Can you remind me what this is about? No use trying to fool me. I’ve got a good memory. I’d know right away. What was I saying?
So are we going to stop having these conversations with one another soon?
What do you mean one another?
You and I, having these conversations?
I don’t quite understand your question because there is no you and I. This is just me talking to myself.
It may seem that way. In a sense, maybe you are right but in another sense you and I are having a conversation.
Who is the you and who is the I?
Lets just say that you is the daily struggles, judgements, worries, fears and other thoughts that play out in your head, every moment of every day. I am more like the voice of reason. I am the one who is aware of all the thoughts that play out in your head every moment of every day but can offer you larger perspective.
I see. So you are my wiser half? You are the one who is more evolved in a personal growth/self-actualiziled kind of way?
Maybe. I am just the one who is aware of all of the various thoughts and emotions that play out in your head and body. I am more like a detached observer standing off to the side. I am not as caught up in or identified with the narrative of your life, as you are.
I see. You are just able to take a bigger perspective. You don’t get caught up in all the minutia.
Yes. I am always watching and aware of you. Always observing what you think and feel but keeping a safe distance from it all.
That is a good thing because what I often feel and think is pretty fucking negative.
I know. Trust me. I observe it all day long.
So if you are so wise and aware, why do I feel so pissed of right now?
Because you get so narrow minded. You focus in on all the bad shit without being able to maintain a broader perspective. Since we began having these conversations there have been many improvements in your life.
You do not really watch pornography anymore.
I may go back to it….
Yes, but right now you are not watching it. You also no longer kill flies. You are just able to let them be or you help them to fly out the door and back into the wild. That is a great improvement from the murderous rampages that you used to go on.
There is a fly in my studio right now that I would like to kill. It is driving me nuts. But I won’t kill it.
The fact that you have just put on your noise cancellation headphones and have not killed it is a great and noticeable improvement in your behavior and life.
I guess this is true. A small improvement but an improvement none the less.
It is the small stuff that really matters. You also do not get pissed off as much.
I am pissed now.
Yes. But you are controlling it. You are not getting as pissed off as you once did.
This is true. But I feel frustrated right now. My wife refuses to keep the house clean. I have to waste my time always cleaning up after her. Not matter how many times I ask she seems incapable of keeping things clean and picking up after herself. If I want the house to look nice, to be organized, I have to do it and this upsets me. I have better things to be doing with my time! People are out there living their lives. Doing interesting things and I am either always cleaning my house and/or complaining about what a mess it is. I don’t know, it is getting old.
Look. We have had this conversation in the past. I don’t think this is a situation that will ever be resolved. You know now that you just get pissed off. If you are not getting upset about your house not being cleaned you will find something else to be pissed off about. You are just a pissed off man because of the fact that you feel stuck in your life. You feel like you have an inability to get to a place that you want to be. To do what you want. To succeed in a way that you want. And this keeps you pissed off. It is not really about the house. It is more about the lack of control that you feel over your own life. But do we really have to get into this again? We have discussed this a lot before.
Yes. I just often forget. I wish I was a dog, or a piece of celery, or a tomato.
Why? Thats ridiculous.
SO I could stop this continual struggle of needing to be this person that I want to be. So that I can stop needing to achieve anything and just be. This adult human life is so fucking complicated. Feels like there is so much going on. So much to keep together. So much to figure out. So much to take care of. I can’t keep up with it all. I am just not cut out for it. Maybe I should just smoke weed all the time. That seems to help take the edge off.
Maybe. You are a difficult person and you are less difficult when you smoke weed. When not under the influence of some substance you have a very difficult time feeling settled. You often feel sad and incomplete. You are always unhappy about something. I realize you are just overwhelmed and even at the age of 45 you still have yet to figure out how to figure it all out.
