Anthony Graham

by Horror Sleaze Trash on June 26, 2013

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          www.lifebetweendrinks.com

  Everything else had disappeared. Time had plucked us out of its game and into a perfect limbo, stuck to each other, backs to the world. We laid flat and hammered our armour thin, until we could see through it and poke our fingers through and touch each other. But even with everything measured and tested it is never fully removed, and the parts that remain are always the strongest. My soul lapsed, my heart in her hands, she left and, unable to speak, I let her go.

 

At 30,000 feet I peer into the clouds. They are so indescribably beautiful, so ethereal, that I can see why our forbearers thought the Gods must live among them. I suddenly feel the majesty of everything we are: Visitors only, the small, insignificant keepers of the Earth.

 

There is no continuity, no accumulation and crescendo of experience. Life is a succession of unrelated instants, moments only for moment’s sake, present sensations without significance outside themselves. We are sealed off from each other, both defined and undone by our separateness, held captive by the boundaries of bone and skin and fear and moving parts that tick over for no reason at all.

 

Everything is at a standstill. Every mistake I’ve made has stayed with me. Words fail again and again. Writing seems such a timid substitution for something, anything else. We fall off this earth like leaves off a tree, the battle lost the moment it began, a pure, brute reality beyond comprehension. I can’t see the ground underneath my feet; the ground that I’m not sure exists anywhere.

 

The unconditional indifference of the existential conclusion only sharpens the aching questions to a point. Ignoring the heart, it leads only to the nothingness, not through it. It allows for only one real choice, the ultimate triumph of intellect over instinct. I wonder if it’s possible to stop expressing myself at all, to release my heart from other people. If I can’t be perfect then I won’t be anything at all.

 

I wish my veins were filled with ice water or ethanol or pure gin; I get the feeling it’s the warmness of the blood that betrays.

 

We are incomplete. Halfway formed between animal and God; halfway between yielding to a self-satisfied abandonment of accountability and wanting more than the wistful eloquence afforded by self-awareness.

 

A partial suicide then: The death of empty solipsism, of vague cultural agnosticism, of irony, of that which can only ever critique and never nourish.

 

The unconditional will not drag me down it will transform me. I will stare into the void, unmasking it as nonexistence, the absence of anything, that which is not; I have been facing the wrong way this whole time, turning away from the nothingness instead of seeing right through it.

 

The paradox of existential free choice is that it cannot choose to be incapable of choice. Freedom is available only if we consciously and repeatedly choose to accept existential dread and then act differently. I will decide my responses to the world.

 

Full consciousness must include awareness of others, of shared experience, of selflessness, of love. Knowledge and intellectual clarity can no longer be the sole source of truth. Love is the absurd remedy for the absurd world, an invisible truth not unveiled by reason but by faith in a future that does not exist. In a world stripped of meaning we will transcend our individual limitations and redeem one another.

 

My heart will be forever cautious but never closed. You will come with your own bruises. We will look out of new windows. We will create happiness in the face of this universe of unhappiness.

 

There is no past and no future, only an extended present. I need to pay attention to what is in front of me; to remind myself that I am here and that I create myself; to at last live deliberately.

 

I am sailing impossibly high, above the clouds that hug the earth like a soft fitted sheet. There are no Gods here, just me. I am on my way home, on my way to you.

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