Foxes Ask Difficult Questions
More fox than man, he chisels into the gip-rock girl, a dilapidated house of dark tarot cards, fraught with antipathy, or exhaustion, from it never being easy despite it being so very easy. She, herself, more bat than woman, is averse to daylight and to the linear way in which one is taught to exist. 7:34AM. “Some people choose this”, she mutters to herself. A giant claw rips her from somnolence, projecting her into forced pleasantries and smells of caffeinated beverages that trick robots into believing they’re alive. She can think of six solid reasons not to coffee but, she swallows them, like she swallows most of her convictions, of late.
He pries, as a true friend does, urging her to shake hands with the demons inhabiting the space beneath her carefully crafted façade. She feels them crawling there, clawing to get out, the way she claws at broad backs that look better than they feel. One might make her forget about faulty fireworks, hurricanes for hearts, and rose-less thorns. Doubtful. Roses taste like desperation.
It’s always about them. Adoration though, makes 7:34 come quicker, REM cycles interrupted by telepathic transmissions which should be classed weapons of mass destruction. At least objectification doesn’t keep her up any later than she needs to be, most nights. She slams the door behind her and they’re as good as gone, dissolving like the day’s final rays, to whom she eagerly bids farewell.
Nostalgia and Breathlessness
Reminiscent of interactions passed— it’s fucking magic, isn’t it? Connections so deep, the earth is sent titillating on her axis; stars colliding after millennia on their trajectory toward one another, stillness combusting into a moment, forever. A string of brief eternities have kept her alive enough to know for sure that they exist. It’s elating, and awe-inspiring, and makes it fucking hard to breathe—to meet a mirror of one’s soul is the fabric of fairytales, dreams, and the most disturbing of nightmares. But she has always been short of breath, even before she knew it all existed. Foreshadowing, perhaps, of what was to come. Where has it gone though? Breathlessness without cure or cause is pretty average.
And what of the lulls we call "the everyday"? What of the uneventful, painful to navigate normality? What of the seemingly interminable periods of forcing down spoon-fed niceties and peppering awkward silences with words better left unspoken? Most of them are. What of those periods of extreme loneliness, exacerbated by blurry faces vodka-soda-liming their way closer to a dimension where they can relate to each other? Blindfolded soldiers marching alone towards a collective demise that a puppeteer society has marketed as the only option.
Wading Pools and Seashells that Sound like Home
For now, she wades in shallow pools, clutching seashells to her ear so hard they leave a mark, holding onto the sound of the depths to which she must return. Unspoken promises are still promises. The shore drowns her out, now that she knows one can breathe underwater. She watches the waves roll in but immersion is too great a risk right now. Greater than the lump in her throat when the rampant toxic masculinity of her environment is encouraged and celebrated. Greater than the emptiness of picking up a drink to drown out the cognitive dissonance between what is and what could, should be. Greater than the wisdom imparted by women who worship the moon, and men with no homes, and trick-less magicians. Greater than the knowledge that heaven is just beyond the horizon, a few miles off the coast. Greater than greatness.
They had spoken about the ocean once. “You look like a scared little girl”, he said concerned, collapsing into the position of welcome mat to her almost unendurable Palo-Santo-scented room. “I am…giants cast shadows that linger long after their departure, overpowering all our mere mortal silhouettes, rendering them irrelevant, obsolete." And then what? Then do we just go on waking up at 7:34, feigning importance of trivial matters?"
"...Do we sit and wait for them to show up again and wake us the fuck up from our glacial indifference, our emotional sterility? How do we manifest them into existence when the desert has lost us and we want nothing more than to wallow in the glory of their shade? And what about when we miss the taste of kerosene on our lips? When we pray for the words of our sharpened tongues to pass through them like fire, sending empires crashing down to the ground?”
What do we do?
We do nothing but watch. Vampires are tricked into daylight, and we just vape smokey O’s in bed hoping we might disappear, like they do. We miss sitting in silence, alone, but together, and calling each other out for not doing better. Don’t you want to be, need to be better? Don’t you want to find a way to sit with yourself quietly without wanting to strangle to death the voices in your head? Don't you want to make friends with the restlessness that drives you into escapism's eager arms? When you know better, you have to do better. DO BETTER. I’m trying but it’s so hard with cement shoes and glass ceilings. Ignorance and apathy. Stop making excuses. But the clock still always reads 34, so things, must be just as they must be. For now. We do nothing, for now.
Oh, and the reasons not to coffee?
Four. Simulated energy and alertness. In a functional version of our world, we would get the rest and nutrition required to have real live energy, not mere illusions of what it might look like.
Five. Ethical implications. Is it fair trade? Not unless specified. The coffee industry is one of the most unethical and exploitative in the world. We are unknowingly pouring money into modern-day slavery and child labour. That’s the price of that Venti Caramel Macchiato. Yeah, fuck off, Starbucks with your false adverstising.
Six. Addiction is a fickle mistress, friends. Trust me. To consume a habit-forming substance that creates dependence and results in withdrawal when not ingested religiously seems counterintuitive, no? So why do it? Oh right, because “we’ve always done it”.
CHALLENGE THE SYSTEMS IN PLACE.
Byron Bay, Australia, June 2018.