This is true. And now I have much less energy. Now I am feeling like I am just beginning to settle. Beginning to give up the fight because I do not know what else to do. I am stuck and just lack the energy to dig out of this hole. Maybe it would be easier just learning to settle. Just working my job. Reading my books. Cleaning my house. Taking care of my garden. Listening to music. Have various experiences with my wife and then gradually grow old and die. Maybe this is it. The evolution of a man who could not figure things out. Just live out whatever life I have left without worrying about needing to achieve anything extraordinary except simply getting by. Being able to make enough money to just support and live out the rest of my life. That is it. No other need to attain anything else great. Just an ordinary life.
Maybe. You could do this if you think you would be satisfied. It is always a possibility. Things would be easier in a sense. To just work your job and then spend the rest of your time just living your life. No need to make great art. No need to write novels. No need to find recognition as a writer and artist. To just let all of that go and live a peaceful domestic existence.
And then just die. Just disappear from time and space without leaving much of a mark.
You have left a mark. You have helped people. As a teacher and a therapist you have had a influential effect on many people. You have made a lot of great art and written a lot of things that will out live you and have an effect on some people.
Maybe. But I still have this feeling like I would die not having accomplished what I really wanted to do.
Write novels. Be an artist. Make my living in creative and unconventional ways. I never really anticipated kind of becoming like my parents. I never anticipated just living a bourgeois life. Working my professional job as a therapist, supporting a household and just living my life.
What do you mean by just living my life?
I don’t know. Just living an ordinary life. Reading, sleeping, listening to music, feeding dogs, watering plants, meditating, worrying about making money, doing dishes, going to the market, exercising, watching movies, go out places with my wife, buying stuff, having occasional orgies, drawing, writing, paying bills, feeling like something is missing. You know stuff like that. A quiet life.
I am not sure what you are trying to say but I think what you are trying to saying is that you did not anticipate just being this ordinary guy. Just doing, in a way, what everyone else does. I think maybe for a long time you wanted to really be different from the crowd. You wanted to differentiate yourself and do something unconventional and great- like write novels. You did not really want to just be a professional who owns a home and lives a normal and quiet life. You wanted something different for yourself. Something more creative. Something that felt like it was your passion.
Yes. And I am not passionate about being a therapist. It is just what I do to earn a living.
I know. There are no easy answers. You have many fantastic things in your life. You are very fortunate in many ways. But I know that it feels like something vital and important is missing.
The fantastic and frustrated modern life of nobody in particular.
In a sense yes. I suppose it is a kind of existential crisis. But you know what?
Everyone deals with all of this crap to some extent. Even the ones who are fortunate enough to make a living doing the thing they are passionate about. The important thing is that you keep doing the things that you are passionate about. Keep writing. Keep making art. Keep reading and listening to music. This is what will differentiate you from the masses since the vast majority of people just give up. They surrender all autonomy and uniqueness and just live very average and passionless lives. Even though you may never make a living doing what you are passionate about, you must keep doing the things you are passionate about so as not to become average. Becoming average is such a massive epidemic in America and even though you have to work an average job as a therapist you can still avoid becoming an average human being.
I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like being average would not be so bad. Things would be much easier in a way.
I don’t know. To just go to your job. Come home and watch tv or hang out. Spend weekends going out and pursuing hobbies. To not worry about all the larger questions or feel like you need to achieve something greater. Seems much easier this way.
Maybe. I really don’t know. I am sure that there are many struggles with this way of living as well. I think that the way life is set up in America is just one big struggle. It is all about working and achievement. Making money. No matter who you are, life in America is a drag. Culturally it is bankrupt. The vast majority of people are dead inside. N one escapes the existential crisis caused by life in America.
Maybe so. You really think it is different in other countries?
I really do. There is more living and life in most other countries. In America it is just about work, money, status, consumption and competition. Very totalitarian.
Yuck. I don’t like it one bit.
Well, I think we have said enough for today. Think about some of what we have talked about today and then lets have our final conversation tomorrow.
And then we will be done having these conversations?
I think so. I think we have said enough. Don’t you?
There is a lot more that I could talk about with you but yeah, I think we have covered a lot of territory. I will miss you.
I am always here.
Ok. Well, I will talk to you tomorrow.