I can't do this anymore. I'm fucking exhausted. Mentally used up, drained. Over-anxious, over-thinking, under-achieving. Living other people's lives and forgetting my own.
Bad tired versus good tired.
Good tired is the tired you get when you go to sleep knowing you've done something for yourself and worked hard (and I don't mean wanking).
Bad tired is when you get into bed, you know you need sleep, but you don't feel like you deserve it because you haven't done anything to challenge yourself at all.
I'm just a leech being leeched from.
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
So you’re on a planet, and you know for a fact that the planet has decided to give you a label that no one else has.
You are GLD. You have no idea what the label means, but you have to accept you have it. Years pass and you become ever-aware that you have this label, and you don’t know why, but it’s not perhaps a good thing.
One day you notice that at six o’ clock every evening, everyone in your town leaves. You’ve spent that hour for the most part not noticing this, but suddenly you do. From six o’ clock until seven o’ clock, there is not a single soul to be seen.
So next day comes, and you emerge from your house at six o’ clock. You watch as the entire town gets up and silently goes over the hill and vanishes into the sunset.
Your first reaction is that you live on a planet of brainwashed zombies. You are the only sane one.
So you spend your days convincing yourself you are the sane one.
Then you are accosted by an acquaintance.
“What’s up, GLD?”
“Going to watch us all leave for the six o’ clock dance, are you?”
“The dance? What dance?”
They laugh. You blush. “He doesn’t even know about the six o’ clock dance. We go to the Mighty Maypole in the Hill of Eternal Joy and we dance around in circles for an hour straight.”
“But that’s insane.”
“That’s insane? Funny coming from someone with GLD.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s obvious. You don’t come to the six o’ clock dance.”
“That’s a system of closed logic.”
“Maybe I think your dance is weird.”
“And that’s why you’re GLD.”
You go home, head spinning from the logic of that system. You’re just exercising free will and choice by not dancing. Who would spin in a circle for an hour? Are people that brainless that they do something just because everyone else is? Everyone probably thinks it’s stupid but they go anyway because society says so. You’re the only one who has the guts to do what everyone wants to do. You’re free in ways they are not.
The next day, walking the street, you are hit in the face.
“You don’t go to the dance,” is the only reason given, before the culprit runs off. How does everyone know?
A few days pass. You start thinking about this dance. In a sick society such as this, how could going to a dance make someone accepted? It probably has nothing to do with the dance at all. They just don’t like you because they’re all cruel. Even if you went to their dance, they would still treat you badly. It’s a stupid society that judges someone based on something as irrational as dancing around in a circle for an hour. Why should you give up your rationality? Why would being mean to someone make them want to do something? Surely if they wanted you to fit in, they would ask you nicely. That just shows their double standards. They are all obviously just horrible people.
A week passes. You go to the dance and watch people dancing in circles. You realise people are watching you back. Watching you and spinning in circles. They think you are the crazy one. You’re independently minded, and they are not. So you stand, and you don’t dance. Then you go home, and you cry and you want to die. Because the whole thing is absurd.
The day after that five people spit on you. The hatred increases because you stood, stared at their system, and judged it. Not only are you making yourself different, you’re judging them. But you can’t be a judge. Not when you’re so alone. It isn’t your place to be able to judge. All you can do is hide. But it’s too late now. You’ve been to the dance, and people know you. Nowhere else to go, if you’re going to live.
You have to join the zombie mob. You have to be an idiot like them.
So you go. And you spin, slowly at first. You wait for people to laugh. This will be it. This will be the final straw. Not only have you lost the fight against their system, you will lose the fight against their cruelty. If they laugh, you tell yourself, then you were right all along, but because of it, you will be the only sane one in an insane world, and where that thought process led would be the grave. But no one laughs.
You stop spinning and look around. Everyone is looking at you. Surely now the laughter will come. Instead, smiles break out. People go up to you and cover you with congratulations and hugs. You wonder whether you ought to feel happy because they’ve treated you well for converting to their system. But you don’t. You don’t give them that satisfaction, because you don’t believe in it.
Their hypocrisy is so blindingly obvious.
The shift in their attitudes is so over the top that it feels insincere and hollow. Those who spat now greet you like as a hero, for overcoming your issues, and achieving. How exactly is it an achievement to spin around in a circle? What stupid society values that above almost anything else?
But the moment comes when people talk to you. They don’t mention the dance. They just talk to you. About stuff.
A thought gnaws away: they only talk to you and accept you now because you did their stupid dance. And you are still doing it. Because you go to the dance every night and you cringe at the applause, because people are telling you how brave and special you are, and all you want to do is punch them in the face for saying that because their standards are meaningless - they’re just dancing idiots making you another dancing idiot. The king of the dancing idiots.
