Monday, April 13, 2015
The Diary of Mitch R. Singer
I look up at the sky and see an infinity of blackness, the past light of dying stars traveled light-years for naught, with only my eyes to see their faint brilliance. So vast the spaces between them, the little lights, more distance than I can imagine. We will never reach them, not in this brittle form, and if something rises from our bones, it will be a puppet, empty of whatever vague substance that makes us different from inanimate rubble. Hah, what a joke that is--I know that we are nothing, and we will always be nothing, and our inability to understand our malignant uselessness is and forever will be our greatest undoing. I unzip my pants and urinate on a fire hydrant, my eyes glued to the blackness, my heart wishing that I was more than a feeble puppet. "It's not just me," I say to the cold night's sky. "It is everyone that has a name."
In a junk store alongside a rural highway, somewhere in the Southern States
I pick up an ancient album and flip through its photographs. On the second page I see myself, clad in a worker's overalls, a garden hoe in my hands, dirt on my cheeks. The look in my eyes is one of stupidity and dullness. I stand in a plowed field, a mule next to me, the horizon an unending sequence of emptiness. Beneath the photo there are words. They say "Migrant worker, Oklahoma, 1932." So it is true: over and over again we are doomed to repeat the same struggle, suffering in every conceivable way. The Buddhists are right, but they offer no salvation. Desiring nirvana will never get one release. You must stumble into enlightenment, just like everything else in life. I leave the shop and purchase a can of cold coca-cola. I feel my teeth rotting with every sip.
Here we are, right in the middle of the American dream. I sit at the diner counter and order a cheeseburger, fries, and a slice of apple pie. It all goes down smooth like a placebo. I start a conversation with a trucker, and we talk about football. He has some opinions on immigrants and black people that are somewhat controversial. I listen anyways. Everyone here looks like they crawled out of a trailer, spawned from a eclectic brew of Chef Boyardee, Miller High Life, and pig fat. The waitress gives me a toothy smile as I leave. I give her all the change in my pockets.