this is not going to be coherent.

October 29, 2012



this is the prison we put ourselves in the cage we build up around our eyes carefully ever so carefully sticks and stones and the little red weave of bleeded friendships, little life-spaces to call our own, little places we blunder into and try not to break.


this is going downhill. this is already downhill. we subsist entirely on snark and cereal and everlasting bitterness; a little like everlasting gobstoppers but more incoherent and we carry a knife in each hand now, heavy and solid and comforting. It gets you around in the world. It keeps you sane. No-one will defend you, so you fight for yourself. And if there’s nothing to fight for, that’s okay too. Knives are comforting.

here are the words in my head: cardboard armoury. self-made tombs. I built myself my own castle out of paper because there was no other way to stay safe. survival isn’t everything, y’know? survival isn’t the ultimate goal of man. I’m learning that.


I’m running out of things to stay alive for. no. that’s wrong. I’m already out of things to stay alive for. there is no way I can be totally logical and coherent saying these things. this is why I’m saying ’em like this. this is what the inside of my head is like. I’ve been in bed over six hours today, I got home from work and I climbed into bed and it’s not that I’m devastatingly miserable, you know? I know what it’s like to be like that, howling and abysses and all. it’s not that. living is a habit now. hard to snap the neck of. you won’t find me slitwristed anytime soon in my bathtub. (my bathtub’s all shiny and clean we had flat inspection last week.) I have no intention of interrupting my existence; I’m not remotely suicidal. I don’t even think I’m depressed. I simply don’t see any point to it. logically. mentally. brainwise. honestly, what is the point of living? I’m curious. I’m having a hard time finding one.

knew this would happen. I told you. five years ago, I picked up Samuel Beckett and loved him. and I knew that if I ever dropped hold of God, I’d become like this. without God I am absurdist as fuck. in the absence of God, existential nihilism happens and I honestly cannot understand what being alive does. why I need to be alive. I knew this, then. and here we are.

wheeeeee. this close to the abyss of empty and it’s all thin threads here. it’s not that I don’t believe. I’m not sure what I believe. it’s that I hold it in the place in my head where I don’t believe and yet still do, Schrödinger’s God, a vacillating unnameable mess. I am not asking questions of the empty air and yet I’m trying to see if the air is empty. it’s a hard line to walk. it’s a ridiculous line to walk. I am trying to stand something while asking whether the thing I’m trying to stand on exists. I am trying to figure out what there is to live for in the framework of a God I’m not sure I trust, with the loose threads of an old relationship still floating. It’d be a gamble to snip ’em. If I snip ’em, what if I’m wrong and I die tomorrow? do I lose? how much of this remaining belief is simple cowardice? Damn you, Pascal; you have a lot to answer for. but there is no way to be objective when summing up the universe. you either believe one or the other. I’m trying to do both. it’s not working very well.

I figured, a while ago when things were more coherent and rather less flatlined, that either you can stand on the outside and ask questions of it, or you can stand on the inside and ask questions. I was trying to do the inside version; everyone does the outside version. you know me; I like bucking the trend. and who says the outside version is more objective, anyway? the outside version already has an opinion. you have to have an opinion on this question. it’s a yes or no. not even touching on the thousands of religions possible, of course.

and I figured, with the same mindbending duality of belief I seem to have entered into- that God has patience enough for all my questions. God has grace enough for all my doubts. I seem to be trying to straddle the doorway now, liminal space, Janus-faced. I only have one face. I need to read some Kierkegaard. I need to read some Chesterton. I need to read the Bible; I don’t even know where to begin with all the questions on that. I don’t know what to trust.

being alive is stupid. trying to figure out what I’m alive for is stupid. having a brain is stupid. the whole thing is a mess. I am exasperated. I don’t think I’m clever enough to untangle the mysteries of the universe. but I’m not willing to just give up and swallow answers obediently. I’ll die each way. the inside of me dies both ways. that’s what I’m afraid of; that’s what brought this on. the inside of me woke up from where I put it in order to Survive, and I realised what I was doing. How the hell does Switchfoot always get it right?

