Variant Title—Celebrations For The Excluded: Empathy Canvas Catch-Up; Dec. 2020 Issue
You know what to do. No I apologize that’s exclusionary. If this is your first crescendo angst short non-fiction read, here: whatever’s going on with you, this is a projection place to leave some of it — here. Flip my words around or something. As with the chocolate calendar where you flip open the day and there’s a chocolate. I suppress any sense of youth loss when I see those though at least as according to Kai when he tried out the chocolates they suck now.
The dust settles at some point. Though it doesn’t take away what’s lost on the other side of it. Rather the quiet that comes is even more resounding in the absence of everyone who was lost.
This is for you when the silence of the holidays is at its most deafening, and [we] reconcile yet again with what was missing most of all.
Holiday edition yaayh Please look out for each other.
I: Hands Stumbling Out The Sleeves,
Again Across The Keyboard
Words like that stay with this latest momentary prose-attempt at grace.
Words from here no longer felt contributory as amongst other things the days got shorter, the leaves got deader, and the ripple-effect fate of the human race was either about to swing towards the chance at hopeful ratification or snap under the weight of a flailing obese turtle’s homo-democracidal ass. We’ve had close to a year of planet-wide adrenaline-junkie deathmatch events to make it a year for checkpoint-evaluating what’s important to each of us.
If I’m gonna come back and add to this archive every so often I need to know why. Just like if Superman’s gonna be contemporarily relevant, he’d ask why he should save a human race that’s always shat on him just for helping people with his special effects strength.
- Every frontline worker for who the patterns haven’t changed from one viral wave to the next.
- Every minority member who fights through every day or stops making it through the day.
What good is creation in a world where too many don’t even get to live to take it in.[?] Now if it sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself, I already know the rhetorical answers. And again this is an empathy canvas for you, not a therapy session if I had the bandwidth to try therapy and then the therapist didn’t even bother showing. It however doesn’t change the weight. The scales are tipped and I barely manage to save myself to even save anyone.
What can [we] each do with what [we] experience and live through[?]—and do with in either loud extroverted ways or humble introverted ways.
My part as a feeling cis male person-of-color neurodivergent. However You identify, whatever exterior differentiates you and I—this canvas is equally for you.
What separates you from the rest? That is if you as I even have the gift of being alive enough to contemplate it.
Could I keep convincing myself that my part isn’t a sham-wow guy mug shot? Is it unfair to consistently remind oneself of their own lifetime’s accumulated suffering just to give oneself the right to express? [I] may be in a position of finally actualizing something with all the subjective loss [~11 surgeries, ~5 diagnoses, losing half an eye, ~2+ decades-worth of brimstoned relationships, a suicide here and there, the granny neighbor’s son continuing to attempt and fail to Jehovah’s Witness me, it somewhat goes on, though at least I didn’t get coronavirus. I basically made myself so unpopular not hard that just about everyone who’s not come into digital contact with me forgot I’m physiological.
I couldn’t place more matter into creative expression so long as it doesn’t solely come from the fingers that drag-drop over this keyboard. Creativity gifted by those whose roles aren’t to put out physical fires but rather the existential fires that would’ve resulted in at least some of the physical fires. So this contradictory distrust of my own sense of expression is likely rooted in the self-scrutiny that I couldn’t be a less qualified firefighter when it’s fire itself that emits from my hose.
It’s all been under the span of a year, but one pandemic, a handful of die-or-live elections, and collective global civil unrest later, and everything else already going down around the town, all personally interweaved/navigated with life-defining heartache unrequitement, a stray cat’s sister disappearing, and more under the span of a year and this run-on sentence and I still ask myself if it’s okay to do what I do. Will this heal anything? Does this matter at all beyond salvaging my own spirit.[?] Right and the elderly next-door woman’s son keeps failing to convert me cause I guess that’s how goth I appear to him. Okay this is frustrating I establish the objectives but this first-person shtick still feels conceited.
When the dust is at rest and out-there battles are paused, what do [we] do with the ultimate quiet?
When it smelled like summer again earlier this November
Which reminded [ ] what [ ] said
That cicadas only live 2 weeks from their emergence
That the singing heard could in fact be their dying cries
Something [I] could re-re-re-reflect on—have [I] nurtured any peace of mind with [my] role[s]?
To grind for
[Art] that has lasting outreach
[Art] that actively exists because of and for something more than the art itself
Art that at its most actualized can consequentially literally save and help lives
These are the furthest heights it can go—and the most a creator can give
[We] write this not cause what [I] personally contribute is straight up none of those listed things. [I] write this cause [we] only morally drag on by not taking the potential for granted. Still [I] don’t presume or preach that potential.
