The Memory of Eating Chocolate

4 Mar

The trouble with lucidity is that it always comes at the most inopportune times. Usually when you are suffering through and from some kind of physical immobilization, and so there isn’t much action you can ultimately take. Other than philosophical or intellectual…
–Or spiritual.
I argue that because, as an atheist, lucidity is a solid state for replacing spiritual thought, effectively erasing the immobilizing, redeeming seduction of shamanism or the fantastic, or the boring occult. As a child I was never scared of the Bogeyman or Chupacabra or the Wicked Witch of Whichever Direction on the Compass. My biggest fear was being crushed and ground down by the vise-like beak of a giant octopus while on a scientific dive with Jacques Cousteau. My second biggest fear was stalling the Nautilus under the polar ice cap, not having made concessions for the exorbitant consumption of stored (and finite) natural fuel (you see, I was an avid environmentalist even then, as a child; even in my dreams) used in thrust, and energy expended in cutting through the forces of a giant maelstrom and reversing the fate of the Nautilus crew only to be exchanged for the horrific checkmate of asphyxiation by means of water in the lung sacks.
But I was telling you about lucidity and how it always seems to come to someone who is incapable of any more physical action, and therefore relegated to the suspect label of mere pollution as the result of an overblown, over advertised, and overrated evolutionary concept of self-preservation.
–Self-preservation is not overrated. Or over anything.
It is when it can be transcended by logic. Strike that, not transcended but more like over-ridden. Like a system put in place in a complicated machine. Like a more intricate version of an easy button.
–You will not argue instinct.
But I will. It’s the direct consequence of lucidity, but with a much unfortunate limitation of physical immobility–as in my case now. Which brings the logical realization of having been transformed from a widely-accepted consumer of already depleted natural resources–albeit with a somewhat redeemable label of producer cum recycler–to a mere source of pollution. Rational and intellectual, yes, but most tragically physical. You see, in my current state, or rather, the disease’s current stage, I am rendered to an absolute pollutant.

At this stage I am able to separate myself from this pointless drivel; this pseudo-intellectual oratory; this bullshit! I am able to do that. I was always a master at detaching myself from myself–but in a good way. In the best of ways. Like that time at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland when all the others dropped acid and encountered God in His various forms or incarnations or fabled versions, but I was able to walk away from the ridiculous scene filled with boyish confessions and drug-induced spirituality of guilty heretics and sinners; just walk away and down the elevation, to the rocks, and onto the water, to the middle of the lake. What I want to do most now is live. I want to live. More time. The worst thing about this finite cycle is its ability to render every action inconsequential with its control of time. I want it. Time. I want it, or more of it, so I can conquer it. So I can understand it purely and simply enough to render it obsolete. Like Einstein. Like the universe. I want it so I can destroy its mere concept by fully realizing it. I want to live, despite everything I’ve been telling you here.

I started out talking about lucidity as it occurs to a suicidal, wheelchair bound invalid seemingly fearless of death, but really what I’m doing is excusing my lack of action; passing it off onto the shoulders of fate. I would turn off the lights, only I cannot reach the dimmer.

I am just like the billions before and the billions to come after. I am scared and I am full of regret for not having had accomplished anything of value in thirty-eight long years.
He says.
–I’m sorry. I didn’t think.
And he squeezes the last third of the chocolate bar into its wrapper, then throws it away (gently) into the metal receptacle. I am looking at his mouth and his fingers. His upper lip has a tiny line of chocolate running lengthwise from corner to corner. He reminds me of the twelve-year-old boy he was (we were) when I met him. But I’m not hungry. I haven’t been in many months, although the hospital sends three trays with compartmentalized assortments of sustenance each day. It’s the memory of eating chocolate that pushes me into the lethal bout of melancholy which usually precedes acceptance which usually precedes death.

I begin to cry. This will be my last year. Two thousand and eight. My last month. My last week. My last hour. Year 2008.

The year of nothingness.


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