I’ve been thinking a lot tonight about my perception of things, and I’m slowly coming to find conflict in what I’ve previously perceived as balance. This in regards to both myself and in everyone else. Everything is just…fleeting. Everyone just wants one night, one minute, one SECOND. We dream of better lives only to drown them in our usual habits, and nothing changes. “Just give me the distraction and I’ll be fine.” Well I’m tired of just being “fine” and letting my addictions get the best of me. It’s like we’re all living a giant distraction, haven’t you noticed?
Religion condemns vices for a reason, and lately I’ve been feeling that reason. It takes away from your potential, it really is stealing from yourself. Just one second. Just one moment. Just one night. But what about the rest of your life? Isn’t that more worth living? If you’re more focused on drowning your sorrows like I have been for the past several years, you’ll never live in the moment or move past certain points in your head. We are linear creatures. We’re meant to move on, keep changing, keep evolving.
I’ve created this atmosphere where I’m just “comfortable” and now I’m sick of it because I’m starting to see how other people do the same thing. I’m so confused lately because I keep moving further and further away from sexuality and now I’m starting to see why. Because it’s always just been “one night”. I’m living in the realm of “one night” and all the hopes and expectations that might come with it, and they’re never fulfilled because “one night” is all I’m aiming for.
I was surfing through channels on TV earlier today, and I curiously stopped on an old recording of a nun, which I’d normally switch past. But she seemed like the sweetest lady, and she was telling this story about traveling on a train through Iowa and how fast the fields of grain seemed to fly by, and she related that to life. It’s seemingly gone in an instant, and then she read some scripture on how the spirit of God LIVES IN YOU, and YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN. That made me think of my favorite film in the entire world, Cloud Atlas, which states “Our lives are not our own. We are bound by others, past, present, and future.”
For me, that realization is not so much about God as much as the all-encompassing SPIRIT OF LIFE ITSELF. This spirit transcends all space and time, and we are a part of that, we are LIVING extensions of that, constantly existing and evolving from moment to moment, lifetime to lifetime. And you can fool yourself for a while, you can engage in all manner of vices in a vain effort to convince yourself you’re comfortable, to only live for just that one moment, or that one event you’re so convinced will be epic and astounding. But the true joy is ALWAYS in the journey, in the getting there. The doing will always happen, and you may get what you wished for. But it will never feel as good as the anticipation, especially when the event is over. The vacations, the excursions, the sports games, the movies, the sex, the highs, all of it.
For me, it’s always going to the club every week, getting drunk, hope to meet someone nice, go back to their place, mess around. But I always wake up feeling like shit regardless of whether that’s happened or not. So if it feels like shit, why have I kept doing it week after week like that for years?
Honestly, alcohol bores me, and it has for a long time now because I don’t feel that sense of drunken inhibition anymore. I just feel in a slightly altered state, but I don’t socialize anymore, so it does nothing to shift my personality out of the funk I’m already in. I still feel just as inhibited and socially awkward as always, so why do I continue? Same with pornography, which I’ve been more or less addicted to for a long time. It doesn’t make me feel better, and it doesn’t do for me what it used to. Same with sexual experiences with people…I find that I frequently don’t want to be touched anymore by anyone.
So why is this?
Honestly, I think I’ve just been selling myself short for far too long. I’ve gotten addicted to too many things, fooled myself for years. YEARS! As in nearly an entire decade! I haven’t known what I want, I never bothered to chase it because my dreams always seem too far away, unachievable, or there are just other things I’d rather be doing with my time, or I’m just living for the night or moment or whatever I’m anticipating what could hold a little fleeting feeling of happiness or pleasure.
So fuck the moments, honestly. I want to do better things, to strive for better things, to live in the moment instead of dying in it or letting one moment or experience dictate how I’ll feel about all future ones, and to stop distracting myself with petty addictions that are bad for me or that hold no purpose or reason other than to dampen the emotions I’m not facing.
The way I see it, if you’re going to live a dream, you should live it FULLY and not succumb to an endless cycle in which you’ll never truly achieve it because of self-limiting beliefs and excuses. As that Reverend Mother said on TV, time flies and it’s all over before you know it, and with the Spirit being in you, you have a responsibility. You owe it to yourself and those you may later effect to live as much as you can in the moment—not FOR it, but IN it—so that you can contribute to the evolutionary process of all living things, especially yourself.
It reminds me of the questioning entity in the first episode of Star Trek: DS9 which I recently watched, in which they question why Benjamin Sisko’s thoughts keep drifting back to his wife dying on his old ship. “Why do you exist here?” they ask, after he’s explained the linear existence of human beings. “This is NOT linear,” they remind him. And so it is with us. We constantly live in these memories and moments, always fearing them as they surface, attempting to mask the bad things through all manner of vices.
