H.G. Frankfurt from On Bullshit
Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like.
If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.
Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Kurt Vonnegut via Riva
They say tonight is the last night. Not for any specific thing, not for any specific person, for all things and all people. Say goodbye to the guy that owns the Sabbret’s cart and to the woman in 12F you never worked up the courage to speak to. Her beauty won’t just fade, it’ll explode tonight at midnight, bone fragments and coy smiles moving at the speed of light, right pass shreds of that report card from Sophomore year, you remember spring semester, when you met Susy Q. from Queens and she introduced you to coke. Well, how could you remember, the three of you got up quite often, always meeting in the same spot, the dark brown sofa placed at an off angle in front of the flat screen that was always on mute and the glass table that took on that crack house patina. Frat house, crack house, you tell me the difference. Or don’t, it doesn’t matter anyway, there will be no more crack houses, shit, there’ll be no more crack. No more crackheads, no more Steves from the block, walking around seeing only $$ in the sunken eyes of every fiend he served. This is it, the Mayans were right and the proverbial shit is hitting the proverbial fan. Tell the one that got away that you love her and the one that stayed that you love her more, tell Mom and Dad you love them, let all that heartache go. Tell a stranger that they’ve done well in life, give the homeless guy a couple bucks, let him enjoy this last day, fuck it give him your house and robe with the monogram that Jasmine got you with the note that said you always thought you were better than everybody else. That was right before she left, taking your record collection because she knew you were too much of a pussy to get it back, she always knew where your soft spots were. They say “This is the Reckoning, get right with God”, but instead you called out of work, made up some bogus doctor’s appointment, because who would want to play the paper shuffle on the day they’re supposed to die. Sit back and relax, unless you’ve got some planet fully furnished to watch the fireworks from. Put on your favorite album, I suggest Bob Marley’s Uprising or Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, if your musical taste aren’t there go ahead and listen to Britney, nobody’s judging and if they are they clearly haven’t read the End of World Manual published in 1999. Light that last conical joint, admire its geometry and slip into a sleep so deep that if anyone found you they’d think your world already ended. Because it has.
You can’t expect anyone to understand or protect your joys but you.
I’m still trying to pour words on my past. Hoping that like throwing powder on ghosts it’s true form will be revealed. The world I’m from isn’t too different from the setting of any 80’s dystopian film or comic. It is overcast and corrupt, gripped in the old, pasty hand of a super drug whose varicose lines can be read by those literate in hardship. It sounds like the clanging of your life’s savings colliding in worn jeans. And it taste like busted lips from school yard fights and bruised dream, slightly metallic, reminiscent of licking a 9-volt. It’s beautiful. Like a Vonnegut script unfolding in front of Kubrik’s lens. The parts of my memory that hang in instagramed frames are full of pictures of row homes, girls with pigtails and gaps in their front teeth smiling unaware of what is in store for them once they hit 13. There are scenes of children gathered around fire hydrants broken open on summer days so steamy you wonder what the Earth lusts for. Jordans hang on wires like niggas hang on corners and adults lounge on flat concrete porches speckled with green paint sipping what looks like lemonade but is surely stronger. Some of the photos are bathed in that iridescent gray filter titled #bleak that hung over the hood like bad weed smoke but smells much worse. Baltimore in the 90’s, where crack was king and it’s crown was made with the twisted soul of fathers who traded the brightness in their sons eyes for a slow exhale.A deep breathe that turned the world into a Dali original where oranges and purples swirled and danced across closed eyelids with the grace of Alvin Ailey…
That is all