”I wanted to explain myself to myself in an understandable way. I gave shape to my fears and made excuses. I varied my velocities, and watched my selves sleep. Something’s not right about what I’m doing but I’m still doing it – living in the worst parts, ruining myself. My inner life is a sheet of black glass. If I fell through the floor I would keep falling. The enormity of my desire disgusts me.” – Richard Siken
For about two hours last night, I was absolutely disgusted with myself – not disgusted on what I’d done, but what I had failed to do. For that time I allowed myself to wallow in self-misery and self-hatred, enraged that I had allowed this loss to happen.
And then suddenly, around 2 AM, my mind suddenly cleared.
Congratulations, Mr. Harrison. Nothing more to say on that. You earned what you have, and you earned the right to keep it. I feel that we are not yet done with each other. Nevertheless, today is yours.
It doesn’t really matter in the end if I’m disgusted with the outcome, I have only myself to chastise for it anyway, and after all, I am a nihilist. To recognize the nature of nihilism, we see feces and death as the ‘dark side’ of the mouth, and through that recognize life beyond the human perspective. Humans fear things that disturb them personally and then assign those things a universal status, like a monkey trying to convince a tribe that his enemy is its enemy.
Escaping this is the essence of nihilism, or a reduction of all value except the inherent and holistic. ‘Disgusting’ is not important; the function of the world and the human body is. Function, measured in real-world changes and results, is more important than sensations or moral judgments, feelings, and emotions.
Truth doesn’t exist. Truth is our perception of what does exist; our assessment of it. You will have to find the truth that’s appropriate to your own life and also exists in reality. Note that I did not say ‘your own truth’. Individualism is the greatest con job ever. You are the product of those who came before you in your bloodline, and the factors of your life. You do not exist separately from the world and you cannot escape this state. Furthermore, there’s no point. Pursue truth as it is evident to you.
This competitive atmosphere is something I haven’t had to deal with pretty much any other time in my life. I was never good at anything much besides taking a life, so it simply never came to mind to think competitively, to scheme and plan. I suppose that’s why in matters of High Octane Wrestling, I am happy to do the bidding of like-minded people. It is, after all, their world and not mine. I’m an intruder here, an outsider, a status symbol to fear but never understand. I’ll never be ‘one of the boys’.
Crowdists love ‘competition’ of a fixed nature, where a single vector determines the winner. They do not like real life competition, including evolution, as it assesses the individual as a whole and does not simply rank individuals by ability.
For this reason, crowds love both sporting events and free-market capitalism, as each allows people to gain power according to a linear system. The more time you put into the system with the sole goal of making a profit, excluding all else, the more likely it is that you can get wealth – and it can happen to anyone, deserving or not.
That is the promise that makes crowds flock to these ideas. It is like the dream of being a rock star, a baseball hero, or a billionaire: what makes it attractive is the idea that anyone can do it if they simply devote themselves to a linear path of ascension – one that is controlled by the whims of the crowd. The crowd decides who is a baseball hero, or what they buy and thus who to make rich. Control without control.
I must evolve in this regard myself. Reality is painful, so we invent justifications and use them to supplant the measurement of reality. We could use the old cliche of an ostrich hiding its head in the sand, but only if there’s a television down there, dramatizing the sadness.
It is an inversion of art: instead of singing the beautiful, we find praises for the ugly and disguise it as beauty, because we have lost belief in beauty. Like a good little nihilist, I note that this loss of beauty is vested more in belief than in beauty. We have made beauty contingent upon so many moral justifications that it is socially taboo to note beauty without somehow tying it to the plight of the disadvantaged.
I let myself hope. How foolish.
Beautiful, enticing, forbidden fruit will be offered to you when your ‘hunger’ is greatest. If you are foolish enough to reach for it, your fingers will sink into the rotten mush on the backside. That’s the way life operates. It promises everything. It delivers nothing but disgust and heartache.
This is my transparency, the transparency of what evil really encompasses. The need and search for power. Power itself is founded on the very disgust I felt last night. The whole of advertising, the whole of political discourse, is a public insult to the intelligence, to reason – but an insult in which we collaborate, abjectly subscribing to a silent interaction.
