Staring down the hole again
Hands are on my back again
Survival is my only friend
Terrified of what may come.
Tool’s ‘Pushit’ must be the single most quoted song in all of my writings. It’s hard to relate to their lyrics, unless you feel particularly passionate about human genes (46&2) or social philosophy (Schism). Love songs are extremely rare throughout their career but technically, this could count as one. Which is, perhaps, why I feel so strongly about it. It is a fifteen minute lyrical warning that I know from the heart.
In my book (because many of Tool’s songs can be interpreted in many ways) it’s about the mindset of a tortured man in a crashing relationship. Maybe now you can guess why I am posting it here.
I was reminded of this song when I noticed this “hole” again, where previously my girlfriend was. It’s currently out of reach, but it’s sheer presence is frightening.
When completely alone, literally or figuratively, for a longer period of time, it’s very easy for your self-reflection, which ideally is dynamic and evolves with you, to grind to a stand-still. What happens then is, you rust in place and have an increasingly difficult time to adapt to others. You get used to this situation and you reach a state that, in my opinion, borders insanity.
I am somewhere I don’t wanna be.
Push me somewhere I don’t wanna be.
Put me somewhere I don’t wanna be.
Seeing someplace I don’t wanna see.
Never wanna see that place again.
And there you have it:
She was my sanity. She gave me input on how to see myself, and the rest of the world. Among other things, this is an extremely important facet of a relationship, to me. It makes me dependant, to an extent, which I’m sure will rouse the hairs of many a feminist. Dependence in a relationship means vulnerability, the chance for the other to hurt you. So I guess this is just one more way in which I am hurting.
I saw the gap again today
While you were begging me to stay
Take care not to make me enter
If I do we both may disappear
The song is addressed to someone, and serves as a warning and threat. The subject stands much closer to insanity than I am, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth writing much about. In that sense, it serves as a warning for those in his position as well: It’s a slippery slope, and extremely difficult to get out of. The gap. That sorry state of being in which you are so used to being alone, that you feel alien and unwelcome in someone else’s arms.
In someone else’s embrace is one of the best places of this whole sorry excuse for a planet to be. It’s a bit of a submissive streak in my personality of which I’m not sure if I share it with many others (of my age and gender). Hugging is nice, being hugged when you hunger for it is priceless. That just might be the emotional reason (I gave the physical one a while back, for you hardcore fans) I used to hate being hugged by “outsiders”, I was afraid of hypocrisy. Just because I don’t mind opening up in a relationship doesn’t mean I tend to do it for each end every hug-happy hippy that can’t keep his fingers to himself.
Know that I will choke until I swallow…
Choke this infant here before me.
What is this but my reflection?
Who am I to judge or strike you down?
Above all, she was my friend. And I miss her.
Maybe, in the end, it’s better to let go. Loving is giving someone the power to hurt you terribly, and trusting that they won’t. And we never trust as easily as we did, the first time.
I’m slipping back into the gap again.
I’m alive when you’re touching me,
Alive when you’re shoving me down.
But I’d trade it all
For just a little
Peace of mind.
When I was 15, my father sent me to boarding school because of my bad grades and our progressively worsening relationship. Neither ever saw any improvement, but I did learn a few things there that I consider of fundamental importance. I learned to think for myself, be free in thought: while the school had a prison-like regime, they could not stop my mind from escaping. Also, I learned to write. I’m not talking about spelling or grammar, but writing, like a writer does. Like someone extremely lonely does to his lover on the outside of the walls. Though the place was extremely catholic, they could not stop the letters I sent my girlfriend, and its pornographic content. With all the rules and discipline they tried to enforce on me, they never managed to get out of my head what really matters in life.
At 16 I changed schools, after being kicked out because I openly declared to be an anarchist. I was not just a troublemaker they could punish (because punish they did), but I posed actual questions they had no answer to. While I behaved most of the time, they saw in me a problem they could not fix.
