Magnets, Worms, oh, and some groovy tunes

In Parting Not how one soul comes close to another but how it moves away shows me their kinship and how much they belong together”

-Nietzsche from 75 aphorisms

Whenever I glance through the pages of any philosophical book, a line will jump out at me and grab me by the eyeballs and make me look, not just read, not just understand the words, but actually understand the depth in which the text is trying to relay to my brittle mind. I try to fake it and pretend that I’m the all knowing when it comes down to certain things, but when it comes to knowledge of ones self and how ones behavior affects others, that’s when the words really sink in. When you can actually relate to a text, when the words soak into your sponge of a brain and leave you wondering to yourself, what is next, what now?

Or my favorite lately, “holy shit, Nikki, is thisĀ really happening?” I’m comfortable with the fact that I make mistakes, and people may agree that the mistakes that we make in life shape who we are in the future, but are they really mistakes, is parting with something, someone, or someplace really indicative of a mistake somewhere along the line of your past. Are you really just plowing through the fields trying to find your way out of the corn maze that we call life or is there a logic to the patterns?

As the Nietz got loonier in his older age, his almost seemed to make a little bit more sense to the common folk like me that didn’t necessarily understand why that old dude was trying to climb to the top of the mountain in the first place, (Zarathustra reference there…stay with me if you can). In the earlier works, it reminds me of me when I was full of doubt and angst, what I was doubting was myself, what I was angst ridden about what everything else in the world. I just seemed to be spiraling out of control with no rhyme or reason. When I crashed the shark I felt my world was coming to an end. In a terrified pile of flesh and feelings I crumbled to the floor in the house that I called home and felt my world come out from under me. It was sort of like one of those stupid rides at the amusement parks when you are slowly raised to the top of a large tower and then suddenly you plummet to the ground at what seems like a million miles a second. You never actually crash, but the illusion is there, you mind tells you everything is going to be okay, this is an amusement ride that people ride daily, and none of them ever died or got hurt, right?

Of course not, because that perception of safety is there. You will hit bottom, the ride will be over, and you can get on with your tourist adventure. If you’re wise, you’ll try it again, just to see if you get the same result. If you’re really wise, you’ll observe other people before throwing yourself at the mercy of some minimum wage paid amusement ride worker. What do they have to lose? They could care less if you plummet to the ground and have both of your legs broken off and are paralyzed for life. Once you realize the outcome of a certain event, emotion, or situation, that’s when your brain is supposed to move away and heal or stay put and see if anything changes. The struggle is real, especially when it’s more than just a carnival ride. Think of it as you’re favorite toy as a child, but it breaks. You’re still attached to it, but it no longer works…actually….it never really worked right in the first place, but it was all you had so you grew attached. The bond was strong, but the relationship with the broken toy wasn’t healthy. You saw other kids with better toys than you, but something made you stick, something made you hold onto that toy hoping that someday it would magically repair itself and you could be whole again.

Connectivity isn’t just a word that relates to hooking your laptop up to a wireless network, it’s an inner soul searching magnet that is always at work, but only if you let it. The catch is to trick yourself into believing that your connectivity magnet can actually attract good. I for one have had a hell of a time with my magnet, recently it had me hit bottom, but what I thought was bottom was only a false bottom, kinda like that amusement park ride we were referencing earlier. Instead of stopping at the bottom of the tower, somehow, someway, the ground gives way and you plunge deeper into a dark abyss – but only because that’s what you’re allowing your magnet to draw you to. (examples are great, aren’t they, take the alcoholic that refuses to admit to having a problem, although they know they do, they allow the magnet of connectivity to draw them to what hurts, not what would heal them.)

Yes, I am now sitting at my computer at well after midnight with a Farmhouse Red Ale beside me and a couple of houseplants that look like they should have been put out of their misery a long time ago, but this is where I’m drawn. This is where I need to be, but it’s only where I have to be now because I know where I’m going in the future. Before sitting down to this desk, in my new office, with my new furniture, with my framed artwork of an E24, E82, and a poorly painted picture that was supposed to be my mom (please note, I cannot paint) I was sort of in a wanderlust mindset. I’ve lost everything that I *thought* was important in life, only to realize that the happiness that I was feeling wasn’t really happiness, it was just fear of unhappiness. It was a clever mind trick.

