The steering wheel begins to slip. No hands. Motion in darkness. Headlights and horns.
“Guys, what would you wish you’d done before you died?
“Paint a self-portrait
.” “Build a house
“I don’t know. Nothing.
Nothing, come on, get in the right lane
“You have to know the answer to this question
! If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t feel anything good about my life.
Is that what you wanted to hear me say? Fine.“
And I cringe
, trying to keep this hollow feeling of disgust
from my stomach before it explodes. I’m right with you there, Mr. Norton
. I don’t know either.
Nothing. I wouldn’t feel anything good about my life.
I watched Fight Club
for the first time with some high school
friends in a second-run theatre
over Xmas break about a year ago, at the heart of the lowest of my lows I’d ever had. I watched it sometime about six months
before I changed every single thing in my life that I could to get myself out of this hole of worthlessness and stagnation
that had been turning me colder and colder for months.
I swallowed and I curl
ed, unable to believe I could feel so small
. I couldn’t think of anything. I felt absolutely nothing good about my life, and I was scared scared scared scared scared
to the point of convulsion and cowardice and pain of dying
. Scared of dying
. Funny how we’re most terrified of death
when we have nothing to lose
. I was crying in a darkened movie theatre.
How could you do this?
I was terrified of dying so I clung to the pathetic shell that was that life because I felt I had done nothing
. Absolutely nothing
. I felt I had nothing to show for myself
. My life
was a waste of this pathetic world and I was a horrible slobbering creature too afraid of the light
to stick my head out of my cave, lost in its tears and in sweat of nothingness
. And I wanted to die. Dying would get me out. Dying would be easy
But there would be nothing to show. No reason
to say I lived.
I saw the film again a couple months later, and I still couldn’t think of anything either.
"With a gun in your mouth, you speak only in vowels."
How long do you have to feel like shit before it snaps?
I was a the strangest point in my life, and it was a crossroads
. It was a crossroads to not follow into my mother
’s footsteps and become a shell of unhappiness
lit by a strange and unidentifiable spark that won’t go away no matter the misery
. I was in a relationship
that was going nowhere. No, it was going somewhere
, and it was down and down and down
all the way. It was like my father
. My lover
was pulling me and I was letting myself fall into this pit of self-loathing and isolation
, afraid of the world outside. I was in a field of study
that was sucking my life away because it didn’t let me make
anything. I was working and couldn’t find joy
I felt nothing good about my life. And this was the first time anyone had put it into words. How can you fear dying when there’s nothing like life in your world? Afraid to lose
because you aren’t really sure you have?
"You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh."
It didn’t take a near life experience
. It didn’t take a complex personality disorder
. I left the continent and felt Caribbean warmth and began to wake up
. I lost my lover by telling him to go away
. I fell in love for the first time in ages and cried and cried and cried when I looked back at the year
behind me and felt the stillness of all of it. I hadn’t felt a thing in a year. I always thought I was so strong.
I had died. And that’s why I was afraid of death
. I saw Fight Club
for a third time and laughed and laughed and laughed at the sickness and the irreverence
for all that our society holds sacred. I laughed.
And I started to think of things...
I became an artist
. I started writing again. I made friends and had lovers and felt so much I could cry all the way home
, and I saw death when a father of a friend commit suicide
. So much horrible
ness has happened.
I have never felt more alive
I saw Fight Club
last night. And I still can’t think of anything. I can’t think of anything!
But I can feel. I am whole. I’m a little bit whole. I can’t think of anything because there’s nothing right now that I could have done with my life that I haven’t
. No regrets
. That’s how I always used to live, and I think I can find it again. Oh sure, there's stuff I want to do before I die. But nothing I could look back on and say 'I wish I had
done that while I had the chance'. It's stuff I look forward to doing when I'm ready, someday, someday far away. I don’t want to die
yet. I have a lot more work still to do. I want to marry and have children
and see what they grow up to be. I want to make something. I want to love and to cry and be real
. But in the end, I am. I haven’t lost anything. And I came through to the other side
I’m not afraid to die
. I just don’t want to. Having something to lose means I did something right. I can die knowing that. I did something right
“If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?”
I feel pretty fucking good
, Mr. Durden
. Pretty fucking good.
How did Fight Club
change my life? It asked the question
. And it took a while, but once it was asked, I had to find the answer
So I wrote 'I still can’t think of anything
, or how Fight Club
changed my life'.