0 beer pong in the fog within the calamitous human passions
I was playing beer pong a couple weeks ago. Music played from a laptop set on top of a box of 30 beers in my friends garage. There was a barbeque with folk that shared the same house near San Francisco State University. The night was seduced in a layer of fog.
The day before I played darts with the same friend–in his room. There was a way to cover up every miserable attempt at connecting with the dart board. It would involve a google search and a little nagging from his girlfriend, but there was and is a way.
Both beer pong and darts are about taking a thing and placing it in an exact place and reveling in the notion of success.
You know,exactitude, preciseness–the event that welcomes the high-five–just the other day I stared blankly at which trash can I was supposed to dispose my plastic container. A homeless looking person came up to me and said, “Where do you think that goes?” You know,exactitude, preciseness–the event that welcomes the high-five. There was the blue one or the green one or the black one and I just froze right in my tracks.
And I guessed. It is hard to feel ashamed about being wrong in front of a homeless man. Any attempt he would try to make at shaming me could be easily relieved by, “Whatever bro yr homeless.”
But he still corrected me and he left me with the ominous encouragement of “Atleast you care! You care!”
I would like to be successful, to put things in their right trash containers–to use myself optimally and have infinite yachts and highfive the general human populous in the gratuitous surrender to life. I am twenty three years old and am around that age where the anxiety of whether its still cute to not know what you are doing gets at me and, well, things get foggy.
My friend kept professing how good it felt to get the ball in the cup he imagined getting the ball into. I sincerely wonder what that feeling is like–I was just aiming for the most accommodating region which is, you know, the table.
He said the most important part of the game was to have a consistent technique.
And in that garage I pondered the hypothetical of “What if beer pong is like life?”
1. techniques in being twenty-three
I turned twenty three recently. My home town friends took me to Alcatraz the day after my Birthday party. I pinky sweared that I would go and my pinky is my bond to the real life, I figure.
At Alcatraz, you are given this weird private tour from headphones. A bunch of tourists all around listening to the exact same media but at different points in time. We all walked around in some strange preoccupied droning.
It is pretty weird how walking around a container meant to save us from brutal people is a major tourist attraction. People took pictures of each other in prison cells.
There was this exhibit in the prison dining hall that was all about life after murder. It featured a bunch of huge pictures of stoic dudes looking into the camera with a really solemn expression of ‘Yes I murdered someone but now I am a free citizen and have made a life for myself. Deal with it.’ And then there was like a paragraph of text basically going ‘Yeah this guy stabbed someone but now he works on the dock and loves his dog.’
And I sat on the bench paying half attention to whatever the hell the recorded tour guide was going on about and just thought about how radical that was. The fact that this exhibit existed, let alone that there were people that had killed someone, sat in a prison cell about it, were released and continued living life… constructively.
“Enjoy the new obvious!” I thought to myself.
In a very real way, discipline is an imposition of self-brutality. I mean–I know it is kind of an extreme way to phrase it so maybe I can bring forward the signage ‘self-alcatrazing’–a blocked off set of relationships that you decide you should not leave or cannot leave or something. People take pictures of each other in prison cells.
And just like beer pong, where maybe the most important part of the game is to have a consistent strategy–it’s the same deal. If you stick to a certain set of relationships, something will grow, maybe.
I have always tried the strategy of radical perspectivism, which is hopping out of my prison cell for a bit and visiting other peoples and asking ‘Hey, what’s going on existentially from your perspective?’
And I try my best to derive their sense of obvious. It is very self-defeating. I have developed a habit of going for long walks in other peoples shoes. I eventually I come back to my own perspective and its this big messy room of relics from all these amazing people I know and brilliant dead people that I’d love to talk to about my girl and life problems and I have no idea how you ever turn another vantage down.
But I am starting to learn–and there is definitely a sense of loss involved. I don’t think you can avoid a sense of loss and it totally sucks. There are going to be moments where I have to concede to the fact that I am but one existence involved in the human endeavor that is undergoing all sorts of afflictions in obviousnesses.
I am one player in one game at one time, most of the time. Maybe its beer pong as life or life as beerpong or what model to decide to engage in my relation to the real world.
