Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Adjust the Ill-adjusted

I was obviously very drunk. Like children's hands reaching into a bathtub full of foam and toys, an invisible hand from outside reached into my heart and poked at it, like at a marshmallow. Although everything was getting a bit vague, I was hoping for a revelation from this innermost, marshmallow-like depth of myself, which I all too often gloss over with hard candy. It's how I can fall in line with society's and the media's obsession with "making it", with chasing opportunity.

As I am sure you know, no-one is ever good enough in their capacity as self, in the present, and the aim is always to be better. Better than...? I walked unknown, unlit streets with a tear in my eye, each step closer to shutting down, hoping for a car to kill me or a hole in the ground to swallow me, but no. Only dark homes, and sleeping windows. Cheap double glazing and unwashed net curtains, battered bikes, chained to battered railings, rubbish out front, faded door knobs.

My first night on a park bench, I swallowed every objection that it might cause cystitis. That would be almost guaranteed. But I finally don't care. I am a grown-up. When I was little, I was told I would make up for all the wrongs, clean up the whole mess. As if that were some kind of honour. I would bring peace to the world, wipe out poverty, put a stop to racism, and make it a green planet. 

Wrong. I'm walking around at night depressed and pretty drunk. Bit of a chicken and egg as to which came first. But, it occurs to me, depression is a dirty word. What I feel now is nothing like the "depression" they describe in mental institutions. It probably is, only there, they systematically lie about it. It's depressing, but you have to see it from their perspective, too: a mental institution is a socio-emotional correctionary. A psychiatrist's job is to adjust the ill-adjusted, not to explore the beauty of their visions. They can't very well say that depression is an emotion from outer space that occurs when an individual realizes, to their pain, that the social pressures surrounding us don't provide guidance and stimulation, but instead deliver self-policed oppression, together with a false sense of purpose, all couched in a pompous rhetoric designed to make us accept and take pride in our fate as the pawns of capitalism.

The true purpose of life is unknown. To have an aim in life is, of course, the alpha and omega of each person's integrity in this contrived microcosm. Have a foot in the door, the other on the ladder, it seems to say. Is it very morbid if I say I still prefer to have one foot in the grave, and one foot in the shower.

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