Go ride your bike. Go do something. Do you need to be sitting on this toilet spending so much time in rumination? Ruminating. Ruminating. Always ruminating. What is it you are trying to figure out? It is as if your life is a puzzle and you are constantly trying to figure it out. You like it you say. Do you really like it? Do you really like always ruminating and trying to figure yourself out? Do you really think you will reach an end point of rumination? Is all this ruminating pleasant? You sit here on your toilet, day after day, ruminating about everything. There is no organization to any of this. As soon as you resolve one problem another will arise. As soon as you have finished complaining about one thing you will be complaining about another thing. Your ruminations are endless. There is no end to any of this. Rumination is an insatiable appetite. It is just what you do you say. It is how you exist in this world. Rumination is just who you are. Sitting on this toilet day after day and ruminating is just what you do in the same way that someone else may go play golf. Is this what you really want to be doing with your time? Sitting here ruminating and endlessly trying to figure out and resolve the problems of your life? An unexamined life is not worth living you tell yourself. But isn’t it nice when you are meditating and free of this rumination? When things are just good as they are? When there is no more effort to figure things out? When you are just settling into your life as it is in that moment without analysis? It is nice you say. You prefer the stillness and silence of meditation over the noise of rumination you say. But there is purpose to both. Rumination without meditation is a straight path to misery. Meditation without rumination is a straight path to being the dullest person in the world. So a balance must be achieved between the two. Meditation and rumination. An equal amount of time must be spent on your meditation cushion as is spent on this toilet ruminating. This sounds fair.
Why do I waste my time with this Instagram thing? It doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t provide the results I am looking for. What results are you looking for? Fame! To be discovered! To be seen as the talent that I am! Ok, well there is nothing wrong with that. Instagram is a way for you to tunnel your work out into the larger world. It is a way to get your work seen without having to show it in a gallery. You can make something and then instantly a hundred people can see it. But they will forget about it a minute later. Instagram is so saturated with art and images that no one can retain much of what they see. Everyone is on there looking to be discovered, to be seen for the talent they are. But when everyone is doing the same thing, few will stand out. How do you think you will be one of the few? I don’t know. I know it is a waste of my time. I know it does not mean anything but it is fun posting a picture I just drew and seeing how many people like it. It is almost like playing a slot machine. I post and then I watch how many people like what I post. If not that many people like it I feel like I failed. If many people like it I get a rush that tells me I am on the right path. I must be good! What a crap game to play. Why are you reducing your work as an artist to this game? Would you ever be able to respect an artist who plays this game? Could you ever be really interested in an artist who posts their work on Instagram? Of course not. The moment it is posted on Instagram the work is less interesting. The things we chose to engage with say a lot about a person. Instagram is another word for sell-out. Why are you doing this? It does not motivate you as an artist. It often depresses you. Subconsciously you feel bad about participating in this crap. You know you are doing yourself a disservice. You know that any fame that would come from Instagram would not be the kind of sell-out fame you want. So why do you keep doing it? Are you that alone and bored in your life that you are so desperate for any kind of stimulation and recognition? But the recognition of Instagram is no recognition at all. Yeah someone might tell you they like your work but this is as far as it goes. And deep down they know you are showing (always posting) your work on Instagram, which does discredit you to an extent. Instagram is mold to an artist. Why are you doing this? Get off of it now. Go delete your Instagram page right now. Stop this behavior now. Yes, but aren’t you being a bit rash? Maybe you are chickening out? Cracking under the pressure? Maybe it is a good way to show your art but you need to be less involved. You get so tied up in these social media things. Before you know it your self-worth is dependent on it. You check and check to see how many people like what you have done. If only 3 people like your post, your feel like it is crap. Why can’t you believe in your work more than this? If no one likes it, but you like it, it is good enough. Don’t you like those artists who have faith enough in their work to keep making it even though few pay attention? You know it is the shit no one likes that is often the good stuff. But it’s Instagram. I know but Instagram is all you got right now. Rather than deleting your Instagram try and be more restrained with it. Post once a day and then do not check it at all again that day. You have such an addictive personality. With whatever gets you high. Naked women, liquor, books, sex, food, weed, Instagram. You need to learn how to have more restraint with the things you get addicted to. As humiliating as it is to admit, you get addicted to social media. YOU ARE THAT GUY. There is nothing wrong with Instagram. Sure it is crap. Sure it means nothing. But it is a good way for you to show your work to the world. Let it be that and nothing more. This hunt for fame and value as an artist is ridiculous. You need to knock that off. See Instagram as a digital wall that you hang your work on. Other people can see if they want but you are just hanging your work on that wall and then who cares about the rest. It is just a digital wall. Stop always coming back and checking out your art on that wall. Just hang it and leave it alone. Who cares who does or does not like it.