I continued to write, but the content changed. At this new school, our study time was private: inside a spartan little room we were put, for several hours each day. I never studied. I masturbated (Again, I was 16), slept (and had incredible reflexes for when the doorknob was turned), and wrote.
First, simple rambling about the stupidity of the masses, later about the deception of religion (for the record, my opinion somewhat changed on that subject). Two years later, I had gotten written thought down to an art, and I wrote dozens of pages of ideas that I later found to have been considered before by Aristotle, Descartes and Einstein. Imagine how proud I was.
Of course philosophy is tied to rules. I don’t know them all by heart but here’s a few that I followed, that later turned out to be base principles of scientific reasoning:
- There is a reality, and it is perceived by all of us. In distorted ways and unique for everyone, but it is there and can be analyzed through philosophy. Logic reasoning can discover things that can’t be seen, which can be accepted as truth unless clashing with evidence or sound arguments.
- Terms like ‘limitless’ and ‘nothing’ are impossible to truly perceive. That’s okay, they are simply concepts we cannot grasp. Get over that if you ever want to think about things bigger than you like time or space.
- Things must be thought of objectively. This is impossible to do fully, but must still be approached as closely as possible.
Especially rule 3 is what gave me trouble near the end.
I saw (still see) things like this:
Things around us, from galaxies to atoms, follow certain laws. These laws can be written as mathematics. Mathematics are logic, and logic is predictable. Thus, reality is predictable.
Of course I’m cutting things down to the very basics, but so far only one little idea has been brought against that, which is the chaos factor. Then, it boils down to whether the chaos factor can be “unraveled” to small logic factors, or if there is really a given in play that is simply, random. I think it is the first. I think that a hypothetical computer (not possible to actually make though) that can perceive every possible aspect of reality, could predict the future of our universe.
Might seem absurd, but it is being done as we speak. Think about it: computers today can predict something as vast and vastly chaotic as the weather. Not very efficiently, because a huge number of chaos factors are not taken into account, but in a sense they predict the future. And what are computers more than logic reasoning? Mathematical imitation of reality: the theory behind practice, that can be extended without proof, and later appears true. Analysis of reality in function of time.
This would mean that our future is set, and we can’t change it. You can imagine, as a 16 year old child taking this shit very seriously, it was rather devastating to me. Luckily I was seeing a family therapist, that my father had appointed to me to save his family, but that I used for my own personal agenda. He told me that although objective reasoning is indeed effective, it is also largely irrelevant. What is relevant, is what you do with it. And then the question changes: it is no longer “what is the purpose of life”, but “what purpose can I give life”. Because a cause for events is not a motivation, and consequence is not a reason. Things happen the way they do, for no one’s benefit or big climax and finish flag. Things just… happen, end of story. There would be no reason to assume otherwise. Thus, life is without purpose: a blank canvas for you to fill in. In the end, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Recently, I’ve found someone I can actually discuss this with. Someone who can follow the reasoning I give him, and disagrees. Although he hasn’t been able to give me the logic “counter reasoning” I’ve asked of him, I sincerely hope he will some time, and maybe we can continue from there and make discoveries equally exciting. Beside my therapist, I’ve had no input at all to continue writing, and eventually I reached dead ends and stopped altogether.
I still think these theories of mine, true or not, are essential, and everyone should have them. I have strong beliefs about life that -I- thought of, no one at all told me what to think. No one has barbs in my perception of life, and I can’t just be influenced to believe certain things. This, to me, is of the utmost importance because it helps to to think for myself, and not just blindly accept that there is truth in the words of someone who then exclaims “God save Belgium” or who speaks of justice and evil.
In a sense, boarding school is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It would be too late now to explore my own perception on life. And I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have someone I can talk to about this, who nods thoughtfully rather than declare me mad. Who responds to the subject at hand instead of ridiculing me for taking this seriously. It has been something I’ve never been able to talk to before in my life, can you imagine that? As a matter of fact, do you have anything similar to this? I would in fact, like to know.