Here I sit, in a cabin, in Ancram, NY, eating fruit salad. Blueberry, apple, pear, papaya, and a drizzle of lemon. That’s what’s in the salad in case you were wondering. I know you were. For some reason, as a writer, I want to wink at you, Reader. Hah. I find myself getting that urge a lot when I write, to wink. Sometimes the urge comes to me in real life (writing isn’t real life) but I fight it; I can’t wink. Or, rather, I can’t wink well, so I abstain generally. But here, now, and to you, I wink.
Sam Cooke is singing something to me, I’m ripping R.E.M. (Monster), and my aunt has just donated to me a large cooking fork. The majority of the Earth’s population will probably never have a moment in life as wonderful and comfortable as this. I am, after all, operating on a machine that can instantly connect to people across the globe; I am sitting in front of a tiny, modestly stocked mixing station; I can smell and hear bacon cooking, and soon I will eat that bacon; it is raining outside and I am well sheltered. This is fantastic and no one comes into this world anticipating, expecting, or even deserving treatment like this. And still, in this context, I find myself wanting.
I’m not being ungrateful, and I don’t believe I am being unnatural. Whether we live in happiness or despair, we assume both: that things can be better, and that things should be better. The concept of “living in happiness or despair” is absurd admittedly. It assumes one is living in a single general emotion, generally. This isn’t how anyone lives, we know. Our moods peak and valley daily, hourly. And I am not unhappy here. Keep that in mind.
In this cabin, I got an idea for a pretty cool horror film I could write and produce with relative ease. I’d love to shoot it here. As beautiful as the surrounding forest is, it also has the potential to be very frightening. This isn’t new, I realize. The man v. nature conflict is pretty common in the horror genre, but I really feel like I can stretch myself with this idea. This is good, because it is very easy to stagnate as a writer, much less a human being. Avoiding that sort of thing can be tricky sometimes.
Like Percy’s protagonist, I get hit by bouts of malaise pretty frequently. Even here. Honestly, I can think of very little in life that dispels this shit. In the present, only one thing comes to mind. Forgive me for being shallow, but this is just what affects me; a beautiful female friend often makes life fantastic. The root of my desire for a friend of the opposite sex is sexual, I’m sure. But while I mentally vomit into my computer, and she sits across from me drinking coffee, or whatever it is she does, I find the need to protect myself from attackers accusing me of objectification. Really, what is a human being if it is not an object? I type that with a touch of sarcasm, and I don’t want to deconstruct my opinions to the point of metaphysics or semantics, but it is fascinating to me though that people see harm in appreciating someone for their aesthetic and sexual appeal. I suppose the problem arises when the attraction is wholly superficial, but I promise, I can’t forget that you are a human being.