Love Letter Day X
I have talked about my sister’s death so many times but it’s still on my mind, and this time it’s different. It just is.
Is everything OK at home? (You’re asking the wrong question) Yes.
With apologies, I am repeating myself. It is an act of freedom. You can call this kind of emotional liberation courageous. I am calling it latitude. An unending line that touches itself and makes room for repetition. I wish I could play this one song on repeat forever. This is what the song had to say recently:
Sympathy is strange but in the spectacular absence of it I had an important realization about grief and sadness. When I smoke cigarettes, which I have been doing a lot more of lately because of grief, I think about judgement surrounding the act of smoking. When called out, I rationalize that smoking is better than what I would do otherwise. It is a gag. Recently, it occurred to me that smoking can be good for me for other reasons. Not because I’m deluding myself that it has no carcinogenic effects—I know it will kill me but I swear to fucking god I don’t care right now. And I do think it’s healthy for me at the moment. Smoking can outmatch every other kind of silence it promises; a disgusting veil.
This is not the important realization I had about grief. I’ll get back to smoking in a bit but wanted to throw that in here before sharing the actual realization.
After relentless sobbing one starts to wonder if it ever ends. But no. And it’s just too much. The thinness of my restraint is comical. CIGARETTES. That’s all I got.
I was thinking of other solutions to stop weeping. You don’t fucking care.
You need to let go. But I’m still crying.
I can’t do anything about it. But I’m still crying.
Somewhere in this smooth brain I finally figured out that I was asking the wrong question. Is everything OK at home? You’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking when sadness ends, I asked: why is it relentless? Why? What do I have to learn from grief? Why are you heartbroken? Here is one answer:
Sadness is relentless because the universe is infinite and the only way to know the absolute spaciousness of the universe is to disintegrate oneself into the kind of atomic smallness only possible when one is totally inert. The infinite sensibility of grief is a temporal hint of the infinite size of the universe. The spaciousness of grief is how I am finding the corners of the world, and I have to distribute myself into particles in order to see how far this place goes. Making noise is important in this scenario. That is how you locate yourself. That is why one sobs. I had to scream to figure out I was pulverized. And I found out I was famished after letting myself disintegrate into as many pieces as possible.
I ate three servings of dinner. I haven’t eaten like this in months.
So back to cigarettes. They are an appetite suppressant among other things. Let’s say my goal is to simply quit smoking. To learn to manage an appetite and let go of insistence. In the case of a cigarette the insistence is a chemical addiction to nicotine and other toxins. But searching is insistence, and wanting is insistence, and fantasy is insistence, and love is a chemical reaction and all of these things cause chaos that pleases the body, so I don't need to control it anymore. Instead, I can relent. I can be as relentless as the grief. Allow for and accept every thought that comes through it, and when I crave a cigarette now I can remember it is an act of searching and then find whatever I'm looking for. Let myself crave and I will find more of me in more of the universe and even accept the pain of finding things I cannot have, as part of the human condition.
I know this is not the first time a person has realized pain is connected to the universe. I know a lot of what I'm saying is right there in the ancient texts of religious hokum. And for once, I am getting to this realization without the use of drugs (well, except for that pesky nicotine). Which is all to say, I’m not high and I’m not deluding myself into an old spiritualism by pretending it’s new. I’m still proud of myself for coming up with this. And at the risk of clapping a final thought to this like some brave admission, I guess what I am saying is that I am finally ok with just seeing how my bullshit moves. Everything’s great at home. I am the one that’s falling apart.