The day of hidden persuasion is over: those who govern us now resort unapologetically to arm-twisting pure and simple. The prototype here was a banker who got up like a vampire, saying, ‘I am after you for your money.’ Decades have already gone by since this kind of obscenity was introduced, with the government’s blessing, into our social mores.
At the time we thought the ad feeble because of its aggressive vulgarity. In point of fact, it was a prophetic commercial, full of intimations of the future shape of social relationships, because it operated, precisely, in terms of disgust, avidity, and rape.
The same goes for pornographic and food advertising, which are also powered by shamelessness and lust, by a strategic logic of violation and anxiety. Nowadays you can seduce a woman with the words, ‘I am interested in your cunt.’ The same kind of crassness has triumphed in the realm of art, whose mounds of trivia may be redacted to a single pronouncement of the type, ‘What we want from you are stupidity and bad taste.’ And the fact is that we do succumb to this mass extortion, with its subtle infusion of guilt.
It is true in a sense that nothing really disgusts us anymore, so what is the point of my engaging in it? In our eclectic culture, which embraces the debris of all others in a promiscuous confusion, nothing is unacceptable. But for this very reason disgust is nevertheless on the increase – the desire the spew out this promiscuity, this indifference to everything no matter how bad, this viscous adherence to opposites.
To the extent that this happens, what is on the increase is disgust over the lack of disgust. An allergic temptation to reject everything en bloc: to refuse all the gentle brainwashing, the soft-sold overfeeding, the tolerance, the pressure to embrace synergy and consensus.
All this means, ultimately, is that nothing really changed much last night. I had the chance to take another golden trophy, and I allowed myself to want it too much. I was foolish. It won’t happen again.
It’s something my opponents this week understand, probably.
Who has been more maligned or disrespected than Clay Byrd? Every time you get close, someone from the Board pops up and ruins all of his fun. And to be honest, it’s very amusing. Steve Solex has, of course, been manipulated, and used in any number of ways for quite some time now. He was even trapped in a prison cell near me at one point, ranting, raving, yelling at the sky. Mad because he couldn’t grill anything with a bald eagle on his shoulder, I would assume.
Arthur and I are the High Octane Wrestling World Tag Team Champions. What better way to re-center my thoughts than to immediately jump right back into the fray? There is no pause button on this new life of mine. It moves on with or without you. And this is a preview, in my estimation, of the violence to come at War Games. Glorious, glorious War Games. I see the ultimate playground ahead of me, an open canvas to create whatever I wish.
But first things first.
I don’t go into this blindly. The mind is greedy, though. When you sense the benefits with people who previously thought rubbish about you, the mind forgoes those thoughts and inclines toward those people to gain optimal benefits.
That’s fine. I’m content with the arrangement for now. So much left to do, so much left to accomplish.
I’ll need to confer with Arthur this week. We have big plans to discuss, and it needs to be settled. Recent failures aside, the biggest human temptation is to settle for too little. Since most of us are too stubborn to admit that we made a mistake, we would rather settle for what we bought. I have no interest in settling. Settling is what sediment does when it falls to the bottom of a sea or lake, right before it compresses for several million years and turns into a fossil. I do not understand why that is something anyone would want.
It is not acceptable. We keep what is ours. I take what is mine.
It has been a long time coming.
This is just the beginning.
”When you refuse to settle for less than the best, the best tends to track you down.” – Mandy Hale
“Don’t be concerned with what happened tonight. We have bigger plans for you.”
The short note had been slid under the jail cell door, signed “M.B.” and handwritten.
And then, without warning, a throng of men in working construction clothing was standing in front of the cell, with 4th Wahl standing just off to the right, holding court.
“You’ll be knocking out this wall here, into the next cell, and then into the next cell after that.”
He looked directly at Jeffrey James Roberts, who was standing in the middle of the room, hands clasped behind his back, observing.
“You’re getting an upgrade to your living quarters. The Board is utilizing… how did they put it… some positive reinforcement.”
Roberts chuckled at this. “How magnanimous of them. Do be a good man and express to them my appreciation.”
4th Wahl walks a little closer to the bars, a smirk slowly forming on his face.
“I wouldn’t get too used to it,” he said menacingly. “If you fail them again, I wouldn’t be surprised if they threw you down into a hole and buried you alive, never to be seen again. People don’t cross the Best Family.”
