I fear if I had to scribble another line of platitude, my mental faculty would deteriorate in consequence. I fear if the present deluded me uncontested, my sight would be veiled behind murky shroud. At any rate, what are we, if not sound in our capacity to see, even ever so slightly, into the future and retrospectively into the past; and what are we to become, if each instance were to sear deep into the mind, that the ecstasy of the here-and-now disillusions the there-and-then?
Such are the questions I find myself bombarded with perpetually, whose answer veers between an unfathomable precipice and a gaping maw. It’s as if an internal conversation had by two polar opposite, yet twinborn siblings, both vying for control over their common master, had hijacked the purpose of its being and turned it to a futile tautology akin to some kind of broken record looping a disconcerted tune. Said conversation is all there was, is, and ever will be.
There had been a simpler time, or in hindsight, a more naïve time, when succumbing to the more expedient twin posed me no cognitive dissonance. Nevertheless, they are no more. Cases where utterances the likes of “YOLO” and “Yeah, I’ve earned it” had been nothing short of an exit strategy at its height, are now dwarfed by the sheer complexity and the stakes of my contemporary quandaries.
Who am I? Why do I believe in that which I believe? The more I strive for a clear state of mind, the deeper I find myself snared by the myriad vines that have both anchored my footing, and curbed my inquisitiveness. Thus, ever so often, the treachery of the mind that always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when something is needed to be done manifests itself through my conscious effort of breezily but painfully squeezing out the phrase: “I don’t know.”
Have I, or have we, waivered our lightning-fast acumen to savor photographic moments? In return for what? Planning into the future that one considers to be foreshadowing the present tangentially? Or grieving over the fait accompli of the days gone? Perhaps it was a worthy trade-off after all—one that I can learn to live without, but still I could not take my mind off the enormous desire to doubt that was ballooning up in front of me so fast that I couldn’t see round it.
In the palace of the mind, I sit in the serenity of its boisterous theater; except, there is no theater to begin with, but the cacophony lingers still. I drift in a vacuum of space in the theater’s stead, one that laughs at the pull of gravity and the direction of causality, and oddly enough, it is in void I feel my existence and it is in bedlam I gain lucidity. My here-and-now is in disarray, but my there-and-then; one is carved in stone and the other awaits my hopefully-well-informed venture.
The more I ruminate abstractly on my hypothetical past and future, the more my present disintegrates away from me. What appears right before my eyes in plain sight, in this moment, somehow elicits déjà vu, nostalgia… sorrow… regret… apprehension to be unfold… I live in the past while I live in the future, but I NEVER live in the present.
I do not know how to orient myself in the present, nor do I have a modus operandi to emulate, for the present is fleeting; it is gossamer; it is arcane; it is what Tom Wolfe had praised Marshall McLuhan to be—Perfect! Delphic! Cryptic! Metaphorical! Epigrammatic! Above all, it is soon to become a relic of the past—a scheduled obsolescence preordained in my finite stretch of spacetime, the same way I am to become a scheduled obsolescence in relevance.
A spectacle is only as good as its curtain-fall, and when the confetti are thrown, would it be better to leave the audience perplexed, or continue to perplex oneself? Being, is a mystic compass that points to not where north is, but where the strangest cases dwell.