You feel different, less unhappy, but alien. Accepted now, but special. Whatever the hell that means. You’re not special. You’re you. They’re still the crazy ones. At least you’re thinking about what you’re doing. You possess a secret: you can perform their dance, but you’re only doing it for their benefit. Nothing more than an act. This makes you better than them, but it also makes you deceitful in ways they are out and so you can’t tell whether you feel superior or sad. You can’t really tell what you’re feeling anymore. Who knows what feelings even mean, when this world has arbitrary judgements on what is or isn’t important? If a silly dance is deemed the pinnacle of established societal norms, what does that say about that society?
But you keep doing the dance. And soon people stop congratulating you on being able to dance. Maybe secretly they know it’s silly too. That must be it. You were right all along. But you dance on anyway. And soon people forget that you never did the dance.
They don’t know why they do the dance, but they do.
Life passes, and all those people who hated and mocked you have now become friends of yours. You have forgiven them their ignorance, their over-the-top responses of youth. They were beneath you back then. They were the ones with the problem. They couldn’t handle how different you were. Now you’re normal.
But still, you just know. You just know you’re not the same as them. You think in ways they do not. Where there is a void in them, there is a substance in you: where there is substance in them, there is a void in you.
One day, you start asking people why we do the dance. The use of ‘we’ is almost unintentional. Their answers are usually of similar ilk: because that’s how it’s always been, because that’s just the way it is. Some people offer more than that: it makes people happy, it brings people together. Others go into deeper, fantastical scenarios: the dance was invented to keep warring tribes from killing each other. But the truth is that nobody knows for sure.
You start asking whether the dance is worth doing, if its purpose is no longer known. People start thinking about it as well. Some stop dancing. Others don’t.
There comes a point when enough people stop doing the dance that you finally realise the way that you thought in the first place is now the norm. Those who dance are the strange ones, the weird ones. At six o’ clock from seven o’ clock, most people don’t go and dance together. They do different things. Some of them do the same things you used to do. You also do other things.
The dance remains, barely.
Those who like doing the dance keep doing it. On some nights, you feel the urge to go and spin around circles for an hour as well. You know it goes against all reason and logic, but you do it anyway. It’s almost like a reminder of something, but you can’t figure out what, but it’s a good thing not to be able to figure it out. You start to like that nobody knows where the dance came from: if it had been a definitive history, with an obvious beginning, then it would be dry, and formal, over-rational, and thus subject to logic’s dismissive conclusions. But this is a mystery, on this planet that has been explored and mined. The dance is a vestige of something further than the explicit, the empirical.
A few years pass. For some reason (you decide it’s better not to ask) more people do the dance than they used to.
Another few years pass, and suddenly fewer people do the dance than they used to.
Another few years pass, and you find that you are old.
It occurs to you how long it has been since you ventured out at six o’ clock. You gather yourself and sojourn through the streets. You are ignored. Nobody spits on you. Nobody laughs at you. They barely notice you. You reach the hill where the dance used to take place. The sun begins to set, the temperature rapidly cooling.
Half an hour passes. You spend this half hour spinning in circles, atop a hill, with nothing but grass and wind for company.
Age catching up with you, you fall to the ground, exhausted by your efforts. You cannot decide if you want to chuckle or be sad. So you do both: chuckle aloud, and stare at the Mighty Maypole, its sides tarnished by rust. Before you get to the chance to feel sad, the sound of footsteps approach.
“You alright, sir?”
A kid, no more than fourteen. You nod.
He sticks his hands in his pockets as a bellow of wind strikes the hilltop. “Why were you spinning around in circles?”
“Because I’m old, and crazy.”
“Oh. I thought it was because you were one of the few who remembered the old dance.”
The boy’s eyes light up, glinting in the dank light. “So you’re not old, or crazy.”
“Yeah, I am. I just happen to have a good memory.”
“Is it true that everyone used to do it?”
“Every single person.”
“I don’t know.”
A mouse squeaks; somewhere an owl is spying.
“I want to do it.”
“Go for it.”
“Nobody does it any more. It’s weird, spinning. There’s no reason behind it.”
“Did it ever have a reason?”
“Not as far as I know.”
The boy’s shape has become no more than a silhouette on the navy blue canvas of dusk. He kicks his feet, like an impatient mule. “So what. I just spin?”
“I just spin?”
You cough in response.
“I don’t get it,” he says.
“You and everyone else on this planet.”
“But they used to get it.”
“Tell me about it. It was me who didn’t get it. They all called me GLD because I didn’t get it. Or maybe I didn’t get it because I was GLD. I used to think it was one or the other. Now I think it might have been both. I don’t know.” You shake your head. “I still haven’t got a clue what GLD even means.” You look at the boy, as though he might know.
“Never heard of it,” he replies. “GLD.”
“Who invented it in the first place?”
“You invented it. By being different. By not dancing.”
“That wasn’t my fault.”
The boy says nothing.
“I’m going to dance,” you say. “Feel free to join me.”
You both spin around in circles for about half an hour.
Two weeks later two other people join you.
Two weeks after that four people join you.
Two weeks following that your numbers are doubled.
Two years later, more people come to the hill to spin around than there has been for years.
The boy, through his own idealism and youth, as well as a degree of reverence, has decided to name the dance. It is known as Gyration of the Locus Divine, or GLD.