You might not have noticed. I have. It can be hard to see. But it’s important. I’m going to let you know. Because most people don’t know. They don’t care. And that’s where the problem starts.
Let me begin at the bottom.
It’s not quite the bottom per se. Not objectively. But when you are there it feels like the bottom. Depending on where you are with your mind. You know what I mean. Either way, it’s pretty low. Certainly different for everyone. What’s fine for some isn’t okay for others. But of course, you know that. Anyway, it was pretty far down for me. Almost at the bottom. Not all the way. But pretty far.
Let me explain.
You know how they sometimes come over to see you. On a Saturday. And you know how these people say “Tomorrow is another day” or, “look at the bright side”, or “all things considered it’s still pretty great, isn’t it!”
They say these things because these things sound like they mean something. And they shoot these empty shells your way – when they lean into your space – in a way, that should convince you of the essence of something that it’s not. And when they say it, they believe it. And then you start believing it too.
“Tomorrow is another day,” that’s what they say when they notice. But of course, they don’t ever notice. Never. Not on their own. But sometimes they ask. They say “How are you?” for example. And you think “ah, well…why the hell not…,” so you tell them. You tell them how you are and that’s how they know. And they say “ah, well, it could be worse, think about that,” and such things.
Yeah, think about that.
Usually they have a full stomach when they say that. A full tummy feels good. It makes you forget how things are sometimes. They’ve typically had some soup, or broccoli, or beige chicken, or something. So their tummies are full and they feel warm and complacent and self-righteous. And they’ve had some wine with that or freshly pressed juice. Whatever they like. And they’ve had that with their family at their dining table. The one they upgraded from the Ikea one.
They sit there at their upgraded dining table, with their two children, and their wife or whomever. And they look and don’t see each other. Their mouths speak about the economy, or the politics, or the chicken. And their minds think about their neighbors, or their neighbor’s chicken, or their neighbor’s wife.
And they sit there at their table and they say things like “this is good chicken.” That’s what they said last week too. But this is a new day and a new week and a new chicken, and they think it’s a good time to mention their fondness of their current beige chicken. Because that’s what you do. That’s what’s left to say when you sit at the table and your current words for the economy and the politics have all been used up.
And then they smile with their mouths because mentioning good chicken is a nice thing to do. And they say to their children “how’s your chicken? This is good chicken, isn’t it! Have some broccoli with your chicken.” And they eat their beige chicken, and their broccoli, and sometimes potatoes. And they drink their wine. Good wine. And they finish and they have their bellies full and that’s good. It’s the best. Full bellies are the best. That’s how their world works, basically.
And when they come over to visit they ask “how are you?” And that’s where the nonsense begins.
So they ask and you say, “well, you know, I’m dying. I have this feeling that I have been feeling for a while. It feels like a dying person is inside of me. Not quite dead, but dying. Like a geriatric embryo that’s sucking my intestines dry. You know? And it’s slowly rotting. The embryo is. And my intestines are. And I’m pretty sure, that I’ve been dying like this for some time. And now I’m almost dead. That makes me sad because I’m too young to die and I don’t want to be dead. I want to be alive.”
And they sit there in your house with their heads that look like wrinkled pink bowling balls. And they look at you with their looking holes and they nod.
You say, “I want to be alive, you know. But I realized I’m not alive. Not very much so, anyway. Not many parts of me are anymore. Just some of my parts are. The moving parts. The parts that move me around and get me from the sofa to the kitchen, and from the doorstep to the car, and from the car to the office. And they get me to the grocery store and the playground and the dentist and to soccer practice and back to the house.
There is little I can complain about when it comes to my moving parts. Not at my age, I can’t. That’s because, you know, they are on the outside. My outside parts. And I’m only dead inside. I’m dying from the inside out and that’s not good. So I’m kind of unhappy about that. Depressed you could say. Some people would use that word. That’s how I feel. That’s how I am.”
And then they sit there, still nodding their bowling ball heads. Their bellies are warm from their beige chicken, and their car with five seats is parked in your driveway, and they smile and their mouths say “tomorrow is another day.”
And you smile back and you don’t say anything because they are right. Technically they are. There’s no doubt about that. But who cares?
And then they drive away with their five seats, back to their driveways. And they pick up some chicken on the way, or maybe two steaks because today is Sunday, and a bottle of good wine, or another, and they drive off into tomorrow. Into another day.