In the ‘wrath’ category not because I breathe a word of religion, but because proper spirituality is deeply political. And as a bike mechanic, I can’t promise there won’t be cycling.
Full disclosure: I’m two weeks from forty and my old man’s bipolar, but whatevs… IMO my feet only ever leave the ground momentarily. I continue to count myself a rationalist; more so than ever, in fact.
But now my rationality is really augmented somehow, as if my subconscious is suddenly an order of magnitude more effective… everyday life is becoming a thrilling adventure in which I’m trying to save the world, which might seem a burden, but it’s okay - since for some reason it’s as if I’m on ecstasy and occasionally cocaine, and better yet, it’s like the events in my life seem to be assembling into a potentially pleasing narrative structure…
I realise this easily sounds like a manic episode with perhaps a dash of messiah complex thrown in, but if you grant for the sake of argument that it is possible to be suddenly enlightened in the manner of so much previous blah on the subject, then you’d have to agree that sounding a bit loopy about managing to follow the white rabbit all the way down the hole is somewhat unavoidable, no?
So anyway, I guess I better start at a point where I was running more typical software: six weeks or so ago, I split up with my girlfriend of three years; it was an amicable parting, no drama, sad but not very sad. After a couple of weeks I checked out the online dating options and discovered OKCupid, which has a particularly good matching system where you answer practically unlimited multiple-choice questions which are categorised into groups like lifestyle, ethics, sex, etc. And you can also elaborate at length on your answer if you like, as well as specify a preferred response and if so, how much importance is attached.
This got me looking at myself in some depth, and then I’d compare answers with people who seemed interesting and likeable, and found myself revising some of my opinions, which I thought was pretty cool; I was reminded of Clay Shirky talking about what an important thing a new form of argument can be. I’d been telling myself for years that soon it’d be time to pull my finger out and get some serious self-improvement done, or the rest of my life would start to kinda suck… and now seemed to be that time. So I started getting into updating my software.
I found myself most attracted to a predominantly gen-Y demographic who seem a rather distinct goup: maybe pink hair, probably vegetarian, probably tatts and/or piercings, almost certainly feminist, likely to be bi and poly. I’d never really paid polyamoury any serious thought before, but I didn’t seem to mind the idea of being with poly folks… I asked a smart young bloke at work what the deal was with this demographic. The Ethical Slut, he says. So I grab a copy, and the introduction changes my life… the fact the book’s been out seventeen years is utter headdesk.
This realisation that I’d been missing something right under my nose, basically forever, did trigger a definite manic episode (a minor one, I contend), where I couldn’t bring myself to get much sleep because my mind was going a mile a minute as I was processing and integrating all the implications, reviewing my answers on OKC and revising my attitudes, values and assumptions, and it was all a bit …phew. After a few days of that it was time for bed, and when I woke up I might as well have been on MDMA.
And I’ve been in that state (or better) ever since! Here’s what I figure: I found the thing that was blocking me; twisting up my sexuality, a fairly major note in my identity gone sour. Previously, upon seeing an attractive woman nearby, I’d be somewhat likely to think the usual predatory male stuff like, ‘phwoar, I’d totally give her what for,’ or whatever (among other more relevant thoughts, of course)… but now I’m far more likely to think, ‘ah, there goes a really lovely bit of reality.’ The understanding that I never had to fail at the impossible task of finding someone to tick all my boxes, and rather, that I could live in a world of friends with benefits, shook me to the core. The hippie ideal of free love is profoundly liberating; you might like to try it on sometime : )
So about now I’m getting pretty hooked on this self-improvement deal; starting to work out, do yoga, eat and sleep better, but chief among the host of improvements to be made, was to quit smoking… was doing that on the 9th, when I came across a particularly interesting and inspiring sort on OKC, living off the grid and being super cool and stuff; I tell her she rocks, and she says me too and she’d be happy to shroom and dance and fuck the night away with me, but first I had to get off the tobacco because she doesn’t have anything to do with slaves! Huh. Funny you say that… Struck by her uncompromising stance and the timing of my discovery of it, not to mention her highly groovy allure, I thought what the hell, and deleted my porn collection that day too; I had a picture in mind of a rat with an electrode in its brain, bashing away on a button.
After a couple of weeks I’d repaired the estranged relationship with my lovely neighbour, who I shagged again, this time without pissing her off shortly afterwards, which was nice. But the thing about that, and the no-fap; well, let’s just say I don’t think those cumshot scenes in pornos are fake anymore. Try the experiment, fellers. Also, ‘wanker’ becomes a word of power : )
Before long I realised I was no longer identifying with my personality flaws. My ego’s on vacation and I’m doing my (not inconsiderable ; ) ) best to be the best me I can be. Overcoming the ruts of a lifetime doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s coming along pretty fucking nicely, I think. So I’m following my nose more these days, and I find myself in the grooviest bar for miles, meeting the white rabbit, who invites me back to his joint to smoke some DMT.
The rest of this is gonna take quite some doing to put into words, and I’m outta time for now. Watch this space…