“If I can’t be beautiful, I want to be invisible.”
Chuck Palahniuk

And that simple sentence rang out to me like one of those annoying clocks with the little birds that pop out and make ridiculous noises. I realized my life was just a struggle of being seen but being invisible when I felt I wasn’t at my best. It was a no win situation, and if you’ve ever delved into the whole “body stereotype” bullshit you’ll understand that you cannot have it both ways. For me I found myself in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV, again, staring at the ceiling, again, and wondering why I couldn’t just be beautiful so life would be easier for me. There was really no difference from the first time I was in the hospital and the last time I was in the hospital, they both came from self destruct modes, granted they manifested themselves in different forms. The end result was the same though, it never worked. I’d get discharged, and I’d reevaluate my life and how the heck I got to where I was.

This time it took me crashing into several trees with my brand new car. I can’t explain the wreck, I can’t explain exactly what happened, all I know is I was being carried out of my house by my dad and a friend of his and going to the hospital. I didn’t know what was going on, much like the first time I went into that hospital, I didn’t know what was going on, but that was only because I was about brain dead from starvation. Think back to our first quote about moving away. I thought I had moved away from that destructive habit, but I didn’t. my soul was wrapped around its self. I was wrapped up in my own selfish world of wanting to be a beauty queen and desired. It wasn’t going to happen, I realized it, and then it manifested itself into something else. A different roller coaster ride developed and I found myself just stuck at the top of a hill without the power to keep going. I was stuck. I couldn’t move forward, I had no motivation, nobody pushed me, I felt that my soul was invisible and that it was going to remain that way.

“I’ve been set free and I’ve been bound
Let me tell you people
What I found
I saw my head laughing
Rolling on the ground”

-Lou Reed with The Velvet Underground

Aftermath of wreckage is always hard to wrap your head around, and clarity always seems to come in phases. For me it was as simple as laying on my bed, listening to old records thinking about how things could be, how things were, and finally, the fact that I was master of my own destiny. I curled into a happy ball next to a warm body and for once in in my life I felt peace, my pain seemed to be set free. Lou Reed rang in my ears and my heart sung happier songs than any birds in trees could ever sing. In the face of total destruction, concussions, and discussions, I found myself set free. I never wanted to move from that position, I was safe, I felt whole, I felt like all of the static from my past had been forgiven and I was finally able to move forward with life. Without realizing it, I was in a daze. My feet were swept out from out from under me and for once I didn’t care if I was beautiful or invisible. I was set free, and all it took was one person to believe in me, to make me realize that there isn’t a “perfect”, there isn’t a template for which all “good” people are formed, it’s your connectivity magnet that draws you. I will never be able to thank that person enough for keeping me from giving totally up, I was pulled from the plummeting amusement park ride and boosted up to a higher pedestal I could ever imagine.

And I sit here, in my office, it’s now after one o’clock, the music plays on and I glance over at the E82 on the wall. I look at it and think back to the adventures we had, but will never have again. I killed that car, I also killed a little piece of myself. I look over to that poorly painted canvas and realize that the subject matter is really quite grave and I should probably just throw the damn thing away. It’s actually kind of creepy.

But then I look over my shoulder and see that amazing print of an E24 and realize that all things are perspective. I crashed both of those cars (and another one, but I’m not bringing that one into the equation because I was never actually attached to it). The 128 and I spent lots of time driving fast around corners, although I knew I probably shouldn’t, and that’s where it died, on a tight right hander. I look at the painting that is supposed to be my mom, it looks nothing like her, but she never gave up, especially when I was a dick head of a teenager.

The E24, however is different. Today was the first day I got to take him back out on the road and get that sensation of connectivity. That car and I have been to hell and back, and we both have the battle scars to prove it. So on a hot day in South Carolina in August, I let go. Windows down, hair blowing around, I realized everything is going to be okay. If anything it’s just going to keep getting better. I don’t need shiny new cars, I don’t need big screen tvs, I don’t even really need a roof over my head, the simple fact that I feel loved is enough.

“If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.”
Immanuel Kant

Save the worms for fishing and the birds, I’m going to be a butterfly.


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