I wrote this listening to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Everyone gotta be inspired by something. This is a stream of consciousness. Take it or leave it. There are mistakes that I’ve made that I meant and others that I didn’t but hey, I ain’t perfect.
Walking along the stony path toward the other side, the impulse comes to me. I’m horny, I’m aroused, I’m thirsty. I try to push it to the back of my mind, along with all the other dirty thoughts that creep into my membrane on a daily, possibly hourly basis.
Look at how sexy she looks in those tight green chinos and her sequin top, can you just imagine the antics you would get up to well into the morning breeze?
No. No, I will not succumb to devouring women in my mind, I say to my mind. My mind doesn’t respond. He’s drooling. The liquid leaks down my forehead until it hits my parched lips. I lick the moisture off. It doesn’t taste like much. Slightly metallic, slightly sour. I keep marching along, passing neutral faces that don’t acknowledge me to be more than a couple of leaves blowing across a path. Everyone is so neutral these days in public. On the rare occasion someone goes against the grain we immediately think ‘attention seeker’, ‘mentally incapacitated’, ‘junkie’. Have we numbed so much to random human interaction that we can’t manage a slight smile when a person with friendly eyes passes our way? No. We’d be showing our weakness if we did that. I blame the fashion industry. Smiling ain’t cool anymore. It’s cool to be neutral. It’s cool to be bitter. It’s ain’t hip to be square and smile that gawky grin at any old soldier walking past these days. I don’t get it. Smiling feels nice. We smile and they smile. Everyone is kinda happy for a few moments. Then we can get back to whatever we were thinking about, desiring, heading toward. The dream. Whatever dream we may dream. I dream during the day and the night for a better path to walk down. The path I walk right now, the stony path toward whatever I’m heading toward is adequate. It’s not a path terrorised by doubt, deceit and demons. It’s a path that unsmiling folk of all different creeds seem to walk down, all hoping for a better path too. I’m sick of wishing for that path that will take me somewhere else. I know the places I want to go, I know the paths that will take me there… But I’m scared that trekking them may lead me to the shadows that haunt my sober state. I’m sick of being scared. I’m sick of my mind. I’m sick of my fucking mind.
But I won’t be scared anymore. I’ll turn my mind around, I’ll turn it into something positive, something above depravity. Okay, the occasion mental undressing of a beautiful woman is fine. As long as you telepathically ask for her permission. I’m smiling again. Someone looks at me funny. I laugh at myself a lot. The absurdity of the train of thought. Imagine there were television shows that were simply focused on people’s train of thought and nothing else. That would be worth watching. We have hit a wall in what entertains us. The revolution is upon us. I hope, I hope. I fall in love on a daily basis. A man my age got engaged the other day. I admire his stability, I fear I will never find his location. I fear I will never be that great in someone else’s eye. I fear that the first challenge of my resolve will break my into little pieces and I will recede back into the mind of a boy. Passive, quiet, fearful. I’m strong, I’m big, I’m proud and I ain’t scared. I ain’t scared, I swear. I swear I’m not scared. Try me. Challenge me. You’ll realise that I ain’t scared. I start to run along the stony path. More people start to watch me. I want them to follow me. To run along with me. To declare their allegiance to my flag. I’m turning my mind around.
As I’m running, I bump into a pair of friendly eyes. She has long brown hair and a neat smile. Her eyes are aware and she knows things that I know. I’m stuck for words. Do I keep running or do I slow converse with those eyes? I feel I don’t need to say much. We’ve already got a lot in common. Sometimes you just don’t need to say anything. I want us to converse with our eyes for a long time before we open our mouths. People are talking too much about nothing these days. Sometimes conversations about nothing are enjoyable, I mean, Seinfeld is the about nothing and it is practically the GOAT. I’m meaning talking about nothing in the sense of talking stupid, talking white noise, talking stuff that means less than nothing. We are filling the air with poison and we all know it. Maybe we just like distracting our minds. We can’t change nothin’ no more. We can’t change nothing. Helplessness looking in, we break these down and maybe there are changes we can make. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe we are too lazy to change anything. If we got off our desk chairs as we pretend to study hard for our next essay, we might be able to make change. I think the people who say they want change only want to make a big splash and make sure the others sitting around the pool notice. It’s that girl doing those beautiful dives from the 10 metre who the people really want to follow. We need more than words, more than hope for change. We need graceful leaders. Maybe I’m just not listening closely enough. Maybe no one really gives a fuck about using their ears anymore, they’ve heard it all before.
