Carving Your Way

By Phil Grech |

Did you hear that? It sounded like the closing of a cave door collapsing into the ground from a cave occupied by a cave dweller. It sounded like a special effect from an Indiana Jones movie. Stick with me now. I’m going somewhere with this.

It sounded like someone was dragging a shovel over the cement. Remember the sound of shoveling snow? The shovel scraping against the driveway? It was like that, but slow it down. Yes, like that, a slow shovel scarily scraping.

This is what I really heard: The sound of his knuckles dragging. Walking down the street, one hand in hers. The other cave-dwelling appendage draped to the ground, carving an imprint of his path, making the sound of an ancient Egyptian slave pushing pyramid blocks. His knuckles leaving a Hansel-and-Gretel trail so we can find the destination of a slow thinker.

He grunted something inaudible to my distant ears, probably inaudible to anyone’s ears. She laughed and clenched his hand harder.

One of those laughs when the person doesn’t find something funny but they laugh because they are trying to appease the other.

One of those laughs that makes you want to advise the person to stop trying so hard.

Their sweat mixed together in each other’s palms, converged in the crevices and valleys of their life and heart lines. She looked up and to her right, deep into his eyes and thought: I hope he likes me; I’m insecure.

He looked down and to his left, deep into her eyes and thought: I’m going to — well, use your imagination.

Her transparent white shirt and black bra underneath conveyed you’re-not-paying-enough-attention-to-my-chest.

In order to convince her and the people around them he was intelligent and moral, he wore a white polo shirt with khaki shorts. Most everyone was convinced. They let him right in the door without checking any ID. Put on your church pants and everyone thinks you’re the one guy who follows the Ten Commandments.

Waiting for the white hand at the crosswalk, they kissed. Troglodyte DNA infused into her accepting mouth. More DNA to follow later; same location, different source.

Wondering what I did last night. Trying to piece it back together. I don’t remember pouring another glass of Jameson, but I did and the glass somehow made it into the sink intact. I try to piece it back together, but it’s difficult because all I can remember from last night is shards, fragments, like only receiving a few pictures from the entire roll dropped off at the photo booth.

Some touch of madness seems to take over when you see things other people don’t. And I do see many of those things. Yeah, I said it. I see things many other people don’t. You might. You probably have before. But let’s face it: lots of people do not see these things.

It could be a particular idiosyncrasy, a particular trend, whether that trend is an undercurrent in our society or culture, or whether that trend is a prevailing, obvious one sweeping the nation, gathering idiots into the tornado that will no doubt leave them on the ground, shattered in pieces of moronic fragments. It could be a trend with tangible goods, a trend with colloquialisms, a trend in behavior. It doesn’t matter. Like I said… gathering idiots into the tornado that will no doubt leave them on the ground, shattered in pieces of moronic fragments.

Don’t worry. They’ll gather themselves back up, glue themselves back together with false pretenses and some front that irrational people find charismatic. Then, they’ll wait for the next trend tornado to take them wherever they can’t take themselves because they lack the will power to do something on their own, make their own decision, or ignore the trend in the first place and be an individual; manifest the principium individuationis.

That’s why I despise the cave dweller: no principium individuationis. He accepts that which is given to him and never seeks anything out that he can call his own. He fades into the background. He is the background. He lacks the mental and intellectual stamina and courage to separate himself. He thinks he is bold because he bought his opinions and cozily fits right in. I think he is weak because he cannot formulate his own or stand apart.

How disappointing is that? To live life without authenticity, disingenuously, fooling others and even worse, fooling yourself. We are all going to carve something during our short time on this planet.

One man carves the ground with his knuckles; another man carves himself with his ideas.

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