Anyone who’d find that self-involved—they’d get it if they’ve written anything over 500 words. While feeling like this is over the 500th time.
This is gonna be a mess isn’t it … … … … .
II: A momentary re-attempt at grace
And the under-exhale isn’t to compare with what anyone else fights through. Instead some weird opposite, where it ponders if any of it adds up to anything. Resuscitating someone isn’t abstract. This still does. Keep typing guy. How are you? Probably lost a couple more readers there. “You wrote all that and more just to ask that My gosh you are autistic”
Malu when you read this—if the writing from over the summer represented a version of me who I would’ve significantly gladly slapped out, then by not erasing that catalogue, I did not try rewriting history like the republicans. The faults are immortalized. The pitfalls are cemented. They’re potholes even the greater Montreal construction project couldn’t fill if the workers predominantly did more than stand and text. Over the year to varying disclaimer-degrees of meta, the words placed on this screen, when I stumble down face first or construct actual sentences, the person behind these moves or lack of don’t change from the person without the creations to back them up.
Who I am while constructing ridiculous run-on sentences is at least not far off from who I am in line at the store. If this murkies up the line between genuineness and performance art, you might be more spot on than I am, though I just brought it up myself. I could be a living exaggeration to the point that it equates a personalized version of honesty. Subtlety is just sold separately and out of stock in the half-baked architecture of this vessel. My wraith’s trying to overcompensate for that. Again I’m never trolling for a compliment [Dan introduced that term and like the wheelbarrow-off-a-hill metaphor I dig it] and waiting for but-you-re-so-sexy comments. This [the constant self-analysis] is always all part of all this. Off the head top I could think of a couple people whose revealing trigger is to be deconstructed, how despite their entitlement to hate they can’t handle how easy it is to solve their game. I hope to always be called out regardless what my first reactions may be; and I hope my humility comes through. Our character development matters.
As for those who’ve gone out of the way to brag about how great their 2020’s been as if it replaced the Olympics and that it makes them cool to gloat about thriving when others are exponentially at a loss—likely nothing will ever fill those peoples’ soul holes. We can be grateful if we made something positive out of a collectively tragic period. But to desperately try convincing yourself that you’ve bested and reached enlightenment over everyone who never had a say shows how out of touch tone-deaf you are. We don’t celebrate to put others down. We lift each other up to reach further heights.
I’ve ponied up to more causes across the year up til Giving Tuesday than my own state of poverty can voice concern. I also don’t feel any arrogance saying that cause it’s not like I have the personality prerequisites to bag anyone when I say things like that. If anything the reaction would be closer to “He’s still not Kenrry.” That’s my Asian doctor brother. So I have the benefit of stating these things to show for what good I can do… Otherwise these words are abstract. Digital projections of light of Jamz running around screaming in a battle morph suit are abstract. The chords I produce after spending half a minute hum-finding what the notes are cause I know theoretically nothing about music are abstract. What can I do
What would Hadrian say if I had and took the chance to share
I know he’d say something empathetic cause he couldn’t get a word in with people without not feeling taken seriously cause of his accent.
It rocked, his accent. To the blaze-pits of Hell with those who trophied him ironically.
Might as well on behalf of him—
what more precisely is this subjective experience of aloneness? Has it been somewhat bush-beat-around cause again, it’s like taking something that’s already abstract and making it a vanity profile. Hopefully we’re past that at this point.
I know I’m
not fundamentally alone.
Or it’d be an insensitive betrayal in our current social zeitgeist to flat-out claim so. At the very least if I lost it and declared that I’m gonna attempt real-life Frogger there’s a number of my mobile contacts whose schedules or just Matias’ schedule that day would be productivity-compromised.
The thing is how many are thinking of others when feeling their own voids?
Who’s taking the time to ask if it really has to be this hard to reconcile connection when isolation has never been this mainstream? Or are we really That Bad at this
Are we really that anti-skilled at reaching out when the walls we coward behind are staring us in the proverbial face
My aloneness comes down that if a plane were to land on me, no one’s lives other than my parents would be fundamentally compromised. For the sake of not making this even more depressive, let’s not factor in relatives cause that’s like saying if your existential pet ran away of course You’d care. The kind of aloneness where regardless what passing sympathizers say, no one truly needs you let alone wants you directly in their lives.
