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21 June 2015 @ 12:44 pm
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the planet is dying or humanity is killing the planet. the planet is dying and humanity is killing the planet. humanity is also destroying itself, crushing in around our vices like a fist around shards of glass because: we must have our guns, our flushable wipes, our agonizing devices, our every random opinion acknowledged as unflinching reality, our uninformed interests prioritized over the lives of prayerful strangers. no, it's not my fault but that doesn't mean it doesn't tally up against my personal longevity. remember how sometimes we used the word "figuratively" to remind ourselves that some hyperbole we just pitched at the room was just that? we don't do that so much, anymore. everything is literal now, even the bullshit, at least in our shameless malfunction, those malfunctions in which we take shameless and inexplicable pride.

this morning i read a piece by a young woman who had a semi-colon tattooed onto her wrist to remind herself that she would not end her sentence before her sentence ended.


sentence: a formally structured combination of words intended to bring a concept from formlessness into something that can form the thoughts of another.
sentence: the consequences defined by authority upon one convicted of a crime.


i thought: that doesn't seem like a bad idea but then i realized my marker is more obvious and avant-garde than that, the fruit of following through on a clinician's concern, the promise of not throttling myself to death very slowly. i fought for my life and i fought for it without a moment's hesitation. the legacy of my thirties: occasionally, my survival impulse doesn't need to demonstrably reach the same conclusion in repeated laboratory experiments. occasionally, it is just there.

all the same, it doesn't get easier, recognizing you're now in the first wave to be thinned, that your narrative in a post-apocalyptic landscape would not pass workshop scrutiny since the essential economy of your endocrine system became import based. the contradiction here is that it's what was recommended to keep me alive: now introducing! darwin's self-made punchline. or perhaps the recognition does get easier, but my time lacks a frame. i make jokes about it because that's what i do. neutralize the matter with humor, joke myself into the orange zone. sometimes it's saving my life. others, it's erasing the semi-colon very slowly. depends on the context, the transit of saturn, the butterfly torn free of wings.

the young woman warned her readers that, in her case, the potential suicide victim is not the black-clad hot topics patron, is not the girl who stares off sad, but is the sorority pledging sun worshiper who always had a smile, until:




this is an observation of the crucial variety. in my experience, people who appear to be happy are quite often on the brink of tragic death. however, i would not neglect the sad girl in black fingernail polish at the back of the room. or the awkward girl who only ever calls attention to herself by not meeting anyone in the eye. or the frat boy who can't get through one weekend without getting plastered. sometimes the obvious answers are the obvious answers. sometimes people show pain because they are in it. also it's possible that any one of them could be fine, just doing what they need to do to enjamb the next line. or: something like that. self-destruction comes upon us in a myriad of ways. we don't even need to be consciously suicidal. many of us are not.

i thought: the tattooed semi colon isn't a bad idea but my sense of creative irony would have me put it inside my right ankle, possibly in celebration, at least acknowledgement, of surviving my stupid youthful contradiction of managing pain through infliction. wind has broken the dunes at other fissures - though that was never so much about ending myself as it was forcing a sure enough surface to pull myself onto, somewhere i could swallow hard and face the next day. which i did. which i do. do what you need to do, right? this is your prize: you get to keep doing it. at least until
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sothesothe on June 22nd, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, the Planet isnt dying... we are just changing it in way that will make it unlivable for us. Once we humans are gone, the planet will continue, and life will continue, in new and various form.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on June 22nd, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC)
i know. however, our current perception of the universe being what it is, the capacity to create and support human life appears to be incredibly rare. blessed art thou among planets.

the idea that we, a species that prides itself on its supposed intelligence and agency, would not only destroy ourselves, taking unquantifiable lifeforms with us, but suck out the mother's crucial reserves and pump unimaginable poisons back in? that we'd go so far as to scrub out mountains in our stubborn efforts to not find more responsible ways of living? it could be that we end this incarnation of the earth and the earth goes on to the next cycle, repopulated with new and different lifeforms. it's also possible that, at the end of it, we will leave this planet another silent rock orbiting the celestial body that will eventually devour it. even if we just end up making room for humanity 2.0 (or 3.0, or humanity 95, or sentient android phones, whatever, this feels like something that's been going on for quite a while) ...it's karma, it's taking something away from something much bigger than us in every possible capacity. so i feel it is entirely fair to equate what we're doing with murder. it certainly goes above and beyond the most extreme theological definitions of evil.

i suppose i could rejig the opening lines to fit in with the overall theme of self-destructive tendencies, though. hmmm.
Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebiebetweenthebars on June 25th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
I love you're writing Judy. It's just on the cusp of my understanding. Haha.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on June 26th, 2015 04:21 am (UTC)
i'll tell you a secret: for a couple years after i graduated high school, i'd visit my old creative writing class specifically so i could read them my current work. i liked to do this because there was this part after i read my work when the students in the class would explain it to me. it was awesome. those kids were pretty smart.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on June 26th, 2015 04:22 am (UTC)
also, thank you. ♥
Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebiebetweenthebars on July 1st, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
Hahahahaha. Hey. Get your kicks where you can in life. Sometimes they're few and far between.