A Light Touch in the Dark

I distrust certainty. I don’t trust people who are certain what they want, because it seems to me that they haven’t asked enough questions, and how can you trust people who simply accept what they’re told or, worse, maybe, always go with their instincts?

You can’t.

What I’m trying to achieve, now, is moving closer to something, and I’m not quite sure what it is. If I could be sure what it was then it might stop being worthwhile to pursue. I feel that I have exhausted the easy and readily available options that most people take for fulfillment and all that’s left for me is whatever is in the mystery box.

What’s in the booooooox!?

I could have pursued money, tried for the high score like everyone else. I could have pursued contentment, not to be confused with happiness, happiness a mirage that evaporates as soon as we acclimate. I could have pursued fame, and I suppose that to some extent I am doing so, insofar as it is important to me here that I be heard and that I produce something with the eventual purpose of giving it to an audience. Perhaps it is just a matter of degree, but I don’t think so. There is a difference between wanting to be listened to and wanting to be worth listening to.

I can’t. I just can’t. Not when there’s something bigger lodged somewhere in my chest. I gotta get this out there, whatever it is, even if it’s in little pieces.

I think that there’s something creepy about people who know what they want though— that is, in the general sense. It’s fine to say that right now you want a cheeseburger, but it seems strange to me to declare that level of certainty about how you want the rest of your life to play out.

What sheer arrogance, to be certain about anything!

How can you believe you’ll want the same thing tomorrow that you want today? I know that my wants are mercurial by the standards of most, but even if your deepest desires don’t diverge daily as mine do you will still change over time.

You will change over time. When I meet someone who I haven’t seen a while it’s strange, because bits of who they are have rotted away and regenerated like skin cells in my absence. Big life events hasten this process but it is ongoing. Constantly. Sometimes I stand in the bedroom of a person who I know well and I remember the person who they used to be and who I knew well, back then, before they changed.

It’s like being in the room of a dead person. I can talk to them, obviously, they’re still alive, but the person they were before is gone forever. The personalities we have die on a daily basis, a tiny trickle of unacknowledged tragedy that weighs us down without us even realizing.

Games aren’t this. Games are static. Most games, anyway. Some online games, they get patched once a week, and the world slowly changes until it’s become unrecognizable.

You can’t go back to Durotar again.

Ugh they bought out the blacksmithing trainer to put in a Quizno’s

Most games, though, are turkey carcasses we pick for meat, and pick for the same meat over and over again if we feel so inclined, rebooting the carcasses so we can repast upon them once more. Maybe this is one reason why we value our favorite books and games and etcetera: These artifacts are friends which are guaranteed to not change over time, and in this they can be the only reliable measure of how we ourselves are changed.

Trying to measure changes in ourselves against each other is making marks in the sand during a hurricane.

If so, then what does it mean to create one of these metrics? Am I trying to encode bits of my heart into a time capsule for myself to find later? Am I trying to communicate with the outside world in the only way my misanthropic and antisocial brain can handle? Or am I just trying to let off steam?

This is what I’m reaching toward, and as I feel the edges of it in my dark sleepy room it begins to take shape. I don’t think I’ll ever know what it is entirely I’ve taken hold of, my touch can perceive its shape and texture and size and density but I’ll never know its color or what it contains. Never entirely.

If I could give it a name that described it fully, what fool would I be to go to such artistic effort to express it?

If you know where you’re going, there’s nothing left to explore. And, if there’s nothing left to explore, what’s the point any more anyway?


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