Roberts’ eyes narrow and he takes a step in the man’s direction. “Is that so?”
4th Wahl nods. “That’s so.”
Roberts nods back mockingly, then looks down for a moment before slowly raising his eyes again.
“How lovely to hear your opinion after so many months. Lord knows I’ve been sitting in here thinking to myself, ‘I wonder what the big dumb oaf of a security guard in the other room thinks about the way I’ve been conducting myself’, and then I would spend hours reflecting on the possible wisdom that might someday come to my direction. So yes, thank you ever so much for your opinion. Now let me give you…my opinion….
The next time I’m out of this cell, I’m going to slice you up and make a coat out of your fat, bloated, pasty white skin.”
4th Wahl laughs. “Right.”
But he hasn’t noticed Jeffrey subtly moving forward toward the bars. Too late, he sees it, but in the split second between looking down at the bars and looking back up again, Roberts thrusts his arms through the bars, smiling like a maniac, and latches onto him. He pulls him, over and over, into the metal bars until blood is gushing from his face and dripping down the steel to the floor.
The men around them step back, muttering to themselves, not sure what to do. With a final pull toward the steel bars, 4th Wahl’s face is smashed in between two of them, and Jeffrey lunges forward, biting into the side of his face exposed to the interior of the cell. The big security guard screams out in pain, and Roberts finally relinquishes his hold on him, letting him drop to the floor.
With the back of his hand, Roberts wipes the blood from his mouth and spits out a hunk of flesh to the floor next to the still screaming and writhing man.
Looking at him calmly, Roberts straightens himself up, once again clasps his hands behind his back, and looks at the group of terrified construction workers, who stare at him or, in the case of one, make the sign of the cross, which makes Roberts smile.
“My apologies, gentlemen,” he said as he turns and headed back to the center of the room. “I know you have some work to do. Feel free…”
Roberts says nothing else, keeping his back to them, then slowly closes his eyes, the sunshine shining on his face, and smiles.
”A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” – Friedrich Nietzche
The Journal of Jeffrey James Roberts.
Words are scrawled on the page in hurried writing.
Entry Date: May 10, 2014.
“I’m all these words, all these strangers, this dust of words, with no ground for their settling, no sky for their dispersing, coming together to say, fleeing one another to say, that I am they, all of them, those that merge, those that part, those that never meet, and nothing else, yes, something else, that I’m something quite different, a quite different thing, a wordless thing in an empty place, a hard shut dry cold black place, where nothing stirs, nothing speaks, and that I listen, and that I seek, like a caged beast born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born in a cage, in a world like a beast, in one of their words, like such a beast, and that I seek, like such a beast, with my little strength, such a beast, with nothing of its species left but fear and fury.
No, the fury is past, nothing but fear, nothing of all its due but dear centupled, fear of its shadow, no, blind from birth, of sound then, if you like, we’ll have that, one must have something, it’s a pity, but there it is, fear of sound, fear of sounds, the sounds of beasts, the sounds of men, sounds in the daytime and sounds at night, that’s enough, fear of sounds and all sounds, more or less, more or less fear, all sounds, there’s only one, continuous, day and night, what is it, it’s steps coming and going, it’s voices speaking for a moment, it’s bodies groping their way, it’s the air, it’s things.
It’s the air among the things, that’s enough, that I seek, like it, no, not like it, like me, in my own way, what am I saying, after my fashion, that I seek, what do I seek now, what it is, it must be that, it can only be that, what it is, what it can be, what it can be, what I seek, no, what I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, they say I seek what it is I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, they say I seek what it is I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, what it can possibly be, and where it can possibly come from, since all is silent here, and the walls thick.
And how I manage, without feeling an ear on me, or a head, or a body, or a soul, how I manage, to do what, how I manage, it’s not clear, it’s not clear, something is wanting to make it clear, I’ll seek, what is wanting, to make everything clear, I’m always seeking something, it’s tiring in the end, and it’s only the beginning.”
In the corner of this tiny concrete box of a cell, the prisoner, Jeffrey James Roberts sits pressed up against a corner, arms crossed over his chest as if to stay warm, a small opened journal on the ground next to him, and he rocks back and forth, muttering to himself.
“Only the beginning. Only the beginning. Only the beginning.”