"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..." Jack Kerouac, On the Road
You live for one day.
In this one-day life memory is obsolete, aspiration is unnecessary, and reality is relative.
Because it is winter on your day, you will never know spring, or summer, or fall.
You will eat three meals, but it will not matter what you are eating because you will not remember what you ate anyway.
You will make love once, with momentary passion, but you will not understand what you are doing or why you are doing it.
And when you lay down and close your eyes to sleep, it will be your first time, and your last.
But none of this will matter.
You will be oblivious, unaware.
You live for one day.
And in this one-day life memory is obsolete, aspiration is unnecessary, and knowledge is nonexistent.
Are you mad? you ask.
Have you lost it?
It must be the Fates determined you incapable of making decisions and so took decision-making out of your hands.
Your words give me pause.
It is true that while others sought knowledge I was seeking adventure.
While others sought wealth I was seeking pleasure.
While others sought stability I was seeking banality.
I lived like Kerouac.
Stolen moments in stolen cars.
Getting my highs out of watching others burn burn burn.
And those were the choices I made.
When I could make choices.
But now I clap my palm upon my mouth and weep while the wind wails.
Now I am older.
So have I earned the right to become a tyrant?
Have I earned the right to say what I want without having people ask How? and Why?
Have I earned the right to hurl insults like I'm flinging a fistful of broken buttons out of a window?
And to march to the head of the line?
I have watched those who have tried before me fall on their faces.
And I have laughed at them, along with everyone else who laughed.
They walked with a swagger, with an I've been around and I know something over you kind of manner.
But when they fell they did not rise again.
You speak so proudly of being "alone".
"Independent" is the mot de rigueur.
But when the word "lonely" is mentioned you bite your tongue and roll up your eyes so your tears don't spill over and tumble down your cheeks and give you away.
If I told you I talk to myself because I have no one to talk to, would you think me mad?
If I told you I am driven by fear because I cannot drive it, would you think me mad?
I should ignore the widow next door when she cries over the bloodspots on her dead husband's uniform.
I should ignore the child next door when he plays soldiers with his dead daddy's loaded rifle.
I should be happy with cellophane hints of admiration meant to comfort temporarily, not to satisfy permanently.
I should be happy with diamond glints of silver hair meant to wisen slowly, not to terrify poundingly.
Yet my Self seeks to stand out in a crowd, and, when passing a looking glass, to not see a gothic distortion.
I dream that I fly, and as I soar higher, my wings vanish.
I dream of men before a firing squad being promised their lives will be spared if they eat a meal, but when they come to eat the succulent meat they are served, their mouths disappear.
I dream of pulling out a gray hair only to have ten others grow in its place.
I think I will go walk along the mirage, now - there are no rivers in this one-day existence.
Perhaps I will stop for a moment and admire a prickly cactus.
Perhaps I will buy me a roasted cob of corn from an imaginary vendor and gnaw it with my toothless gums.
Perhaps I will chase down the mirages before they fool me with their shimmer and shine.
Perhaps I will wait for others to find me, though I will be waiting and waiting and waiting.
We learn so many things in this existence, but then, we learn nothing at all.