That’s the scary version of it, isn’t it
Whether you’re dying without a loved one by your side—in a warzone, care home, intensive care unit, alleyway, rooftop, your room
Again. I’m grateful for what I’ve had and what I may get to do.
I just can’t bring myself to rest on that. Maybe it’s some post-trauma-light of always feeling on the edge of everything going wrong or never going right in the first place so that it could go wrong later. At least right now I can’t give anything of value without self-shouldering the reality that Hadrian left. There’s nothing to celebrate there. There’s nothing to remember half-glass-full fondly. And so long as the cosmos continue to never challenge me with the concept of Happiness, this is part of what I think about when I’m isolated. Maybe that does make me too intense to be around. For the record I don’t find that hot or useful. If I wanted to conceptualize myself I’d need at least the decency to make peace with the existential consequences of thinking myself too cool for everyone. Any piece of shit who takes an alt-rock-album-cover-style selfie can Think they’re above human bonds.
When someone’s spoken to me about suicidal thoughts, I’ve felt morally all right responding from how I relate, specifically from a spite-the-world critical perspective and not the very genuine mental health crisis of wanting to let go. Whether we’re a celebrity, unknown, or socially perceived-NPC, the cruel irony of contemplating hateful suicide is the very fact that [I
&and you] wouldn’t even get spiteful satisfaction. It wouldn’t have been earned either for the record.
- The people [you] hated will be the very people who laugh about it or don’t care. Or if a deep-seeded section of their humanity was provoked, it would be fleeting; they’d feel bad but they will absolutely get over it.
- The ones who actually did love [you] more than you had the humility to recognize will be scarred which just makes [you] a glaring a-hole.
- [I’m] dead so [I] don’t even get to appreciate the rotten fruits of my spite.
- Unless [someone thinks] they can get their post-death hard-on in those 10 removed minutes.
Killing oneself just proves the very thing we paradoxically secretly wanna disprove—that no matter what, the ones who don’t care won’t care.
I don’t have to get your attention by claiming I’m gonna take my life by Kentucky Fried Chicken skin. But even though I know the proverbial suicide bomber game is rigged, that dread is still there. Knowing that to live is to be damnable to the stats. That if I go, by the evidence I critically consider, it will not matter. That I’ll always end up being the one needing others. There’s nothing self-romantic and exploitable about that conclusion. If people sucked up a vanity profile, then claiming to not be needed is disproven and so I just public masturbated. I’m not comparing myself to anyone else who dies alone. Heck if my life doesn’t end hilariously violently and rather an unreasonably and offensively long life of feeling 0 lastingly profound bonds then that’s still limitlessly less high-stakes than anything I’ve listed above.
The thing is dying alone is not an international sport.
Suffering is not a competition of self-importance.
Our levels of loss are not tallies on a scoreboard.
The dead are not stats.
Did you get that, [ ]?
The alone are not numbers.
On an afternoon this past summer, seated in my open doorway, smelling the heat and burning with the sun. Middle of the Montreal lockdown and the globe as bad as it gets but getting badder anyway. I remember during one of our phone/vid conversations Dan helping me sort out why I would bother at even the most despairing valleys to commit to a paradox. Creating things that ultimately reach out to others when my outlook on knowing lasting bonds borders on cynical nihilism? Dan suggests I’m doing it for the very creed of reaching others. I trust Dan and his knack for enlisting the best parts of our character, and someone who gets the world’s gloom as he does have the advantage of not articulating from naive optimism. He referred to his ethos along the lines of heroic nihilism. With semi-coincidental non-arrogant pride I’ve gone by mine as hopeful nihilism.
I see the eye-opening kindness of strangers working in grocery stores, eye-opening also cause we have to smile through every part of our face that’s not a mouth. I experience the kindness and time and again it’s mind-blowing in the quiet faith it restores in me, and when I flip it around it’s cause this is how relatively low the bar has been set for humanity. Compassion and Empathy are supporting characters in a reality show led by Hate and Ignorance. So when the former nouns make their in-and-out appearances, it’s hopeful; what makes it still nihilism is the fact that it’s such a shock it’s not even more screentime with the latter. The kid who wakes up wondering if they’ll step on a landmine today shouldn’t have to go to sleep saying it was a good day because today was not the day.
Another point and case—if people and groups from different sides and perspectives cannot come together on even a baseline human level at even the most fundamental moments, if even the most catastrophic events that concern the collective and life at large become politicized warfare, then man [we/I/like] .. . . .. .. . .
Now I’m thinking about the grocery store workers.
