It’s just a scene playing out.  

Over and over again.  

You can feel your brain coming out of your skull.  You can feel your jokes landing flat. You can feel the impasse, the general failure to communicate.  

I wish someone had prepared me.  “Prepare to be alone. Prepare to be unable to relate to other people.  Prepare to live in solitude. Prepare to be rare, and different. Prepare to be gifted or retarded – it’s the same thing here.  Prepare to be set apart.”

That’s what it feels like.  A stranger even to people I think I know.  Still too weird to make it work. I’m always lost. 

I hate crowds.  They make my skin crawl.  Lines and busy restaurants.  All the people pushed up against one another.  Or worse, glued to phones.  

Like vegetables.  Like statues, or dolls.  Empty and bereft of life.  

It’s a feeling.  It’s just a scene playing out.   A train sliding by. Too quick to be caught.  Speeding on to the next station.  

It’s a feeling.  Means nothing. Adds up to zero.  Let it go.  

People want to leave their mark.  But that’s not art. The cavity your body leaves in reality is your legacy.  An empty apartment. Faded photos of a person who never comes around. A name you only dust off in remembrance.  

I don’t like it, the lines.  The sewer water they freeze into ice cubes, then serve up with your drink so you can taste it there, too.  

“What are you drinking?”

Seltzer.  

Stupid boring people always want to get fucked up. I find myself there whether I want to or not.  Sometimes it’s good to feel out of it and sober. Maybe it’s a chemical imbalance. Not enough calcium or something.  Maybe I’m depressed. Maybe tonight is the night.

Sometimes I think, maybe I’m not even here.  And I take photos to prove to myself that I exist.  Long after I’ve taken them, they seem to mean something else.  

But the events that pass by still feel like nothing.  Just a scene playing out. Something underpinning your being, Your existence, the thing that assures you:  you are.  

Incurable.

Can’t change it.  Embrace emptiness.  And cultivate it.  

Unbalanced.  Crazy and lonely. Sick, and over time, getting sicker.  Faithless, til finding faith in Nothing. The dim flickering hope that at the end of a road awaits some reward.  

Artful people make Art that looks like Art, to be sold as Art.  Meanwhile artists make real shit.  

If something would be beautiful, crass and cruel folks scuttle by and pluck it up and put it on a high shelf.  

But I want to find the people who look at it and drink it in for a moment, before moving on.  Or who wake in the night, recalling a prior vision. But who left it there, untouched, unplucked, knowing it isn’t something to be owned.

I want to find people who still have souls.  Who still think, and think they can be better, if only practicing a little restraint.  

I want to find the people who know the way, but never call it.

Why do you have a camera? She asks.  

“He always has a camera.” Someone tells her.

I always have a camera, I tell myself.  

The things that make you unique aren’t named.  They’re something asleep in the dark, deep inside your chest.  Or locked away inside your head. Bringing them up, they seem to evaporate into thin air, appearing lost.  But you never had the words to bring them up in the first place.

You’re a dash or an ellipse. Negative space between two black lines.

But it’s the emptiness of a vessel that makes it of use.