Okay, weird. What’s weird? Things weird to me not weird to you. That’s boring. Everyone knows that. When it comes to perspectives and their infinitely different iterations, there is a never-ending, flowing, theta-wave freak spectral system by which weirdness is approached and diminished. And even that’s not easy to occur smoothly.
Okay, so what’s weird? Water-cooler malarkey, obsolescence of unknown forms of silk looming, inappropriate laughter at a funeral. Tears and weeping for almost any reason, stolen memories. There’s no corral of weirdling mainstays. For example, I have dreams I’m someone else, and then when I experience introspective thoughts in my waking hours, sometimes I don’t know if the humorous or painful insights I experience are mine, or derivative of the people I dream I am, and I don’t know if the experience is more relevant to me or to the person I’d dreamed I was. It’s more than a duplicitous form of consciousness, because it often involves being someone like, say, a beet farmer in North Korea sitting bedside with his dying mother, sharing personal anecdotes in the final touching moments of their lives together. Sometimes I’m touched by people in my dreams, people I dream I am whose lives are fathomless in their emotional complexity. I wake up joyful, crying, mixed up.
I am haunted by my waking hours. It’s true there’s a clinical name for this, as there are clinical names for every modality of awareness, nothing weird about it. As a matter of fact, if I can associate a form of awareness with a sense of anxiety, then I’m probably waxing sick. If I experience something odd which give me pleasure, I could be experiencing a stimulating situation which could be therapeutic. Psychiatric medicine is the application of biochemical and socializing forces according to phenomena to which appropriate values may be applied based upon the relevance to accepted knowledge of human behavior. And if it doesn’t apply, just snow someone with pharmacology until they are obedient and compliant.
In other words, is something sexy. In other words, is something good. In other words, is something going to help. Does it matter? What really matters if weirdness itself is only tying oneself to the recognition of field interference between systems of interpretation and modalities of form? What the frick does this have to do with anything outside a scope of awareness? What is truly weird, in the psychotic, Blakeian sense, in a relationship indescribable, immutable and irreplaceable?
I don’t trust names – naming things don’t make things understood without an a relevant, thorough understanding of the semiotics which give rise to orthographic purity. Orthographic purity rising from breathtakingly deep understanding of systems of meaning and histories of cultivated nomenclatures is weird for most people. What do words mean? What do they mean when put together? How and why is that different from person to person, from group to group, from age to age, and so on. It’s even weird for people who are able to think along those lines, because incorporating the quantifiable lexicons which give rise to an aggregate praxial utility of any expression, whether it be old druthers and cliches, neologisms from cyberphrenic tweens on the cool tip, obfusticating pedantry dropping clues about protected esoterica, or foolish gibbering hordes of nayboobs repeating loudly, and imperfectly the spin of the day – indeed, in such numbers that their data cell towers light the electromagnetic night like Gaea’s new neural hair net – it’s going to have to include/exclude certain portions of this desire for information to self-organize.
So, things you know must be weird in order for they to even be perceived. It has to be different. Your coscious mind is a continuously collapsing wave form. From moment to moment it is interrupted in order to assign temporal reference to perceivable data, maybe even imperceptible things as well, ideas and sensations sent to the margins, screened out of central awareness, coded into the subconscious directly. All this psychobabble is pure weirdness, drivel. If things are not weird to you, then you are probably experiencing the simulation of something which is familiar, when in fact it isn’t. Nothing is familiar. Because people are experiencing everything in flux, constantly. You’re just not trying to understand that things are weird.
And that is the problem, and the solution. It’s all a bunch of hosenfeffer.
I feel like I’m fighting my way through an empty vacuum half the time.
One time, I was in the mountains on a dangerous trip with some friends. We were getting liquored up and letting ourselves get washed over falls and cataracts. People die all the time doing stuff like this. Someone died doing that somewhere in the Appalachian woodlands of north Georgia that very day, and thankfully it wasn’t happening close to us, because that would’ve been weird and we would’ve stopped and gone home. Thankfully the dead soul lay elsewhere, somewhere.
