By Charles Dickey at Mar 14, 2008
Linear thoughts refused. Time encroaches, clockwork time races against being. Every heavy turn of the second hand marks off a life, partitioning wilderness into a closet. I refuse to think linearly with the fools who cut down forests and call it progress.
Meanwhile, streams are emptying out and being filled with garbage. Large trucks move through the neighborhood. You can buy interactive war games in cartridges and disks, pull them down out of cyberspace onto your laptop. This virus of affluent violence is everywhere. We’ve all gone wrong. Our evenings are filled with action and arcane time-worship, pushing and stuffing fun into the margins of our lives. We work so we can overeat, horde, and drink alcohol. God forgives us.
The road winds away into mud. I want to live in wild time, spacious time. I am tired of the synthesized violence of clockwork and sequences and schedules: now time for this, now this, next this, next time we’ll do better, better luck next time, time for a tune-up; time’s up. That’s a wrap. Time trips me up.
Time to take out the garbage. Time to minimize the volume of garbage. Time to compost our waste. Time to stop wasting time. Stop making business out of time. Stop selling time. Stop. It’s time. It’s time to stop.
Too much sequenced time and I forget how to breathe. My heart feels pressure, my legs ache, my forehead crunches in overanalysis.
We’ve used up time. Nothing left now but empty aluminum, depleted uranium, cultural fusion, anomalies of detritus time. We’re post-mortem adrift among our mangled selves in the reality TV wasteland. We’re worse off than our own excrement.
Somewhere, a child picks up a landmine. Somewhere, a young man hangs himself. Somewhere, a middle-aged black man on death row faces grim time. A mother grieves. Another mother grieves. Bored suburban kids waste time, starving themselves physically and neglecting their bodies. Their minds have been disserved by their schools and social structures. Their imaginations, screaming terror, have been forcefully shrunken to fit facts. In time, they suffer spasms of apathy. The TV counts time.
Plotting Armageddon, a minister of shrunken humanity, hopeless, preaches stillbirth into his congregation: a list of should nots, thou shalt nots, timelines for shame and rapture. The Glorious Appearing has been postponed again. The congregation skulks home with artificial smiles parching their hearts. At restaurants, they order the Lord’s steak: dominion over all creatures. Dominion devours the Earth, scourging life for some post-life pretend eternal life where all is forgiven. And hence no need to practice forgiveness in the body. Dominion. Defy the bodies. Gravity must give way to the Rapture.
And the eternal plan is to keep postponing life. After all, plenty of rewards after we die. Lived experience, this over-rated being-in-body, is to be vanquished. Plenty of time here for shame and patience, procrastination and the condemnation of masturbation. Sex should not be fun, should be utilitarian. Thou, woman, shalt not orgasm.
Baby is ripped out into the world, wailing in the raw sterility of it all. Her tiny bare ass is slapped by a latex glove. Welcome to the world, little shit. Mom is sewn up and baby’s wheeled away to a plastic translucent room made of disinfectant and fluorescent lights. Small beeps and artificial vents of respiration mark time. Welcome to the world of marked time. You’re not born to live and die; you’re born to build and slave. Everything is expendable, including you. Here’s a tip: don’t start thinking. All will be well. Exercise self-control and patience. Kill germs.
The nurse will wash you up, for starters, with plastic soap and chemical additives. Your skin will be so shiny! In the beginning, there was God, and He is a jealous God, so get used to it. If you’re bad, He’ll cover you in boils, for starters. Santa will bring you coal, and God will roast you eternally on it. So you must keep clean. Scrub scrub, wipe, scrub, rinse, repress. Repeat. Eat, poop, wipe, sleep. In a few years we’ll put you to work building bombs to kill arabs, negroes, japs, indians, wetbacks. For God and Country. All rise for the National Anthem. No questions. Do this equation. Wash your hands. Eat your meat. Don’t masturbate. Thou shalt not.
If we were aware of being alive, our senses would be offended, feel assaulted by the raw machinery that runs the world. If we had our consciences intact, capitalism would be indefensible and senseless. If nature moved us, we would all be depressed as hell. If we breathed freely, we’d be coming down with even more cancer. If we moved naturally, passing cars would crush us with their sound waves. Erosion would startle us. Filthy water, thick with oily man-made clogs, would be unacceptable. The repression of natural urges and functions would pain us more. Eight hour work days and more would hurt us. If we were conscious, what would we make of our televised media? Some days I don’t even want to answer the phone.
I am here, desperate for some space to grow. The land has long since been enclosed, and I can feel them coming to scrutinize and appropriate my thoughts. I don’t want higher walls or to be pushed out or to encroach. I’ve stopped punching a clock, but the Man measures time in every corner, standardized. How much longer, I wonder, will I possess my imagination? The horrifying future looms domestic and clean.