Part One - Wagon Wheels
In the initial stages of society's development, man proves his ingenuity by introducing civilization's first major invention, the wheel. This invention would stay primarily the same throughout all of human development and modernization, easing basic work activities, expediting transportation and promoting the further development of human society. Even in the machine age, man's first invention would prove to be unimproveable. As society advanced beyond simple, functional machinery, man also began to invent machines of destruction. And within myself, I weigh the significance of my own productivity, creativity, and ingenuity against my self-destructiveness. Unable to balance these feuding Dionysian entities or even comprehend my outside surroundings, I can still reasonably oversee these activities. This synthetic unity has been consistent beyond suffering from the alienation that creates my general lexical gap in the common vernacular. But now, a new realization has come...
I woke up this morning with this human skin on... and I can't seem to get it off. I keep hoping that if I blink my eyes quickly enough, I will regain full lucidity. All the barriers that constituted my being have collapsed, leaving me nihilated by the consciousness of my existence. At every passing moment, I lose a small piece of my recent memory and the events that have led me to this moment. If I continue to blink my eyes fast enough, I feel as though I can regain some semblance of clarity, but this lasts for only a fleeting moment. This wasn't always true; it has just seemed that way. In my current ekstasis, I am displaced in a state of alienation, fear and wonderment, separated from my Self. In attempting to come to terms with these conditions and distinguish a clear disassociation between my facticity and my transcendence, I am able to clear the fog enough to grasp a single memory. I see myself staring into the dark-circled, sunken eyes of apprehension, desperately attempting to mask his shame by covering his face. While nervously squeezing the mitten clips on my jacket, I have no qualms about my obvious lack of social decorum, but children rarely do.
As sleepwalking footsteps tread barren treetops, the bloodstained kisses dry up and clot across my face. And as they do, slowly they fade and disappear. They barely seem noticeable anymore. But as I stare at all those mirrors and photographs, I can still sense them. They made me a participant and a contributing part of the machinery. But that was then... now I must face my current awakening.
While lumbering toward my usual corner, numb and cold, with my head hung low to avoid eye contact with my fellow inmates, my rubbery ears flop in front of my face and I endure the prerequisite cramp in my neck to a point that is hardly bearable. I push my ears away so I can resume staring at my usual mosaic of cement and barbed wire. I am exhausted, flush and drawn from lack of food and sleep. My eyes tear with the weight and pressure that they perceive. The longer I stare, the more removed I feel. My perspective alters slowly until the walls appear as though I am looking through an aerial surveillance camera. I am, once again, an observer and no longer a participant.
The liquid begins to drip all over my face and into my eyes, covering my intention and making me invisible to an ignorant mass like The Minister's Black Veil.i This allows me to avoid contact and shuts me off from my surroundings. I am now distanced from all of the masks, cut off and safe, a true observer. But "With the blast shield down I can't even see. How am I supposed to fight?"ii There is a liquid all over my face; it drips over my eyes. I can now be numb as I wait stoically, sensing it move slowly over my eyelids, I am convinced that I am impenetrable and cannot be harmed. Peering tiny glimpses behind the liquid curtain as it covers my vulnerability, unassumingly in the darkness, I cannot be seen and I can observe.
The world around me has slowly faded from bold, primary colors into a gray scale. The genders are now on even ground to perceive their surroundings, for the male lack of optical cones does not influence this visual world of grays. Through our endless world of perception the chiaroscuro appears to project a multitude of gradations, but the human eye can only detect sixteen shades of gray. And if the world exists in shades of gray, then am I to assume that I am only seeing sixteen possibilities? For our perception creates our personal reality. Our concept of ourselves is our own... it's all a matter of semantics.
As I stare, the elongated shadows of those treetops fall across the walls and my tusks cross their parallels. Bearing down like spokes, the iron bars of a prison cage halt my freedom. Restrained by these fences and removed, I cannot touch or achieve contact. Pushed further and further away, I watch these shadows forming fences. Alone in my cell, I am drowning in a vacuum of barbed wire solitude as I whisper the same hollow promises to myself that bury me in their clutter. I am short of breath, suffering from the rarified air. My eyes cross as I hang my head again, staring with both eyes at my trunk. Listening closely for the sounds, they are muffled by a clog in my ear. The clog is a six-month-old piece of paper on which I scrawled the word “solitude” and foolishly shoved into the canal in an effort to shut out my surroundings and cut off the noises around me. But the sound remains, as does my imprisonment through the liquid curtain and clog. Now, there is a new sound as the air tunnels and whispers through the festering paper. Two voices blended into one. Blood-curdling unisons entangled with the innocence of intention. Looking down to the floor at my handiwork, limbs strewn across the surface, symmetries wrap around one another. A montage of flesh and bone, decay and dissention with chainsaw gentility that permeates the air, unraveling the cultural fabric. An array of withered body parts, extremities, indistinguishable from each other as well as their source, creates this Bruitist process sculpture. She signs and seals my work with that kiss stained of blood.
The clock ticks and time moves diachronically. A new pain develops every day as I suffer this compounding infection that continues to fester and further exacerbate the ache in my neck. Sometimes I wake with so much physical pain that I don't know how to perform or simply function through the day. These pains loom, like the ambience from a streetlight, paying homage to the darkness, as does an orchid. But like an orchid, they are thought to need darkness to grow... but they don't. Now I whisper to myself words like "melodrama" and "heavy-handed."
As I sit and stare at my table's flat surface, I see a stain. I've seen that damn thing before. I scrub it fervently, hoping to erase it, consciously knowing that it lies beneath the surface. My ears turn instantly red and hot, my brow furrows and I break a sweat. Just knowing that it is there continues to drill an endless hole of frustration into my head. Like Mister Lunaire's Der Mondfleck,iii the moonlight continues to shine. My efforts are fruitless; I obsess and scrub over and over, but to no avail.
I barely notice these details anymore, for my attention lies with my ceaseless, daily regimen. I must push that same boulder up the hill only to watch it roll back down and repeat my sentence again the next day. Even though "The struggle to reach the top is itself enough to fulfill the heart of man,"iv it has gotten to the point that my routines are preventing my inspirations, and my inspirations are halting my routines. When asceticism becomes a sort of Hammurabian moral code, I feel as though the plaster around my head is so intense, I must struggle to stay focused. Asphyxiated by a diachronic purgatory, I go to sleep and wake every morning, dreading these exhausting repetitions I am forced to endure to survive. For, as a circus attraction, I have become simply a novelty. These are the conditions that I must face, for elephants don't have feelings... they're made of rubber.
|continue to Atom Bombs - Part II|