‘What has happened to the great orators? The great leaders?’ We’ve eroded their influence… that’s what. We want speeches to mean something but only take a couple of quotes out of them anyway. I have a dream, Ask not what your country can do for you, We will overcome, Yes we can… We treatin’ these things like song lyrics now. Originality is hiding everywhere but there are the people keeping us from finding it. Look harder. Look harder, faster, stronger, fiercer. We come together and we kill the poison within. But we don’t want that, do we? We like being divided. We like cheering for something, booing the opposition. But I will not concede all hope. I ain’t becoming that bitter man who speaks of the old days and the kids not understand anymore. They understand, there’s just no one leading the way. We’re human, we make mistakes, we undress each other without anyone else knowing, we fuck, we kill, we maim, we oppress, we don’t listen. WE FUCK, WE KILL, WE MAIM, WE OPPRESS, WE DON’T LISTEN.
There are times when I start to question whether we are scared to embrace the weird, the original, the new, the wacky simply because it might make us look stupid if our friends don’t like it. Am I 13 year old stuck in a 24 year olds body? No, I will be above that, I will rise and be better. That’s what I’m saying but my mind ain’t so sure. He thinks I’m a coward, a nothing, a brick in the wall that could quite easily be taken out with none of the other plain red bricks noticing. Don’t abandon me, don’t leave me, don’t look me in the eyes, promise me something then turn it around and do the very same thing you said you wouldn’t. It’s just my mind playing my body, it’s just my mind and body and they aren’t on the same page. When they are, it is beautiful. But the mind takes a lot of convincing. The mind needs to be massaged, loved, cared for and kissed and even then he might still be against the rest of me. I’m screaming for some unity, screaming at the wall, screaming out the window, screaming at everyone else to change when I can’t even change myself. I use we, they, them, us but do I really believe there is anyone else than I? I don’t know we, I don’t know they, I don’t know us. I know I. And even I is divided at times. How can I be divided and speak for us? Haha, how ridiculous. I don’t know. I’m so temperamental. My writing can go from scared little boy to a man so content with his fill. Are we all just bi-polar? Or maybe it is just me… How do I stay sane when nothing keeps me grounded? Maybe I need to believe in something bigger. Maybe that will turn my mind around.
I ain’t never gonna stop trying to improve, I ain’t never gonna let them still my spirit away from me. Fuck, do I mean that? Yes. Yes, I have to mean that. I’m here. I’m here! My mind is here, my body is here, I’m here! And as I look at this beautiful woman in front of me, I nod my head, smile and keep walking. I don’t need her to see my parched lips and the me I’m ashamed of. I don’t want people seeing that me, but it’s inside of me… inside of I… inside of my mind, body. I gotta turn my mind around. I gotta rise above all the anxiety, all the fear, all the negativity that surrounds all of us, not just me. I’m not perfect. But I’m better than what I think of myself. I’m better than that. I’m better. I’m more than that. I will not sink into nothingness. I will not be that brick in the wall. I will… I will… I will… These words again, these are just fucking words again. Should I stand up from my desk chair and tell everyone I’m ready? They wouldn’t care. I’d just become that attention-seeking, mentally incapacitated junkie they see on their Saturday nights in the CBD.
Turn it around. Turn it around. Turn. It. Around. I am me. I am I. I have to live with it. Maybe one day I’ll be able to speak for you. Speak for we. But we’ve got a long way to go Junior, we gots a long way to go. You’ve got to start on a path somewhere though. I’m hitting that path, even if it isn’t the one I want to be on. But I’ll keep walking down that path until I find something that I’m looking for. That’s what I want. That’s what I and we and us and they and them and me be lookin’ for. That’s all I gots to say for now. Turning my mind around.