Apologies to pinklightsabre, who I just recommended in my last post, for this post; it was, no doubt, was inspired by his. And, William, I swear this is the last time I’ll mention your name in a public setting (until you run for Dark Lord of Everything once and for all).
I will try to do the hipster thing and say, “I was commenting on how surreal real life is long before YOU were, Mr. Pink.” It could true, at least in terms of how often I think it in my head and speak it out loud to my wife.
Man, but isn’t life fucking weird.
This morning, as I exited the chilly, near-black atmosphere of the real world and entered the clean, orderly, fluorescent-lit hallways of my school… my head swam. Maybe it was the half-caffeinated coffee we made for ourselves this morning failing to bring me back to reality, or the fairly large and nearly full moon, or the shock of moving away from the comfortable womb of my heated car, complete with NPR and hot coffee, into the cold and sterile world of tiled hallways and stark-white lights and school pictures and high-school-related PSAs and the vaguely smoky smell that ancient boilers make in the morning… or maybe it’s just that this existence thing is a totally fucked endeavor. I mean, not that it isn’t worthwhile, but sometimes we wax philosophical…
Last night, Wifey and I enjoyed some decaf and breathed in the electric fall air, chilly and invigorating and that kind-of-scary reminder that winter is about to hit. Man, I really need to winterize. Anyway, we started talking about existence. She brought up the theory that our existence is really one big simulation. People smarter than I have noted that there are these mathematical relationships that exist in nature… you know, the picture of the spiral shell and all of the relationships between the semi-concentric circles (the golden ratio, I finally researched)… the whole E = mc2 and other constants that rule our existence… and it got pretty trippy. Our world is ruled by math, which could be by coincidence… it just is what it is… or could be that we are the product of someone else’s simulation, electronic representations of what real people actually look like and act like and all that… could be the product of intelligent design by some higher power, benevolent or otherwise.
Watching my wife’s breath vaguely obscure her big eyes while she absolutely went off about how our existence and even the world we live in could be an illusion… it was surreal. Maybe more real than a lot of the things I’d say were real, if that makes any sense.
Having a kid has altered my concept of time passage drastically. As I got older (post-college, I think), I really started to notice how goddamn quickly everything had begun moving and how sometimes I couldn’t even remember what happened from one day to the next (not just a product of substance abuse). It’s humbling. It’s harrowing. It’s surreal. Now that we have Garrett, time has found a way to move more quickly. It must be the cruelest realization that a parent can have: I will never get this day with my child back; it’s gone; it’ll never be here again and my child is another day older. The realization that Garrett will be two years old in the blink of an eye… like I said, it’s humbling and sobering and it does a bit to shake me out of my periodic reveries.
And even typing that phrase, “periodic reveries,” I wonder how periodic they are. Sometimes, I get the feeling that the reveries are constant and the real realities are what occur periodically. I wonder if life is a dream. If we are all someone else’s gigantic dream. If we are the dust under a giant’s fingernail, a computer simulation, a giant drama being enacted at the will of gods or angels or demons or computers or Killer Klowns from Outter Space (TM) or some benevolent alien or some malevolent concept or some apathetic tinkerer.
The mind boggles.
At the end of our discussion, as we went inside to further warm our hands on hot coffee mugs, we walked away with what was, perhaps, the truest revelation of the evening: THAT stuff doesn’t matter.
We still have to live our lives, right? Even if it is a joke, a scam, a simulation, a computer program, a dream? I could quit my life right now, move to Venice Beach, live out of garbage cans and the kindness of others, couldn’t I?
Perspective. It’s all your perspective. Is life a joke to you and pointless? Then it is. Is life a gift from God or god or gods? Then it is. Is life a beautiful opportunity to see what you’re made or, or to enjoy your five senses, or to have as much fun, or to do as much work, or to raise perfect kids, or to raise perfect assholes, or to enter hot dog eating contests, or to have as much sex, or to abstain from sensate pleasures, or to jump out from behind bushes to scare people? Then it is.
Never has the phrase, “It is what it is,” had so much beautifully smart-ass-tical meaning in all of my life. That’s my word, by the way: smartasstical… with or without hyphens.
I, now, will leave you with what is probably my favorite quotation, sentiment, and reflection on myself, of all time:
“Wherever you go, there you are.”