I notice that I do not want to talk to people. When I see people I do not feel excited or interested. I retreat. I feel inconvenienced and annoyed. These are my initial impulses. Once I force myself to smile or be pleasant I can open up more to people but initially I want to move away from all people. It is the same impulse anyone would have to loud mechanical sounds. For me the annoyance is the same when confronted with people. I imagine many people do not feel this way. When they see people they feel happy and warm. They feel like they would like to engage and connect. People who have these impulses are fortunate. We are surrounded by people. We are dependent on people in many ways. I imagine that the person who feels open and interested in people is a person who feels generally good. Even though I do not believe it, we are told that we are social creatures. We are told that our health and wellness depends on having other people in our lives. We are told that because we are social creatures we need a community that we feel a part of. But I do not believe it. We may have needed a tribe at one time but we are no longer Neanderthals living in jungles or forests (or wherever those people lived). Now we live separate and removed from one another, Lost in our own rotund worlds. It is time that we adapt to who we are now, which is a creature who is not as needy of other people. To hell with the tribe. We would benefit from being able to spend more time happily alone. We could benefit from feeling like we do not need friends. We could benefit by learning how to be happy on our own and not needing a community of people. People are good and nice because they help us out. They do things for us. Beyond this I do not think we need to be so dependent on people in our lives. Communities, friends, wives, girlfriends and parents have caused me much more pain in my life than good. People take up time that could be spent doing more meaningful things. People are problematic and to be avoided if possible. I do not think that those of us who chose to have less people in our lives should be seen as doing something wrong. We should not feel bad that we have no friends because if you really examine things you are probably choosing to have no friends. What rational person would want friends when you realize how much of your time friends take up? What can be duller than hanging out with friends? Yes, it is always a nice distraction but it is a waste of valuable time. I want a person to help me when I am in need (and I will be grateful for this) but I do not want to feel bad that I don’t really like people in most other ways. People are a drag. They talk about self-absorbed and dull things. Show me a person with interesting ideas and a unique way of presenting themselves and I will be immediately open and interested in them. Show me a person who is unique and stands out and I will be open and interested. But the vast majority of people inspire a retreat response in me. They are physical embodiments of boredom. I am annoyed by them before they even open their mouths. I do not want to hear what they have to say. Once I force myself through this initial withdrawal impulse I can and will engage. But I am not so interested in what they have to say. I just want to talk and find a way to get my ideas across. Somehow I feel like this will make the interaction more tolerable for both of us (since I assume that I am the one with the more profound, more insightful, more interesting ideas). What a narcissist (and/or realist) I must be.
Why is it I am so insecure about myself? I am continually changing my style all the time. I justify this to myself by telling myself that it is good to not stay stagnate with one look. To change one’s appearance often is art. It is a way to fight back the boredom. I suppose these justifications are true but there is something in me that feels like I should have one look and stick with it for a sustained period of time. Always changing one’s look can create confusion for oneself about who they are. It can also give others the impression that we are insecure. I wonder what others must think? One month I have a beard. One month I have a mustache. One month I am clean-shaven. One month my hair is curly and wild. One month it is combed straight back with a part to the side. One month it is shaved on the sides and back and one month I am growing it out. I must give the impression that I am in a state of continual confusion about how I look. I am confused. One month I feel like I want to look more refined. One month I want to look more bohemian. One month I do not care about how I look. One month I want to be dressing very nice and stylish. One month I want to wear all black and have more of a gothic look and the next month I want to dress like a middle-aged hipster with very nice style. There is no consistency in my head. If I see a middle-aged hipster who is nicely dressed but appears to be an idiot I no longer want to dress like that anymore. If I see someone who is dressed like a broke and lazy bohemian I no longer want to dress like that anymore. I seem not to want to look like anyone I see unless I do not think they are an idiot. I once met Nick Cave and then dressed like him for several months. And then I saw a man dressed like Nick Cave who seemed to be an idiot and I stopped dressing like Nick Cave and started dressing like a bohemian. My fashion sense is madness. It is susceptible to the slightest influence. If I think I look like an idiot I will change my style. When I have a beard with my hair parted to the side and shaved on the sides and back and then see too many guys with the same look I will start to hate myself. Despite the fact that I like the look I will shave my beard and have a mustache. If I see too many guys with mustaches I will them shave my mustache. Most men are clean shaven so once I am clean shaven that look will not last long. It is pure madness I tell you. How I look can change in a second. I can go from being completely in love with my beard to shaving it off my face because I noticed too many idiots with beards. I can enjoy dressing like a refined hipster but if I see a bohemian man who looks cool, I will start dressing like him. I can never know how I am going to look going into the next day or week. The way I look is as irregular as my moods. It is unpredictable and built upon a weak foundation. It is terrible to know that even though I like the way I look now, in twenty minutes things could radically change. What stability is there in this? How is a man supposed to build a solid and healthy ego formation when he can not even trust the way he looks? If a person’s conviction about their fashion sense is so weak that it can be completely eradicated within an hour, what is there for me to hold on to? Nothing is solid or stable. Nothing can be relied upon if a person can not even trust that how they look today is going to be how they look tomorrow. I now have my hair parted to the side. It is short on the sides and back. Yesterday I shaved my beard again and now have a mustache. I am dressing in all black and trying to have a more hip and refined fashion sense. I want to promise myself that I will keep the mustache for one year. That my hair will remain the same style for one year. That I will dress the same for one year. I really want to promise myself this. I need this. People must think that I am losing my mind. I think that I am losing my mind. I really need my look to remain the same for a long period of time. Please. It is getting ridiculous.
