Humanity is complicated.
It seems that we could be trudging through our own lives, aware of the infinite problems and issues that arise from every single difficulty and every single moment within only our own lives, but entirely unaware that those around us are doing the exact same thing.
Everyone occupies their own sphere. Each worry, each fear and concern ripples outward from the center like a disturbance in the surface of a pond.
So often we blindly walk forward through our lives so engrossed and enveloped in our own bubble of self-concern that the very obvious problems of others are completely missed, misinterpreted, or judged to be comparatively unimportant.
What would happen if those spheres suddenly ruptured? What would happen if everyone’s perspectives were instantly intertwined?
It could be beautiful. A collective conscious of objectiveness. Each problem everyone’s problem, each burden carried on a million shoulders. Each trouble spreading from the center of ourselves, from the centrifugal leaden mass that is formed from them, and which we carry and are consumed with each day, alleviated by the knowledge that everyone else around us is experiencing and therefore understanding the exact same thing.
Peace made by omnipotent human empathy.
The perfect manifestation of this concept is the way that people behave when they’re driving. I’ve seen a man drive forward at full speed during rush hour while looking straight down at his lap. I’ve seen a woman plunge her finger so far up her nostril that it’s physically painful to watch the probing assault.
Both people were consciously aware that there were other people surrounding them, and that they were enclosed in a transparent space where they could be seen by passersby… but something about occupying a car convinces people that no one else is aware of their antics. A car is the physical representation of the blinding emotional sphere.
I haven’t really written anything in a while, except for deposit receipts for the elderly and apologetic letters to anyone who has come into unfortunate contact with my father. Both I regard as a public service.
It’s been suggested to me that I start one of these things, and I’m not sure which direction I’d like it to go, but it’s probably beneficial to my sanity to vent, and it’s also good to write down the exchanges that occur in my household (both of words, punches, money, etc) for documentation purposes.
For example, right now, my father is sitting next to me with headphones in his ears listening to Arcade Fire very loudly (a band which he refers to as “that freaky 80’s shit) while watching a Nicki Minaj video and screaming and hooting that she has the largest ass he’s ever seen. He’s decided to call all black people Ninjas, a play on words that I guess is politically correct (for him), although now I’ll never be able to publish names on this thing.
About my family: it is comprised of eight people, plus whomever my brother has squatting in the basement at the time, and three dogs.
My father is probably going to be the hero and villain of a lot of these posts, because he has such a strange personality that I can’t really classify him. And by strange I mean ridiculous. He’s from Queens, but speaks in an accent that can only be described as some southern and back-country. Think Ricky Bobby. He regularly refers to any males that enter the house as Jim-Bob, females are Jim-Bobbettes. He’s met people from Tennessee that think he grew up in his neighborhood.
He wanted initially to have ten children, a request that would have sent any woman other than my mother directly through the bathroom window never to look back.
This ideal, we’ve figured out over the years, came from a mixture of watching the Sound of Music and reading Cheaper by the Dozen. Ideally his children would be silent and efficient, only appearing when summoned by a whistle, and then to sing in harmony or provide amusing anecdotes. However, instead of that he’s gotten six extremely loud children who sing almost constantly, appear when he least wants us to, and generally annoy the living crap out of him. Serves him right.
My mother is his direct opposite in generally every way, from appearence to personality to preferences, I honestly have no idea how they’ve stayed married for a quarter of a century. She is soft-spoken, optimistic and gentle. She was the child that was always dragging poor, half-dead animals home that she found on the side of the road, animals that were probably half dead because they came into contact with my father. She eats salad. He eats almost entirely red meat, most of which is still making strangled noises when he brings it home.
For example, right now it’s 11:30 at night and Dad’s going for an angiogram tomorrow to see if all of that red meat has affected him in any way. He saw a Big Mac commercial, though, and is bribing me and literally whining because he wants one “before they clean him out.” I tried to explain to him that they’re not cleaning him out, just seeing how diseased he is, but he responds by calling me an asshole. So I in turn offer to go get him the cheeseburger after all, because it’s sounding like a better and better idea.
Mom is extremely organized and efficient, and likes to make things smell like lemon and disinfectant. Anything that my dad touches immediately explodes into a frenzy of disarray that increase exponentially in size. She’s constantly running around trying to keep up with him and his children. None of us has any use for organization either and, as she says, we’re all content to live in our own filth.
She went down into the basement last weekend to find my brother and his friend face down on two couches, with a water bottle full of piss between them. Apparently seventeen feet is too far to go to a bathroom. When things like this happen, she just generally makes small horrified noises of disgust in the back of her throat. It’s like sensory overload, and the degradation of her household sometimes gets beyond what she can handle. I don’t blame her, even though I’m probably among the messiest of us… but I have a strict toilet-only policy.
The other players:
I guess my brother has already made a cameo. He’s 20, looks like one of those edgy black and white Calvin Klein ads. He constantly loses everything that belongs to him and walks around the house in the morning screaming for his pants, shaving kit, and anything else that he needs to survive. He is a musician, and presumably channels all of that frustration into his art. It’s actually awesome at what he does, even though I’m reluctant to add any more compliments to his already brimming familial opinion. He is the only male child in a brood of females, and because of this he is coveted. He actually has a pretty good balance of my Dad and Mom, which means that he’ll get offended if my Dad tries to talk about the waitresses’ tits but still is in full possession of the ability to call each and any of his sisters whores. Also, he rarely pees in bottles.
Now, it’s imperative for me to start with the initials now because there are so many sisters and I need to remain somewhat anonymous if I don’t want to be responsible for the ruin of my family’s public opinion. Everyone probably thinks we’re shanty anyway, but if they don’t, I don’t want to be responsible for letting the cat out of the bag.
C is the oldest sister after myself. Right now, one of my youngest sisters (called affectionately Midge by all of us because she is small) is in a fight with her and is incessantly demanding that I include that fact that she’s a bitch with anger issues. C actually is not a bitch, not any more or less so than the rest of us, sorry Midge.
Like my brother, she has a very interesting combination of both of my parents personalities. She is an advocate for a few kids in her school that have anxiety issues, and is in some ways extremely sensitive and caring. On the other side of the equation, she recently tried to slam my ankle in a car door repeatedly during a fight. Her and I get along pretty much like Kim Jong Il and sanity.
I needed to stop temporarily there because Dad woke up, came into the room, and stood at the bed in front of me and farted. Then he left, but whatever he ate in substitution to that Big Mac smells like fermented eggs and poverty. It’s spreading and has successfully evacuated the room. The metaphor above would’ve been wittier but right now my sense are under attack and I can’t think straight.
I’ve had enough, I need to go stick my head out the window. More later.