hurry, forgetting a bobby pin in the sheets for me to jam my elbow into hours later.

It just seems to pile up--the inhuman acts of violence, the incompetent workmanship leaving lives shattered from faulty products, the white collar vampires sucking people dry of money, the gangs, the drugs, the drunken fights that leave willing participants dead on the sidewalk, the population explosion, the joblessness, the corruption in every corner of our capitalist infrastructure--it just leaves me groggy, swatting for the lamp switch and hearing the remote fall on the hardwood, the back flying off and the batteries scattering.

What the fuck is going on?

Was it this bad thirty years ago?

I mean, I remember the Seventies: inflation, the gas shortage, the hostage crisis, the Blizzard of '78. Things happened that should have been prevented--acts of god not withstanding--but I don't remember anything like we have now. 

Maybe we just have more ways to be told the bad news.

They say don't shoot the messenger, but I would hazard to guess if the messenger did get shot there would be a news bulletin posted in so many places that by the third time you saw it you would get irritated that it keeps popping up everywhere. 

Stupid messenger ... 

And the earth keeps filling up with bodies, both on top and under the surface.

I live in a so-called paradise. I am as lucky as I am aware of where it makes the most sense to live my life. But even still, not more than twenty minutes away is a cesspool of gang violence and poverty, kids having kids, education becoming anathema, and government programs creating communities held together by a common ideal that you don't want to get too far ahead or the wind that's keeping you going will expect you to use your own muscles and move on to help someone who really needs it. 

And it's only getting worse.

You may wonder where this is all coming from. Anyone who has read more than an entry or two of what I have to say knows that I generally have a positive outlook on life; I embrace all the obstacles put in my way and paint faces on them before I find a way to get around them, so those who come upon them in my wake will know that someone had been there before them, and--not seeing any visible signs of defeat--will understand that they too can overcome almost anything.

But I just can't help myself from getting caught up in the madness of watching the madness.

I have to appreciate the chaos even if it has ceased to worry me.

Maybe it's just the winter taking its toll on my psyche. I really can't wait for the snow to stop and melt and nourish the plants underneath the ground. I can't wait to ride my bicycle to the gym in shorts, and then sit downtown and have an iced coffee and watch all the pretty girls in their light, colorful springtime clothes walk by in a daze.

And then there's baseball, but I won't get into that today.

The closet pessimist inside me wonders what kinds of chaos has to happen in the world to get to that point in my year? How many more laid off workers will have to go on a killing spree? How many more torture chambers will have to be discovered complete with unsuspecting neighbors who claim, "he was such a nice man. I could have never expected anything like this to have happened."

But somebody, somewhere, right now is being lied to. Someone in a town you've never heard of yet is doing something unspeakable to someone else and getting away with it. Someone just can't live life like a decent human being.

I'm afraid to put on the news for fear of what their top story is. Every night someone else in Springfield or Holyoke or Pittsfield is gunned down or knifed. Fucking lunatics. 

But I'm going to watch, because I'm hooked. 

And the strange thing is I don't get nightmares. I haven't for years. And I think it has something to do with the fact that when I was a kid, nightmares were the worst possible scenario in my world. I wasn't worried about my neighbor holding someone hostage in their end room. No, back then was scared of dancing skeletons or vampires--imaginary, impossible dangers ... dangers that came from a fantasy world and stayed in a fantasy world.

Now, at age 38, I'm not even shocked when I hear about a drive by shooting or a home invasion, because these things are just a part of life now. These things are real. These things I have to concern myself with as long as I am willing to go on with this life.

These things are just part of hell on earth.

I guess the longer you live the less it feels like a bad thing.

Oh well. I gotta run. It's time to put on the news.

At least I know they won't have any stories about vampires.

Thanks for reading.




guess said...

I'm catching up here, reading two or three of these short stories is a great way to avoid the news.. Thanks for writing!!

Anonymous said...

boy do I know, do I know. watched a man get shot the other day. He ran a block then collapsed on the corner in front of a convenience store. The people talked on their cel phones standing around him, calling 911, but not willing to touch him. The cops showed up, poked and prodded, he was still alive and was given no comfort. He was shipped off in an ambulance 15-20 minutes later. This of course was not mentioned in any paper, since they're trying to keep rents up and gentrify the neighborhood. I will never understand man.

be kind to yourself and your neighbor, it's the best place to start.