I’ve lost control over my life. It is true that we have no control over most things. There is little we are in control of. I get this. But there are things we do have control over. Like what? Like how much money we spend, how much booze we drink, how much we exercise, what jobs we work, who we associate with, what books we read, what music we listen to, how much and what we eat, who we date, how much time we spend on our smartphones, who we marry, who we have sex with, what mouth we stick our tongue in. There are many choices that we have full control over. I see this. But I feel like I am currently out of control. I drink more alcohol than I know I should. I do not eat the way I would like to eat. I do not work the job that I would want to be working. On a day-to-day basis I do not do the things I want to be doing (I often neglect these things). But you are not entirely out of control. You do some things that you want to do. You meditate everyday. You exercise. But you do do many things that you do not want to be doing. For example, you think a lot about going to strip clubs or hiring a prostitute. I understand that this is fun for you. That it is an escape. But you desire it a lot. It is continually on your mind. Something you are continually wanting. If you do do it, you spend more money than you would like and afterwards are left feeling frustrated. You could have spent all that money on books and/or records. But the allure of a beautiful naked woman is so strong and I can’t just go out and find it in a café. Sex is so repressed that unfortunately we have to pay for it or go to a strip clubs if we want to see and touch a naked beautiful woman. But if I was in control I am not so sure I would go. I would occupy my brain with more interesting things. More fulfilling things. Maybe. In many ways my life is out of control. A bundle of decisions that have been made for me. By whom I do not know but if I was in control my life would not be how it is now. I would not check my phone as much. I would not drink alcohol. I would find a more effective way to make a living. I would publish novels. Finish my graphic novel. I would probably move to a different city or town. I would be healthier. Stronger. I am not sure what I am getting at here. I am trying to figure out how it is that I am out of control and then organize a way of getting some control back. What do I really want? This is an important question. What do I want? What kind of life do I want to live? My wife is calling me. She thinks I am spending too much time on the toilet. I tell her I am trying to work things out. The bathroom is the only private space in this house. I have to go water the garden before the afternoon sun gets too hot.
I realize that the vast majority of people are dumb. They are caught up in their own self absorbed machinations. Out to lunch. In an egoic void. Numb to all surrounding universes. Self generating. Islands. Backwards utopias. Garbage dumps of empty thoughts. Vapid ideas ruminating around like vacuum cleaners that refuse to turn off. Winners in a game they have already obviously lost. I realize this. Their tastes are as bad as their breaths and buttholes. But still, do the god damn sirens have to be so loud?
I am tired. Very tired. I don’t want to get off this toilet seat. I should not feel so tired? Why do I feel so tired? Things are weighing me down. Nothing is weighing me down at the moment but the past few days have weighed me down. I can only carry so much weight and today I am exhausted. I am exhausted by other people. I am exhausted by trying to hold it together around other people. I am exhausted by having to be present for other people. I am exhausted by having to make money from other people. I am exhausted by other people’s banality. I am exhausted by having to be a certain kind of person for other people. I am exhausted by my own frustrations that thing are this way. I am exhausted by the expectation that life should be better. I am exhausted by the expectation that I should be more loved by other people. I am exhausted by the expectation that I should be more appreciated by other people. I am exhausted by the expectation that I should not be in the situation I am in. That I should be in a better place. How do I get myself into a better place? How do I get myself out of this situation? I don’t know. I am too tired to do anything. Too heavy. I just want to recline on my couch, read books and magazines and listen to music. My body does not feel well. My breath feels short. My body vibrates as if I stuck my finger into an electrical socket. I feel weak. I want to feel better. I will feel better in time. It is just for now that I feel like shit. It does not mean I have a terminal illness. Why does my mind go there when I feel unwell? I need to be out of my mind. I will read and listen to music. I will remain on my couch for the day. I will get free from my head and let my body recover from the drain of other people.