So before you take a sip from that bottle or slide a fresh cigarette out of the pack to light up, consider why you’re doing it. Are you living in the moment, or for it? How long were you able to wait, and what crossed your mind as you did? These are important questions to ask yourself, as they can reveal quite a lot about your character. They say dreams often tell us which things we need to deal with, and it’s no different with addictions. What can’t you deal with? Because in all likelihood, if you waited long enough and talked it out with someone, I’m pretty sure you COULD deal with it, you just don’t WANT to.
It’s just no way to live, and because of this reason, I’m going to be working to cut all vices out of my life for a good while. I just need to take a breath, to understand myself, what I need to deal with. There’s a lot I want to experience in the world and a lot I want to do, a lot of people I want to help. And I can’t do that so long as I live for fleeting moments.
I just want to preface this first by saying that I’m a gay man, and I apologize if I don’t fully understand. But in the case I do happen to say something wrong in this post that warrants attack, at least you’ll know that I am in no way coming from a place of objectifying the opposite gender, being that I’d rather objectify my own =p
So here goes. I really do not understand this whole wave of anti-slut-shaming or where it came from, but it seems so many people on Tumblr and Facebook want to rise up and voice their opinions on it. And that’s a wonderful thing, because I love debating and learning about new things. What I don’t like about it is the vibe I’m getting that seems to say “why should I be responsible for my clothing choices?” No one says this in so many words, but that’s just how some people make it sound.
How you dress is definitely NOT an excuse for someone to sexually assault you….BUT…is it not smart to at least be conscientious and aware that the way you choose to dress might cause others to view you in a certain way? After all, when you dress for work, you’re representing the company, but when you dress for yourself, you’re representing you. And male or female, if you dress a certain way, people can and will form opinions about you. It’s not really something you can get over, because as humans, that’s just how we’re wired. If I went to a job interview for example dressed like a bum, I wouldn’t say “stop bum-shaming me!” if they didn’t hire me, because obviously I’m trying to make a particular impression. It may just be me, but that’s how I view myself every time I go out in public, not just for job interviews. I’m making an impression of who I am, whether I dress fashionably or not. And I wish more people thought that way, honestly.
Let me give you another example of what I’m trying to get at. Say there’s a teenage girl who wants to go out of the house in an ultra-high miniskirt and a shirt that shows off cleavage, but her parents refuse to let her go to school like that because they’re concerned she’ll be treated badly and be objectified. Does that mean that they’re slut-shaming her? Of course not. It just means they want her to make her best impression and avoid unwanted attention.
Look at the open letter Sinead O’Connor wrote to Miley Cyrus after her infamous VMA performance. Was Sinead slut-shaming her?
No, she was just looking out for her. Believe it or not, some people did grow up in a world where modesty and self-respect was valued, both for women AND for men. And honestly, I just think it’s a little ridiculous how far some people are willing to take this debate. Not everyone is out to slut-shame you, they’re just looking out for your well-being, and it’s not right to attack everyone for making suggestions.
::cue sarcasm:: And let’s not forget, before you go screaming “STOP SLUT-SHAMING ME!”…. is it not more or less MEN who came up with most of your beauty standards? Why shave your bodies? Who told you that was feminine behavior? Why dress in revealing outfits? Why wear makeup? Is it not MEN who probably wanted you to? Therefore in conclusion, wearing revealing outfits is indirectly causing you to be objectified and dominated by a male mentality, so your liberation is pretty much damned! ::end sarcasm::
Sorry, I’m simply posing questions that to me sound just as ridiculously extreme as the place a lot of proponents of this view are taking this.
I personally don’t give a rat’s ass how you dress, I’m just trying to understand lol. I have girlfriends who dress sexy and friends who don’t shave their legs very often, and all of them look fabulous. If I had my choice, everyone would objectify and slut-shame men, they’d have a huge cry over it, and I’d invite them back to my place for some hot lovin’ =p All kidding aside though…
My belief is that if you truly value yourself for who you are, you should dress in a way that reflects that, whether that means dressing modestly or dressing in revealing clothes.
Now not a lot of people will understand this, but here’s the catch:
Some girls dress provocatively because they are misguided by our male-dominated society and don’t know how else to seek attention, while others dress provocatively because they have a rockin’ personality and the outfit brings that out and accentuates their self-confidence. For the former, it’s a sad mask for their lack of self-confidence and self-respect, and we should not slut-shame individuals in either camp, but instead work to educate them and help them build confidence in themselves.
