I had a dream. At the time it seemed a most horrible dream. And, at the same time it seemed wonderful. It is odd how those things seem to balance out. Imagine the idea of being asked to abandon all those things that you feel comfortable and safe around in order to undertake a quest with no established purpose. Then throw in the idea that you once killed yourself because you hated those things that you now claim make you safe and comfortable.
Obsession is not an easy thing. I can tell you this because I was once guided by obsession. That obsession and what came about as a result of it is now what guides my life. When you boil everything down, it comes to that. One comes to purgatory in order to face one's sins and prove to oneself that they are stronger than those obsessions and able to move beyond them.
Obsession is born of a lack of confidence in oneself. One clings to what is comfortable and safe in order to maintain the life one knows as much as possible, even if the elements of that life have begun to degrade. You do what you can to maintain what you know, love and accept as being the definition of your life and the life around you. Doing so fails to take into account the myriad changes that are constantly happening all around you. Life changes quickly, at a fevered pace, and the final battle is not between good and evil, but between those who cling to "the way things have always been done" and those who are willing to adapt and change with the movement of life.
Well now don't you tell me to smile
You stick around I'll make it worth your while
Got numbers beyond what you can dial
Maybe it's because I'm so versatile
I had to change on the fly, from a life that offered me a good amount of security and a future to a life completely uncertain. In the end, I do not believe my choice was wrong. No choice is ever really wrong. There is only the present tense. The past teaches us to learn from our mistakes and to benefit from our successes. The future teaches us that nothing is written until pen touches paper and the commitment is made. And this has taught me to think on the fly, to write on the fly, to speak on the fly, without hesitation, without question. The instict is what I go with.
And I was. I was in the grip of primitive obsession, with attempting to control and coerce someone I claimed to love into following what I believed to be the right path for both of us. It was my belief. It was not hers. I never took into account her beliefs, simply because I believed mine were morally superior, under the guise of the charlatan who says "And you must believe that what you believe is morally superior." From your perspective it may be so, but yours is only one perspective, no matter how many endorse or support it. You perceive from only behind the pair of eyes you stare out of. You are incapable of perceiving from the vantage point of any other pair of eyes.
I like my sugar with coffee and cream
Well I got to keep it going keep it going full steam
Too sweet to be sour too nice to be mean
On the tough guy style I'm not too keen
To try to change the world I will plot and scheme
It is often important to establish something. Sometimes what you establish may be important. Sometimes it may not. This is for the perceiver to decide, for the writer is not the perceiver, the reader is. And the ultimate judge in all things is the collective perceivers and not those who would dictate truth from their personal perch. All that matters is the perceiver.
Once upon a time I stalked a woman. We had been engaged. We had decided we wanted to be together, but then she decided something was wrong. I decided nothing was wrong, at least not with the picture I saw. Her perception told her something else. And my perception was clouded by a selfish need to find a way to avenge past mistakes and create a prefabricated future within what a wife and steady job could induce. To fuck with my image of this things was not something I could allow. And from this was born the obsession that, combined with other factors, led me to take my own life. And in my own mind I am still quite dead, serving time here in purgatory to make good on my own mistakes, on my own horror, on the lies, deceptions and manipulations I embraced as part of my desire to overcome the wishes of a woman I claimed to love to explore life outside of me. I cannot do that through her. She lives only in my past tense. I can only do that by asking you not to make the same mistakes and to learn from my mistakes and to allow me to be the living parable that can in some small way show you where the madness of obessesion leads.
I met a woman tonight who spoke of time travel. She seemed quite convinced she had done some of this, and I was quite convinced she was insane. All in the perception, really. At the same time I remembered something. I remembered myself as a shy, introverted and socially inept boy who tried to hold onto a woman he didn't really love all that much because he was afraid there would never be anyone else in his life. And then I remembered a few years later, after I moved away from New England and came to Orlando, Florida and found myself on the floor of a club meeting with certain waitresses I knew, every Sunday for several months.
Another dimension do it
I found another life after my old life departed from me. I lived through incredibly wonderful times, although I have seen more shit than I care to admit. During those golden years when it seemed nothing I did or fell into could possibly go wrong, when I followed the waitresses I knew to "Service industry night" at this certain club, the DJ would play this song and my dear friend Tammy the waitress would hand me a shot of tequila.
"Why is it every time I walk into this place, that song is playing?"
"He's playing it because you just walked in."
"What the hell are you talking about, Tammy?"
"Dammit, Keith, you might be oblivious, but you sure as shit aren't invisible."
Tonight I found myself leaving a local bar after talking to some friends and trying to work myself into a better situation. Just after I paid my tab and said goodbye, that song came on the jukebox. I started to laugh, but then I looked up and saw there was this blonde watching me and laughing. I walked back to the bar and ordered a shot of tequila.
Always take chances. Never bet on what you know. Bet on what you don't. Otherwise life makes no sense. Believe me on that. I'm morally inferior to you in every possible way.
The song is "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys
And the lyrics are used without permission.