I’m thinking about the non-Asians who I see supporting Chinatown whenever Mom and I go.
I think about people who still hold the door around the ghetto East side as a maintained yet reinforced act of courtesy.
I suddenly think about the fact as I type in real-time at looks attime 3:44 a.m. that the hope I outline is all from strangers. And without undercutting my hope from them and in extension people generally, it also reflects how lonesome it is over here. For real. Where the fudge did everyone go
I hope just another room in your home and not a corona buffet party.
Metaphorically again, my self-serving answer should be rhetorical. Of where the fudge everyone is, if they ever actually showed up beyond a reasonably non-duty way.
Though duty’s more than enough. I know more than anyone else how unsustainable I must be on a human level. That was not pity-reverse psychology cause if that worked, I wouldn’t have felt the need to type something like that again.
Malu if you’re one day secretly-against-your-dad’s-overly-protective-wish reading this and wondering how there’s such a disturbing discrepancy between my demeanour on our facetime calls and the grammar arrangements on this screen, that’s cause I save all my fronted joy for our 1+ hour a week. I wrote that as if I’m gonna be a digitized manifestation until the sands of time.
III.5 What’s always been and what’s going on
Those bandcamp-screenshot words outline the sub-chapter heading. With just about everyone, individually and collectively.
Is it really that extraordinary a thing to ask?
Something that should be as baseline as
.. . .. … ….. . . .. . . . . … . .. . . . . . . .. . . . .. . .. . . . . . .. .
You on the other side of your screen unless you for some reason printed this
If you know what it’s like to be profoundly loved
Again relatives don’t count
What’s it like, if applicable to you
Even if you feel loneliness as legit as the next person’s
What’s it like
, never needing to worry about truly ending up and being alone
that others will always need you or want you to need them
that you can’t ever truly be alone if no one will ever let you
If I didn’t time and again get it all wrong or have like the worst pheromones I’d humbly accept being the one with the abstract answer
Yet I pay for this digital real estate just. . .to ask questions like that
[Love] is said once in the 4+-hour final runtime of Open Doom Crescendo. Come its release whoever points it out first gets the future blu-ray and a bag of…….floss, and Lays Classic BBQ so you have moral choices.
A species as desperate to connect as ours couldn’t be more contradicting.
People wish the very emptiness they fear most onto others.
They politicize something as fundamental as someone’s right to live and breathe.
They look for ways to justify arguing the dead as statistics.
If it’s not their immediate world crashing down, they won’t look up
at what’s always been and what’s going on.
If they don’t like [others], they focus on why [those others] deserve less
rather than how they dare feel their own side is entitled to more.
They want to live at peace with 4x4ing their moral obligation as a fellow human.
We’ll never be all right so long as we live only to justify one life over another.
As far as the first world goes, some humility perspective might do [us] some good; if even bourgeois in-crowders can feel lonely in this era, imagine how rejects feel now when it was already impossible for them to get close to others when there wasn’t serial killer bacteria at large.
There. I’m not a homeless person so I can’t know how it feels to have countless passing strangers try to pretend I don’t exist. I’m not alone in an intensive care unit gasping what’s left of my breaths. I’m not a person-of-color asylum seeker wondering how many not-colored-people they need to save and how many healthcare buildings they need to sanitize so that someone likely-not-colored in the Quebec government can grant them citizenship instead of saying “u guardien anjouel tank u naow on deport taon arc-en-ciel fesse.” I’m not a child in a refugee camp tortured over whether they’ll see their parents again and wondering if the top guy-not-much-longer responsible would stop playing golf and if not then if his wife could do something since she hates Christmas anyway. Speaking of the latter I’m not Melania realizing it’s her turn tonight to touch Donald’s [.error.]. I’m not Sam when told he has no choice but to put Venom in Spider-Man 3. I’m not Spider-Man when he realized he has less than 3 minutes of screentime in Spider-Man 3. I’m not James Marsden when he realized he made a mistake following Bryan Singer to Superman Returns and lost his chance to redeem Cyclops’ arc in X-Men 3. I’m not James Marsden
when he then remembered he went for a bullshit role in the oppressively boring Superman Returns really so he can mitigate Bryan Singer’s serial sexual assault spree on non-consenting-let-alone-underage boys and he knows Bryan Singer won’t stop him from coming cause James Marsden has nothing to lose at that point cause Cyclops already got so screwed over so by X-Men 3 what’s a 4-minute screentime anticlimactic death hence Bryan he knows what James is capable of just look at X-Men 2 which by the way did not age well so remember how Cyclops goes missing 30 minutes in and only comes back in the last 40 or so and James just to stick it to Bryan he shows up on his first day back which is a fight scene and so he shows up already wearing his visor which he probably never took off and with a 4×4 and he’s like “I’m gonna blast this Bryan” and Bryan’s like “No James it’s a tight indoor sequence narratively nowhere near a garage why would a 4×4 be there” then James is “Fuck you Bryan I’m blasting this 4×4” and Bryan knows what James knows and he says to the stunt team “is there spare boys I mean wire around”
I am not any of these people and I can never know those versions of aloneness. But, if you can feel any relational solace, catharsis, or comfort in this version of aloneness—and the expressionistic results of it—then that’s the least I—and to a much more efficient degree the crescendo angst gang—could’ve done here.