I almost died within arms reach of a friend, or rather an acquaintance. I can sort of refer to him as such because at the time I’m writing about he was out of his mind on mushrooms and not acting himself, and he had no idea it was happening. But that day had been a veritable roller coaster. First, a dozen friends and I went way up in the mountains from downtown Atlanta to a pool you swung out over with a big old knotted rope and dropped into from high above. The water was the color of pecans, and there was no way to tell what lay beneath the surface, so we’d taken turns diving down and trying to touch bottom. No one found any bottom, which meant very little, considering there was no way for any of us to know how deep we were. The current moved strangely. There were fast jetties moving deep down, undertows leading through the rocks to emerge in cataracts along the falls below. Rule of thumb was to stay away from the south end of the pool, where the water suddenly swept into fast channels over rocks and stumps and other debris cast down from storms or aliens or semiotic awareness or whatever, Just stay away from that end. Stay in the still water running deep, but don’t get too deep and get swept down into the rocks and tunnels of sluices in the darkness below like arteries feeding the deep green earth with your laughing and liquored youth.
But, of course, someone went to close to the falls, and went over, tumbling far below, bashing his head, and emerging shaken, bloody, and a little concerned. He’d taken mushrooms and was directed to return to camp. He couldn’t really work that out, so he retired to the shade to have a drink and rest up. When we moved to the next destination, he was in tow along with the towels and coolers and became, more or less, a weird piece of furniture that could hold things. And that is what he did.
The next spot was the real deal, a fast-moving, extremely shallow river that swept over a smooth expanse of polished granite so cleanly that you had trouble seeing the water at all. It was deceptively shallow, maybe a foot deep, but the current was strong enough in the middle where the bottom of the river dropped another six inches that your legs would be plucked from underneath you, and over the falls you went. And what a ride, down a long increasingly narrowing pipe of roaring water that terminated at an upward curve of rock, just like a ski jump. You rode down the long, forty-five degree slide, into the flume, hit the jump, and was catapulted into the air rotating backwards in a slow somersault, a reverse gainer into the pool of water foaming below. After you hit, you were spun in the currents, spit out to swim to the shore. There was a rope you could grab and pull your way across mossy, slick granite to a scrabbly foot-trail, but more than not, you’d go down hard on the slippery rock, be swept into the falls and spit out again ass over tea kettle. So it was better to be washed in the whirlpool, get spit out and swim down toward the lee shore, away from the gusts, mists and roaring water which was, of course, sweeping over the next fall some fifty yards on.
I rode the slide a few dozen times, tried the rope, fell hard, ended up banged and my knees getting purple knots, not cool. So, a bunch of us decided to tumble over the next fall.
You have to understand there were all kinds of idiots already doing this when we got there. We saw them go down, not die, so we tried our luck as well. The next fall was another sweep over a granite shelf as smooth as an old claw foot tub with grimy enamel finish. Not smooth like glass, but real smooth all the same. At the bottom of this twelve-foot drop of deep water – unlike the water slide falls, this one was a fast and deep funnel, so the water poured over the fall about five feet deep, and you went completely inside the water over the edge, and when the water fell into the pool below, it drove deep in a convection that carried you straight down and then rolled you, but not out. It rolled you up and spun you in water so full of bubbles it felt like you were being carried in the middle of a great flock of giant birds, and the bubbles were the soft multitude of wings beating furiously around you in the air.
I was drowning in the bubbles. I could see the mushroom guy sitting on the bank there, looking up at the pouring arch of water, lost in thought. The gales of mist blew his hair. I was below the surface, clawing at the bubbles, unable to raise my head above the surface, unable to be heard. I was getting weak, and panicky. I was going to die, I thought. I tried to shout, and dropped a few inches into the bright, sparkly maelstrom of bubbles. I felt like I was going to asphyxiate in a champagne flute. I lowered my head, let the bubbles rise up to my lips, sinking into the water. My mouth was mostly closed, my tongue caught between my teeth, and I slurped the air up from inside the water, sinking. I was spun in a ball and propelled upward again. This happened three times. I’d rise to within two feet of the surface, try to fight my way to the shore, fail, and go down again. The third time down the current spit me out at an angle and I grabbed a rock and clawed my way around it and kicked off from it into the downstream current.
I lay on the shore, face in the mud, gasping. Mushroom guy comes over, concerned. I tried to tell him what happened, and he just nodded and told me it was cool. And it was cool. Looking at the cut on his head from going over the upper falls convinced me it was cool. It must have been worse than it looked. He seemed fine. I didn’t tell anyone else about my close call. We had a couple of other spots to spoil with our lunacy, more risks. I wanted to experience those things, so I just kept it to myself, feeling damn lucky and more than a bit foolish.
I feel that way every day of my life. In all things, I am seeking that feeling. I don’t care if I look stupid, if I fail, if it hurts, I want to ride this out. My atoms have organized to demand it. Who am I to judge. If my dream self has anything to say about it, I am nothing but a testing ground for the much more fulfilling worlds I inhabit when I dream.