3… twenty push-ups and the progressive heart break
I think an important aspect of success is having enough self-love to define it let alone enough self-respect to hold yourself to it and make it beautiful and real–you know, ornate my obvious passions and whatnot. Care.
But from where I stand, that’s not all there is to it.
Obviousness can be the medium to which we communicate. And when it is a medium, when it is a granted, shared thing, it really is in your best interest to be incredibly appreciative. But when it isn’t, it really is in your best interest to have a sense of humor. And be patient and respectful and truly be exposed to a nice, motivational rhetoric that converges relationships on the body of ‘human experience.’
We’re all totally doing stuff, man. So, you know…
Otherwise, you are probably a douche.
I got a text message from a good friend with a message that corresponded to exactly what my intentions were with my recent open mic standup performance. The pong ball was applied directly into the red plastic cup I imagined. The dart in exactitude. The plastic container properly recycled!
But I was not happy. I was, in fact, heart broken. Because this sense of exactitude is the romanticizing of a set of all possible realities and, in actual experience, we come to know in further detail what is ever possible, I will always be vulnerable to a sense of loss, an inexact understanding of the Realest of worlds could function.
Inside the right container is simply another choice of container and as much as I would love to yell “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST UNIVERSE, CONTINUOUSLY GIVE ME WHAT I WANT WITHOUT ME HAVING TO REFLECT ON MY OWN EXISTENCE,” I think its healthier to shut up and self-alcatraz.
And that sucks and I am totally attempting to cope. I usually shrug and make a bitter face and cross my arms dejectedly and pout and do twenty push-ups.
4…. woahments through woements, amen
In my [great] neurotic mind there is only one real point of exactitude in the human experience. It’s our sense of familiarity. And you can not improve upon it until you admit it. And you cannot admit it without heart break. And I think that was discipline is about.
It’s about thinking about degrees of wrongness and how to lessen the degree the extent of wrongness and the weird paradoxical thing is at times the only thing you need to do to get what you want is just the same set of things that you might attribute to heart break if you maybe don’t have someone to convince you otherwise.
I realize that at 23.
I have been granted the silly enterprise of wondering, all the time, why I want the things I want. I don’t get to take credit for that as much as I get to thank my parents for giving me a room where I could stare at a wall without worrying about things most people on this planet have to worry about. And for my parents letting me hog the phone line with our 56k modem.
I got to think about the injunctive meaning behind every random point of reflection. What brings us to this point of exactitude, a singular identity, are the passions, I think.
And this circumstance, where your favorite way that stuff could happen is wrong, is one of the weirdest things to think about, to me. It offers a radical sense of heart break and, in turn, upon an empirical validation (being right), a radical form of success.
We can bring to each other, passionate experiences–points of exactitude, always ornately defined by the pursuance of love, connected by the mercy we can ever grant ourselves, presented in the pride we ever allow to pervade. We totally can. It happens every day.
But you are at risk for heart break. And I think you have to very promptly say ‘Oh, that’s fine don’t worry about it!’ about that.
The pursuance and willingness and acceptance to get punched in the face with a sense of wrongness is very, very critical. A lot of my creative work lately is thinking about how we, as silly human creatures, have romanticized heartbreak.
And how success is this incredible voyage in trans-obviousness.
And in that heroic embodiment of our passions, we can deliver new viscerals, new exactitudes, new points of emphasis, new obviousness–moments of ‘woah’ come through moments of ‘woe,’ most of the time.
The woahment through woement, amen!
5…..voyages in trans-obviousness
There is this core decidedness, a magic wand we can waive over a lot of interactions and experiences. I do not understand it at all.
I can pursue a beautiful woman and make an ass out of myself and sit on her front steps weeks later and have her explain to me that there is more to this life than my imagination as we both live in the eerie repercussions of the unrequited romantic overture. And it’s fine.
I do not understand how it could be fine. There is definitely a decision being made to be fine about the whole exchange.
Thinking can be the most clumsy enterprise. Gently requesting that my mind concede to its own dreams is a very radical new form of bravery, to me.
Is it not a love that bears our sense of obvious? Imperfect, mortal love seeking its own providence? Go figure.
We are doomed to ourselves and it is fine. Enjoy your new obvious.