A warm body don’t mean I’m alive; I want to thrive, not just survive. And Anberlin, good grief. There’s more to living than being alive.

sleepwalking through my existence. I will not do it. that’s what I’ve been doing. but what the hell else choice do I have if I don’t know what I’m living for? I don’t know if this is the correct thing to say to a suicidal person, just fyi, but I don’t think survival is the thing we’re supposed to aim for. I don’t think mere survival is the point. give me something to survive for; we run for reasons, we survive for reasons. we don’t run races for the sake of running races, or at least you don’t when you’re exhausted and your shoes are made of knives. you run to places, you run for people, you run for prizes. trying to figure out what those things are. I’ve learned to survive, thanks; I’m extremely capable at it now, and it’s a useful thing to learn but now I’m learning you can’t take it the point where you drift through your life simply surviving. Sleepwalking.

There’s a little voice in my head like the little voice in the car that beeps when you back up or when your seatbelt is undone or when a car door isn’t closed; it’s the practical voice that says go to work and get up now and go eat food now, come on darling. it’s a good voice. I ignored it this afternoon. A small act of rebellion against the tyranny of practicality. it’s this voice that puts my thinking, living self in a box and sends it mentally to sleep because that thinking, living self usually wants to know what the point is to living, and wondering these things doesn’t tend to make one functional. it usually makes functioning pointless. and we all know surviving and growing up is about being a functional adult contributing to society, don’t we.

and no, I don’t think that’s something to aim for either. that is not the ultimate goal of mankind, of humanity, of human life. hello dichotomy of the things I believe and used to believe. I know I’m hungry. I’m not sure what I’m hungry for.

I refuse to be a thing already dead, waiting only to die. I refuse to be turned off in my head, to be mentally asleep. I think it kept me safe for a long while, I think it kept me sane; I think being asleep kept me alive until I got here, and I am grateful for it. but I’m outgrowing it. I guess I’m in a place where I can ask these questions without wanting to walk in front of buses now. I guess the survival habit’s got strong enough. but now survival isn’t the point anymore. something else has to be. and there it is again; I’m trying to be Christian and I’m still Christian even though I’m trying to poke holes in exactly that, to ask questions of exactly that. Still yearning for the answers I want to be true, still unsure if they’re even promised, if they’re even true. I don’t know how I’ll know if they’re true or not. I don’t know if I’m capable of telling. I don’t know how I’m doing this. I don’t know what I’m doing. Some days I barely have enough mental awakeness to know I’m awake and be angry at my sleeping. this is absolutely bonkers but I have no other clue how to go about doing it.

I’m not sure I’d advise this method of living. it is Not Fun.


grit and knives and days where I’m just going to hide and sleep because I can’t handle this. days where I will turn off my brain because I can’t handle this. I don’t know why anyone would take up living for fun. but I’m still hanging out for resolution. I’m still looking for answers. pretty sure there are answers. that’s the leftover Christian kicking in. why the hell are we human? who decided humanity was a good idea, anyway? who decided consciousness was a good idea? and when the hell did living become a battleground?

s’pose when I jumped out of my sleepwake tower and decided I wasn’t gonna wait for answers anymore. answers, like princes, don’t come walking in. I’m not sure I believe in a God who comes rescuing; and yet I’m hoping there are reasons beyond my understanding for all this, excuses for why being alive is such a terrible, difficult thing. it’s the problem of evil all over again; it’s always the problem of evil, just deeply personal. and when is it not? God, I’m terminally confused; I’m blind and a fool and a failure and I know all that. I know all my names. but there has to be something to live for.


do you understand? I hope you understand. I’m not looking for reassurance. I don’t need to be kept alive or placated from the edge. I’m already alive and I have no intention to not be so. It’s hard to look for answers when you’re dead, see. This is philosophy gone personal. I’m looking for answers. Hoping for something to hope for. I may get to hoping for hoping for hope or worse but it’ll still be a form of drive, something that’ll peel me out of bed into the grim and grit of the day. Here are my knives. Let’s go.

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