I often feel I am drowning within my mind within arms reach of providence, close enough to feel something solid, but I’m swept away in this rapid flow of self-reflection so quickly that before I communicate this experience, I assume its irrelevance to someone else and just drop it. There is so much going on I always keep inside that I am constantly aware of it more so than my quixotic drab life. I go there and experience and feel, where in my community I feel nothing but desolation and emptiness.
Last night, I dreamed old Pittsburgh had been colonized by Russians, not Americans, and they’d not been as interested in Romanesque columns and cornices and architraves and friezes and whatnot, neither decorating their towns with onion-domed, towering baroque monstrosities, but had built organic domes of brick, vastly wide and gently sloped domes. The tops of domes were quite flat and served as thoroughfares of travel. The domes connected to one another in vast clusters, organic clusters like colonies of bacteria. The Russians were like woodland elves, benign, wise and reserved, sly and extremely wealthy. I worked at a kiln, firing bricks.
I made translucent bricks that looked like big Jolly rancher candies, and i spoke Russian. This was a problem when i woke up, because I couldn’t understand what the person on the broadcast playing on my bedside alarm clock was saying. I felt lost behind a wall of understanding. Not weird. I’d once had a dream I was finger-tutting. Finger-tutting is pretty weird to me because I can’t do it. anyways, i had a dream everyone communicated this way, and when I awoke, in a hurry for work, i went into the kitchen half-awake and put a box of cereal and a bowl on the counter and finger-tutted t the bowl and cereal box, fully expecting the cereal to magically appear in the bowl swimming in cold milk, and then have the whole meal transfer via finger tut into my mouth and stomach. No spoon needed.
If you’ve ever dreamed in a foreign language, it’s kind of only the beginning. The model applies to other language. People who experience synesthesia have all kinds of cool things going on that I won’t even begin going into.
I woke up at 3 am, ate breakfast, then ran 31.5 miles today. That’s weird, maybe, but also serves to the end of the hardest training period of my life. Learning that actually thinking about doing an activity and doing an activity has a similar change on the actual structure of the brain doesn’t surprise me in the least. As a horrible procrastinator in college, I’d actually go to bed, write a research paper in my sleep, then awake, slam some coffee and then do it. I would quickly write down the list of notations I planned to use, order my bibliography, and quite fluidly, over the course of an hour, four hours or ten hours, write out massive amounts of data. Usually I’d try to fill any and all of my papers with weird topics I’d rather be studying. Classes were just points of contingency to follow my obsessions. Having access to academic databases allowed me to crawl around in the nether recesses of academia and basically fry my brain with data overload.
I am obsessed with all kinds of things just fighting their way into this blog entry, I have trouble screening out topics. This is ADHD, yay. I’m actively suppressing obsessions that controlled me for years as I’m writing this right now, at this moment. It’s like a seething whirlwind of questions that just seems to continue to grow within me, threatening to carry me away. Being human sucks because all of this information, all of these memories, all of this is shed like water from the sky, falling like a Kentucky meat shower for no reason right on this page, and it runs me ragged into the abyss of my mortality, like small drops of rain washing to sea.
Anyways, I’m weird. I’ve been going through such a juggernaut of productivity the sheer volume and diversity of things happening in my life gave me pause tonight and made me realise i was weird. I was thinking: training for 100 mile race, running a 50K on 4 hours of sleep, doing oil paintings, dreaming of Russian parallel universes, concerned with ontology way too much, finding really incredible pulp fiction novels in thrift stores, designing logos for rogue civil liberty activists, experiencing a new state and a new town – I just feel like a space monkey shot out of a cannon.
Years from now this period will probably bring me much joy and insight. I just wish the landlord would let me have a cat. Never been without a cat before, and it’s driving me nuts. With enough sleep, the process just intensifies. The cat loss, the production of visual arts, the bizarre hyperfocus devoted to ultra running, everything increasing. No complaints. I’m human, and less and less is anything weird to me. Growing old, mentally, is not about coming to terms with things or distilling wisdom, but more of a gradual white noise of perception that just swallows me up with entropic purity. When I die, my final energy will just wiggle out of me (and become neutrinos that will go, as instructed, to Saturn, but that’s totally crazy). Weirdness is like a moment that arrives on wings and disappears like fog at first light of introspection. Maybe I should stop staring at the sun. I can’t – it started it. So, nyaa.