A Discontinuity In Being
I once again looked upon ‘them’, but now in a new light. How did people relate to one another? What was their mode of transaction? Did there always have to be one? What was humanity without its wares? I didn’t know. I was beginning to think I didn’t know anything anymore. Mind flipped to the counter-argument. I didn’t want to know. Knowing hurt – but not knowing hurt too. Hell, hurting hurt! I was hungry. I had a choice buy some food or save it for the bus ride. Which one was the right thing to do? Simple answers seemed to now elude me. I got up as if in a dream and bought a couple of candy bars with the last of my money. As I nibbled away, I waited for the sugar to kick in and help me process the stormy seas of life. Tooth decay aside, at least sugar it was a legal drug.
I knew what I had to do – I just didn’t want to. Was that why I spent the last of my money? Was there something seriously wrong with my priorities? I’d tried to be careful, I really had. Yet I had to do something with my free time. Besides people did it all the time. So why couldn’t I? Crossing my arms, I sulked at a world out to get me.
Instead of getting it together like any ‘normal’ adult, I was pissing around in my cesspool of human pride. Other games I’d played a million times before sprouted for me to see: ‘Help Me I Can’t Get Up’, ‘I’ll Make You Pay Attention To Me’, or the one that got me into the most trouble: ‘Take It to the Max, Then Keep On Going’. Denial popped up to offer its services, but then shied away from a task too big even for it. Whatever my game was, I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the month. That much was certain.
Through the vertigo, I squirmed and held on tenaciously to my faculties unwilling to be dethroned or abdicate anything except maybe my pride. Not that it mattered anymore. Now my immediate task was to pay extra special attention to everything I did, especially where money was involved. I had no choice. I’d left it too late – accidentally on purpose. Oh well, one more day wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might even help me to better look the part!
Sitting and smoking dope with Derek brought relief from the brain-pounding truth of ‘real’ life. I knew it wouldn’t last – nothing ever did, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Guilt arose and scolded me for feeling so ‘good’ when so much needed to be done. I laughed at its predictable nature, even missed it in a masochistic kind of way. With no way out, now it had to be done whether I wanted to or not. It was back to me again. Taken for a joy ride by my happy-go-lucky lifestyle, lack of movement ran contrary to the scientific equations of growth, decay and radioactive half-lives. If everything moved and vibrated – atoms and sub-atomic particles alike, it was swim or end up dead like a shark. How could I do what was required of me and feel good about it when there was so much guilt? I hoped feeling good wasn’t the prerequisite to getting anything accomplished or I’d be a goner.
Untangling myself from the complex web of combinations, permutations and probabilities, I ‘jumped’ states as if changing channels on a TV. At first, I thought I was hallucinating. A sensory sweep of myself mapped heart rate, emotional state, posture, muscle tension, thought patterns, breathing style, energetic frequency, primary personality role of ‘financial watchdog’ and the like. When I ‘jumped’ again I let go and observed the process keenly. My face undulated not knowing who I was anymore. My heart rate was lower, I felt more relaxed, slouched, thoughts were calmer, breathing easier, energy pulsated and my personality had switched to that of the ‘pleaser’! Struggling to make sense of what was happening to me, I turned to the concept of a mathematical discontinuity from high school math.
Derek looked at me with panic-stricken eyes, but I was too shell-shocked to even think of trying to explain what was happening to me. I entered a Piscean trance-like state and continued my journey of self-discovery.
Delving into the realms of mathematics, an idea that had intrigued me for so long resurfaced as if gasping for air. It was the concept of a discontinuity. From what I could remember, a discontinuity occurred when x, y or some other variables came infinitely close to but never equaled a set value. It was similar to that same shell of twisted beliefs that always approximated, but never quite equaled me. The implications were astounding! If I wasn’t who I thought I was, who was I? Was it quantitative, qualitative or both? My brain raged like an out of control forest fire. Holding on for dear life, all I could hope was for new growth.
Trying to find the connection between feeling good with a good thing, I let go of all the concepts of who I was and wasn’t, both my own and others, negative and positive and tiptoed ever so cautiously into the discontinuity. In a move that surprised even me, I opened my arms, fell backward and surrendered to the unknown. Suddenly I was backstroking in a lake of sensuality so effortlessly it could’ve been a masturbatory dream. Amazed, even shocked, to feel such feelings outside of the act itself, they grew increasingly cold and distant – but I wasn’t even near orgasm yet! What if I never did? No orgasm would imply eternal foreplay and tantamount to eternal tease. Terrified my feelings would leave me for good like everyone and everything else did, I became a cornered animal defending its very life. Seeing the animal in me, I slumped on the ground in a sobbing mess.
Cold and disappointed, my good times were coming to an end, but what could I do about it in a non-physical universe? Then I clued into what was really happening. I was trying to keep the party going not out of enjoyment, but to be liked. Not liking myself was secondary, a tolerable hurt. In a shocking moment of rude awakening, the real me, whoever, whatever and wherever that was had been playing second fiddle to the real star of the show, ‘The Pleaser’. I was nothing more than its servant running around, working and partying to support and advertise it. I doubled over onto the grass, my armor pierced by a thousand painful feelings. I explained to Derek how the truth of my insights was killing me faster than my entire life of lies and addiction ever had. He sat and stared.
The air became textured and heavy; my breathing labored. I knew what needed to be done, but the very act of feeling hurt. What had happened to me? Where had my strength gone? Like Samson after losing his long hair, I was also unlike him. I was Jezebel too! How arrogant of me to think otherwise.
With the office closing in an hour, I had no choice but to tell Derek the truth. Yet there was just one catch: for some unfathomable reason knowing what to do and doing it felt like worlds apart. I wanted to tell him, I really did, but could he understand the truth? The mere thought of ridicule or attack violated me, yet staying away from good friends and family so they didn’t have to see me hurt more. Swallowing my pride, I took a deep breath and reluctantly asked Derek for spare change. He looked at me and smiled right through me, but I had no time for games. Yes, I was messed up, but only temporarily. I asked again a little more forcefully. He gave it to me, but not without a little circus act, which I let him roll into town, set up and star in. When he’d finished I felt sick. I’d not only paid for his performance; I still owed for my own humiliating one as well. I took down my own tent and left town – hopefully for good.
© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –
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