Blockbuster Persona

There, waiting for a break in deep stasis William wondered to himself,  “will this ever let go of me?” He had many conversations that angled and stabbed his insecurity. Growing tired of certain energies in his surrounding, William pictured one day he would lose it and smash everything around him, especially the mechanisms that he defined himself by. There wasn’t an escape from present cultural evolution – William had to let go in it, which was the very thing that scared the shit out of him. His ability to feel a sense of inner voice, in those he met, made the quietest occurrences so loud he couldn’t breathe – and he wanted out of this awareness. Often he fantasized about being an ignoramus, how freeing he thought to just take a shit and watch Nascar while the women cooked the delicacies of a spam burger. These things gave him extreme guilt but they were his thoughts, and he would own them with an odd hope each crevice of his aging face would reveal a vulnerable layer, he already felt raw enough to croke. William wanted to experience the calling all the way, even if it shortened his life, or made him seem too far-gone for the normal types. He developed too much pride around weirdness vs. normalcy. The very things that made him different enough to stand out haunted him. Yet, he couldn’t let go of them, it was too late so there he was, out to sea in a boat he believed would take him to shore – an island all his own wrapped in the self induced lonerisms he perfected. 

To be a lone wolf in a period frought with over indulgence was confusing for him. Was he not participating because he’s afraid of failure, afraid that his deficiencies would be exposed for what they are – a narcissistic pretension so bold and beautiful it would kill him? The irony, and one that he knew too well, was no matter how much work he did, the silence would creep over the wondrous possibility of human experience. Maybe he’s just a fool, or an asshole? Those that knew him didn’t see what he saw, and he fed off their encouraging tone like a savage.

Williams cell rang, he assumed it was either his Mom, or some automated call telling him there was a job he was qualified for, he had applied to so many jobs he could barely remember when they called to chat. William rarely answered his phone but knew if he did he could get his steps in for the day. William paced a lot, he clocked 10 miles one day talking with his Aunt while on the verge of a panic attack.

It was Sam….

“Whaatahhp”

“How’d you sleep last night duder?”

“Ah, once I got there it all seemed solid, but the lead up was heavy”

“Jesus man, do you ever have a good night?”

“What does that mean???”

“You seem to be tortured enough at this point, you’re so hard on yourself bro”

“I’m just being honest man, I mean, if you ask me I’m gonna tell you, shit, this whole optimist movement is enough to kill anyone. When did things get this way, its fucked”

“So it’s a bad thing that people are happy, come on man, let them enjoy it”

“People are full of shit, and pretending to be these joyous travelers who eat life like Anthony Bourdain. I’m happy, but its not gonna keep me from understanding moments when I’m not. Faking that shit isn’t an answer. I want to be strong enough to know the reasons, so I can heal them, hard to do that if I’m posting a picture and bragging about my Sunday morning walk as if it was life changing. I’ve walked a million miles, its nice, but come on, gimmie a fucking break already.”

“You’re a dick”

“I know, believe me”

“Whatcha doing tonight?”

“Oh, you wanna hang out still, haha, I thought I left an impression? “

“You did hermano, always do, but nothing I can’t handle”

“Prolly going to write about things, or record a bit, not sure, might try and link up with a gal or two”

“There you go, that’s the spirit, sounds like fun to me”

“Of course its fun, I didn’t say I hate to have fun, I get plenty of highs most of the time, can’t help my addiction to pussy and cheap wine”

“That could be a movie, “Pussy and Cheap Wine”

“We’re all little movies Sam, putting out a blockbuster persona”

“Right, need to fake it, what else can you do?”

“I don’t know, how about while you’re ordering a coffee turn to the person next to you and say, “are you alive, how the fuck is this happening, oh and lets make it out”

“You should”

“Alright man, gonna hop on this roof and patch some shit, I’ll text ya in a bit”

“cool cool”

William got off the phone, his head began to flow ideas and thoughts so fast he had to sit down. This often happened to him, plenty to do, plenty he wanted to do, but the amount of pressure was big enough to create a plain of nothing. Even if he made a to do list, looked at it constantly, his worry drove him to a place where he couldn’t get shit done. Even worse was his awareness around the reaction – It felt like a foggy beach during sunrise, all the beauty he knew was there, he just couldn’t see it. This is the place his addiction to expensive cigarettes found a feeding ground after the divorce. The day he knew his family would split up, he drove to the gas station on his way to stare at trees at a near by hiking spot, in that moment he declared, “I’m going to start smoking for real”. Three years later so much life had happened, but little had changed, he still stared at trees and still smoked expensive cigarettes while not having a solid paycheck. William tried hard not to see his life as some new incarnation of the Twilight Zone, but oddly he found himself listening to the old episodes on Netflix. The current tenor of modern television didn’t appeal to him much. Somehow vulgarity in T.V. or music triggered him. Knowing too well, acceptance was where he needed to put his mind, he just hadn’t yet. His sensitivity to all things was reaching a boiling point.

Originally written Feb 20, 2020.