Friday, August 28, 2009

What the Sirens Sing

You will have seen my anger, implicit and, less often, expressed. You’ve seen hatred, very rarely. But no, never rage, I think. Well, I’m a pretty self-contained guy. But we’re the dangerous ones, eh? He seemed like such a pleasant fellow. Can’t imagine how he could have killed all those people, and so viciously. So I ran until I found jiu jitsu, then I did that. In 15 months I took two days off. That’s just stupid. It wasn’t even good for my training. But it wasn’t about the training.

Ah well. You’ll have noticed that I use different voices in these little efforts here. It’s not planned. I just start. Just singing in harmony with myself.

Here’s what it is to be human: something bad happens, and we get angry about it. Since we can’t have justice, we become angry with God. He’s big enough to take it, but that doesn’t do us any good. So when we get the chance, we grab hold of him and kill him. What, it didn’t happen? Why do you think people kill babies? I bet that some of them, Jews and Romans, knew who they had, and killed him anyway. You think that you wouldn’t. But you would. Almost everyone dies damned. If I could get my hands on God, and get away with it, it wouldn’t be pretty. Unfortunately, that would be Jesus, and he doesn’t deserve it. Awkward.

I’m just talking. When faced with it, there is no getting away with it. There are people that I can’t think about -- or rather, that I simply do not think about, because there’s only one thing for me to think, and it would just make me crazy. Please, keep your advice to yourself. Such is the nature of addiction. And you don’t know these people anyway.

Once I talked to my son when he was far far away in a land of war and madness, and he was saying how he’d like to be able to be vegetarian, but it just was not possible. He said he’d get so hungry but didn’t want to eat all that fried grease. So he got hungry, then ate the fried grease. I told him he could sprout like we used to have to do back in the seventies. So he ordered a kit for that online. My point is that I said, “Yep, food and sex, the two appetites.” And he gave the instant agreement that comes at hearing a true thing you never noticed before.

Odysseus lashed himself to the mast so that he could hear the sirens’ song. It drove him mad for a time, with some appetite, but he could not jump overboard to swim to them. Save for his bonds he would have died. There is no swimming to sirens.

I heard on the radio about a film project that videoed the Golden Gate Bridge for a year. Caught thirty people jumping. Saved six. Twenty percent survival rate. Sounds about right. One fellow changed his mind just after he launched. Adjusted his angle and survived. In the icy water he tried to cry out for help. He could only gasp. He felt something brushing his legs. Great, I survived just to be eaten alive by sharks. But it was a seal, and only its circling kept him afloat.

The director got the idea for the film when he saw the planes crash into the towers. People jumped rather than burn. Well? Some people leap to the sirens. Some stay and face the inferno.

There are true things that we don’t dare admit. Things about hatred. Things about love. What a horrible world, where appetites are poisonous and innocence is mocked. Sometimes we pass through fire. Sometimes we are consumed by it. Sometimes we are saved from the water. Sometimes we are saved in the water. Sometimes it swallows us whole, or in pieces. What choice, and what power do we have? We are what our natures make us.

Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. Freedom is being able to dance like no one is watching. I don’t dance at all. But this is me, singing.


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