How you choose to use that tidbit is up to you. That’s how I see this argument though. Slut-shaming by anyone is stupid, and so is victim-blaming. We should all be able to wear what we want without judgment, ridicule, or unwanted physical contact. Unfortunately, that’s not how the rest of the world sees it.
In closing, you DO have a responsibility for how you dress, but NOT how people treat you for it. That’s their own problem. BUT…make sure that you have a good reason and understand WHY you are dressing the way you are. If it’s just for attention, put something else on, because you shouldn’t care what other people think, you should be who you want to be and dress in a way that reflects that. Make your best impression FOR YOU.
Now before you start clawing your own eyes out at the title of this article—to give them to me, because I’m a demon, and red-headed stepchildren like myself require such a steep price to pay the devil to relinquish our hell-forged souls—I can explain. I swear!
I still love you. I’ve always loved you. I will never stop loving you. You’re the reason I get drunk, the reason I run around in a manic fit every Thursday night pissed off at the whole world as it spins around me. And in that moment, I feel all the rage of a thousand lifetimes and poets and Arthur Rimbauds and Paul Verlaines and the bitter sadness of his wife Mathilde. How she must have hated him for cheating with such a foolish young boy, when she was with child who just as certainly grew up to become such a foolish young boy himself, and certainly at least half as much as her own foolish young lover.
You should have died with your rotten Communards! She must have thought to herself. How embarrassing to live with one’s parents into adulthood, even now.
I am jealous. I am anguished. Smitten. Vanquished.
Were there any chance of one small future with you, I would take the gentlest of care. Dress your wounds. Make you strong again, like a proper Union wife caring for her battle-scourged husband. I’d fear for the children, your brothers and sisters. I’d fear for your heart, though we’d place ours together. Once more into the fray, waving the banner high and vowing to Almighty God.
Once more…if only once more I could stay.
A hundred years later, I find myself tracing the beaten path once more to your door, a burnt house, a locked remnant of history too precious to disturb. Why prod? “It’s bloody useless,” they tell me, “been five years boarded up.”
I twist the cap of my flask once more, inhaling the purity of a particular old cocktail, the first I had ever drank to rid your memory from my conscious synapses. At least this way, I am free to move. My muscles relax, and I just coast.
Traveling through a daze, I spin content in my own room. And how many years will this continue on, I have to wonder. How many decades and lifetimes shall I be cursed by these strange visitors who refuse to leave me be? Spirits, they call this. Spirits in the bottle are combating the spirits of my head, and the rush I feel is their poison flooding the tunnels of my gut like some sad attempt at chemical warfare.
I quickly drink the bottle dry. Cry. Smoke another cigarette because life is endless with you, be the memories sweet or damning. One can bid goodbye, sure. But these elements never leave. That’s what my therapist says, the Freudian bitch. Always wanting to rehash everything. Over and over, an endless parade of flowing salty bitterness.
But why allow the sewers to overflow? Why dig a bottle of expired milk from a pile and start chugging the chunks?
That’s my theory, anyhow. There’s always a bigger fool than you, some shmuck who has it worse, right? What do you know of love, you selfish bastard. Never gave me an ounce, and I pity you for that. You and your gorgeous looks and sweet character, always with lonely eyes that looked everywhere but right in front of your own goddamn face.
But I love you, that’s why I always stuck around. And try how I might, I could never get you to notice that. To appreciate that. To feel THAT, to feel ME, to know what it was like to be invisible, you think you know because you dropped out of school and isolated yourself from everyone, but you can scarcely say you understand.
You love ghosts so much, but you don’t see when one is in love with you.
And that’s the dead irony, really. I’m the one who’s gone. To everyone, though most of all to myself.
And it all started with a kiss, it all began with you and my decision to leave the church, for I can think of no other reference point at which to place the grand fuckery of my life, but make no mistake, I will NEVER regret you.
No. My biggest regret was in not fighting for you as I should have. For not taking up the mast, for throwing down that sword and giving you up. For not making you understand how I felt by pushing that diseased intruder out of our camp.
I was so goddamn close…so close to having you.
And so this is why my novels concern loss. This is why my vampires feel anguish at the thought of separating from their makers, why young Christophe must make his way to Otherworld to repair the machines his father built to allow ghosts passage to the Earth plane, why no one understands Hux, why Colin is so young and naive, why no one ever fully notices.
Because how could you? I’ve yet to solve such an equation. And yet perhaps if i do…I could have my happy ending and continue on without you, or if fate chooses in its own good time to bring us together once again.
And how wonderful it would be, yes? If Christophe could fix his machines, if Seth understood the drone, if Nigel could gain back his family, if my characters were all safe in one piece.
If only just once, again, my love…