“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
When I was like 14, I read The Hot Zone, and became immutably terrified forever of filoviruses like ebola that cause hemorrhagic fever. I, and basically every woman I know who is now in her 30s, became convinced that it was only a matter of time before some avian swine monkey sheep flu got on a plane in the rainforest and came to wipe us all out. Not just killing you quickly and mercifully, but making your organs liquify and blood shoot out of every orifice and pore. I was afraid of pandemics. I was afraid of AIDS. I was afraid of global warming and nuclear war and a meteor hitting the earth and killing everyone on it, because dinosaurs used to walk where I stand. DINOSAURS. There used to be giant monster lizards roaming all over this shit and they're gasoline now. I mean, it doesn't look good, you know? So this summer, I watched in horror, paralyzed, as more and more people in West Africa became sick with ebola. Yep, this is it, I thought. This is what it's going to be. Zombies are real. We are all going to fucking die.
But actually, I just wasn't that scared really. Like, I thought I should be scared, because some really scary shit went down this summer. But I wasn't. Not really. Not even when people in Dallas started to get ebola. I mean, I know the science behind contagions like this, and I think in the back of my mind, I believed the CDC could keep it under control, in spite of the massive failures of the healthcare system.
But...Did I really believe that?
Or am I just too numb to actually feel anything?
I cried at a Ryan Adams concert a couple weeks ago. My amazing, lovely friend who works at KLRU took me to his ACL taping, and a few songs in, I cried. Like real tears. I don't even like Ryan Adams. At all. Not really. I mean, there are worse things to listen to, but he's really not my jam at all. But I felt something. I was present. Because it was the first show I had been to in so long where no one, not a single person, was on their phone. There were no screens or Instagrams or Tweets or Facebooking. It was just a guy and a guitar and a roomful of quiet, attentive people. It FELT like one of the most amazing shows ever. I know that's not actually true, but it felt real, Like it used to. It made me remember that I used to like bands.
I feel like I've awoken and found myself having retreated into a world of distraction, of endless clicks and likes and texts and messages and fewer and fewer real experiences with people. I don't write anymore because I have nothing to say. I am not here. And I am desperate for personal, meaningful, visceral human contact. I am quietly yearning to be ravaged by emotion and physical affection and just... anything. Everything. I used to feel special, like I knew myself, like I had everything planned out forever. But now I just feel like life is blowing by me at a pace I can't fathom and I am too busy clicking on another story to notice.
Fuck Facebook. Seriously. Fuck it so hard. Stop fucking making us into idiot drones who watch two minute viral videos and click through 40 page slideshows of dumb gifs of cats and read celebrity gossip that tears people down and invades their privacy and rants on politics and on feminism which always turn into really being about racism and think that's what being alive is. Fuck politics and sports and pundits and Jezebel and basic bitches and award shows and stupid bullshit pop culture. I'm so tired of feeling like I live in Idiocracy.
And yet... there's always that hopeless, reckless optimism inside me that just won't die no matter how hard I try to kill it. I'm trying to find my way out. I am back at the beginning, trying to get back on track with fitness and self care to maybe, somehow, pull myself out of the hole of apathy I fell into. When the path is a spiral, eventually you're going back up again. I want to be present with people in my life. I want to put down the phone and the laptop and be there. I want to create and grow and laugh and love. I want to go and do. I want to move and breathe and feel all the feelings there are. I want sunrises and fireworks and magic. I can still love. I know it. We are still so young. There is so much left to look forward to.
This world, our now, is terrifying. It's dark and violent and dangerous and chaotic. Everything falls apart, and sometimes it comes back together, and then it falls apart again. All we have is each other. All we have is today. We have to go outside and listen and look at each other and hug and laugh and kiss and fuck and sweat and cry and scream and dance and run and play and do it now. This computer is not life. It's not.
This is all over the goddamn place, but it's something. Who knows, maybe I'll write something else in a few days. Rinse. Repeat.