It’s like I’ve had to reanimate what’s at my core the only thing I have left after the rest is lost and done. Words are all I have left. It’s a force multiplier and the only thing that empowers anything I do. Yet like a classic powercurse my one saving grace is equally my dealbreaker. Case and point nurturing a bond only to asphyxiate it when I get too close, not a far-off metaphor for superspreaders. Among the only things [we] can guarantee is the ability to lose something or someone when they realize they don’t have what you’re looking for with them or that you’re not worth knowing more. K that was obviously a people case, not something. Unless it’s applied to a big mac being unable to look like in the commercial. Then again would a big mac even have dreams beyond being digested No it does not it’s a big mac.
What [we] want, or the more expressionistic—all [we] want… it’s not just something you take; it’s given. [roundanaround[…]]
I’m being sincere.
Counter-existentially if there’s another thing the year of two thousand twenty apocalypses has taught, it’s the urgency of not wasting what we can give. I couldn’t care less whether someone lives a self-oppressively so-busy life or lies in bed half the day in catatonic depression. That still says nothing of their self-worth or straight up worth. I frankly would rather hang out with the catatonic depressive cause there’s at least a higher chance of an honest conversation.
What do [I] do, if I can try for more? If I’m one of the lucky ones who hasn’t died from something yet, who can still make something of their time?
What is it to reach for something or give something? Is there even that much of a difference?
I was asked by a 40-year old gentleman what a young person my age was doing up at 5 a.m. eastern time. Something makes it easier out of my own agency to transiently not exist to the other 6,999,999,998 people. Not addressing the people who have actually dire things to focus on like not starving, or dodgeballing covid.
Or situations like this:
Boy yeah this
It’s like Kid Terry just appeared already sitting on the bed behind.
He’s just sitting.
Not sad or neutral or goofy. Just there.
I’m thankful enough.
That I haven’t abandoned him again. That he can still feel okay paying a quiet visit.
I know I can’t sustain whatever [this] is. [This] includes gambling it all on Open Doom Crescendo; so I could worry for real after I finish my part on the Satan-blessed thing.
After the reverse-prequel-pilot of Episode 21, it’ll release next as a concept album-equivalent. I guess a way to compress-propose a 4+-hour movieshow into a near-100-minute-double-LP. I probably could’ve just published a handful of the temp-done tracks and that would’ve emoted way better than this minor novella.
I send that though, maybe in vain, [my own doing if so], but I send it[.] to where the cyborg part of [this] heart already went.
[ ] don’t need it on anyone else’s proverbial shelf/cabinet/if-there’s-another-word.
These feels don’t change. They don’t root to a life that gets to nor in retrospect needs to rock-skip. Again, lest I break my own word and as self-punishment make myself go to a barber. This song just reached 44 loops writing this. The number I think about most after 13 and 5. Again, nothing against barbers. Just cause I was that poor so never went. So it started as an unintentional track record. Whoever reading, I might never truly know your version of aloneness this holiday season. If you’re alone. I wanna hope you can know, get, and find solace with not being alone in that aloneness. If even from this. Everyone [still] dutifully on the team, all my gratitude. Please don’t get too what-day-is-it antsy Malu. I can’t keep up the voicework. That year’s+ worth of hug is also coming. I think I'm third priority category for the vaccine.
A loving holidays,
Ging | Terry
3 thoughts on “Projection Canvas For The Collective Cartoon-Level Holiday Sorrow”
Wow terry just finished reading this
Your writing always intrigues me and creates images before me I’d never see if it weren’t for you
I was with you as you sat in that doorway. ❤️
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Your presence Gail still comforts me to this day ❤ Thank you for ceaselessly inspiring me with your outreach.
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you are so very welcome