I could die today.
I woke up at 8:24am because she sat down next to me. She turned on the tv. Apparently the Hyundai-Asan chairman committed suicide. The television said in hushed morning whispers that he threw himself to his death. Every other camera shot seemed to be looking up at his open window, on the very top floor. I saw rows and rows of ceremonial funeral gift flowers, and wondered idly whether anyone would make a list of 'flower-givers' of whom to give future presents and apple-boxes.
News elsewhere was drab enough. I suppose nobody fully realizes this culture. My mother always said, "Fifty years of rapid acceleration" every time I complained. It was one good enough that I always churned down whenever I heard it. After all, only fifty years. Later, I learned that it was praise.
It's like SimCity. Every day the news announces a few more suicides, the small meter goes up, and you get riots in the streets and people drinking pesticides after clubbing their children to death inside plastic bags. The TV ceremonially chimes out 9:00pm and the dinner news starts. More deaths. A fire. A mother who killed her baby girl and then threw herself to her death over credit-card debt. Love is in the air.
And then I wonder, hasn't it always been like this?
We finally bought an air conditioner again. There's a reason that I don't turn on any other songs. I've been listening to the same songs over and over again. Fans don't seem to cut it. Air flows through our house. This time we kept it. Its a monstrosity, almost as high as the ceiling, gigantic, monolithic. A shrine. Silver and wood-paneled. Built-in air cleaner. A remote control almost as complicated as my new cell phone.
My cell phone. Oh, my sarcasm phone. Full color screen. Advanced ringtones. Slide-down keypad. Maybe I should just leave a link to the the 'specifications' section of the manufacturer's website. That would be quite convenienent. I could talk about my cellphone and my air conditioner all day. I could tell you about how my air conditioner makes the air as cool as the pale innards of my freezer. How I have Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' as my cellphone ringtone. How I plan to make a frameless-proxy of E2 so I can read nodes on the subway and on the bus via WAP.
I feel dulled. Rubbed into gentle numbness. How could I explain? The best way to explain is not to explain. Modern People like to say that they don't believe in destiny, that they don't believe in anything. I like to leave their belief in anti-belief alone. What is the meaning of life? How do you push an elephant through a funnel?
I have no explanations. A long, long time ago, I would say 'There are no explanations.' A long, long time ago, I would stare at myself in the mirror and say, "I was young, a long, long time ago. I am not young now." I am not young now.
I live in a box surrounded by five walls. Ignore the blatant. I am sitting in a green chair. My foot is on a desk, my other foot is flat on the ground; I am full of right angles. My mousepad is a sheet of math equations. My dead clock sits next to me. This is a moment. This moment is structured this way. I remember 'structured' being in italics. This moment is structured that way. What saddens me is that nobody talks about why they liked Slaughterhouse Five. My best friend asked me 'what James Joyce meant' in The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. I said I didn't know, because I didn't.
I have these fleeting images, like white doves in flight. Doves that don't come from silk scarves or from magic tricks.
Every day I silently repeat within, "You have no reason to be angry at me." Every day I watch the wheels turn.