It’s night and it’s dark and I’m alone and lonely and wondering.
I don’t know anything. How do we live with ourselves, when we know nothing? Fake it, I suppose. Play the charade along with everyone else, and cower in the curtains back stage.
You know, writing can be excruciating. Not only because every word on the page often seems little more than a smear of slime. Not only because every new word is sometimes like pulling out your own teeth, peeling off the skin and flesh from your skull, wet slice by slice, and then dismantling your bones from the neck down.
It’s also painful because every time I write, I’m struck with existential angst.
What is writing but a way to tolerate this absurd, transitory existence? A way to briefly comfort ourselves with the fact that our lives matter, that our words will live on to touch others long after the flesh has melted from our bones?
Theoretically, what if rats made art with their faeces? We would consider it with indifference and disgust. Yet it could be of paramount importance to the rat, an expression of its furry little existence. Isn’t our art the same? Just patterns drawn in the sand, that we preserve for posterity until posterity runs out, and then it is nothing but molecules pushed aside, just paper, dust, empty ideas without brains to latch onto.
That’s pretty awful. The gaping nothingness of living, that even turns books into dust, if you give it enough time.
You know what else is awful? Scrolling through pictures of buried skeletons. Or watching a documentary about burials, like I did. Those skulls, embedded in the earth like grimy pearls, along with their bones, stirred up something nameless and horrifying within me today.
After all, you and I, him and her, we all end up like that. A bunch of bones, buried in the dirt – if we’re lucky. Just calcified products. Nothing but atoms that return to the earth. What’s the point? What’s it for? Is there a soul that flits away like a shadow bird, once we die? I hope so. But I don’t know.
Just a bunch of bones.
I don’t know anything, but I still wonder. And I cry behind the curtains, but I still go out and dance. Let us tap our bones in a lovely little symphony, and bury them quietly.