Today’s man is a tormented creature. Steadily degenerating, he suffers as a consequence of his actions and choices. His calls of defiance against authority and routine and his corrosive way of life are nothing more than a glorious swan song. Every day he wages a daily battle against himself, his way of life, everything he stands for, he stresses and brawls against it in an effort to gain some slack and get ahead of the curve. It’s an exhausting way to be.
‘I tried to break free from the droll predictability. I did my best and succeeded on a number of levels. This, of course, meant that I had failed. There are no partial escapes. You either break free or you don’t.’
He didn’t. How could he? Like I once heard him say, ‘I was deeply invested in the humdrum of the day, too connected to the excitingly “unscripted” life everyone led, and highly dependant on the current paradigm, dealing with the thing and the thing and the other thing that people engage in, going to meetings, acting all self-important — I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you later — until the office was not enough and I moved things to the restaurant for lunch meetings — ain’t life grand? — topping it off with trips to the bar, picking top-shelf material and busting out my pearlies to charm or scare the ones around me, meeting and greeting the hoi polloi, the ones who could get me places, exchanging niceties and pleasantries, playing the game, begging for attention, for recognition, for someone to notice how well I was doing and how far I had come, how interesting my work was and how intriguing the times we lived in were: times about which I would talk and comment and make arguments all day and night long.’
In other words, this man was competing for the daily limelight, the one feeding everyone’s souls. ‘It’s ok, you’ve done well, son, your life has value,’ is how the mantra goes.
The harsh truth is, no one matters. The way things are going, people’s lives are incidental to the grand scheme of things.
It’s a tough insight to tackle, but some do, or attempt to, desperate to find a way out of the mess they’re in.
Today’s man is a tormented creature, and so are today’s woman and child.
Unnerved? Watch this space for more, or turn away now, before it gets ugly.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE