Tuesday, July 11, 2006

trapped in mind

More yielding than assentive. More submissive than yielding. More acquiescent than submissive. Acquiescent; yes, that's the word. Thrown from the back of my throat, bounced off the top of my tongue, and squeezed out through the teeth, the word lands on the table between us, and we both stare, shocked, as though it were the rotting corpse of a dead trout.

"You have the gall to say that I, me, that I am acquiescent? I don't know if the word means the same as it did last time I used it, but I seem to recall it meaning something along the lines of 'willing to carry out the orders of another without protest'? Is that what you think? That I'll just go along with anything?"

Flies buzz. The carrion festers on the table between us like so much dead meat. Silent, I raise my eyebrows, and my pint to my lips. Not much to say when I'm right; no need to underline a fact. I wince almost imperceptibly as the acrid Japanese beer scores the back of throat, this same throat which recently managed to disgorge the diseased carcass before us. This caustic beer, antiseptic - I take another sip.

"You're telling me that you think perhaps there was some kind of choice? That perhaps I could have just gone another way, done another thing? That there even is another way? You don't know-"

You'll keep talking. You'll keep talking until you believe these things you say. Until all of these lies turn to truths. You'll turn from mere acceptor to believer. From convert to devotee. From doctrinaire to dogmatist. Yes, you'll keep talking until you believe your self. But, if there's one thing I've learnt in life, it's that while you may be able to lie to your self, you'll never be able to lie to your best friends. We'll see right through it.

"Another way! There is no other way! Pursuit of empty goals. Chasing meaningless dreams. All a man needs is-"


Apparently, all a man needs is acquiescence. Yes, all a man needs is to have the ability to believe unthinkingly. The resourcefulness to follow. A keen desire to find comfort in the echo chamber, and a need to make a home there. All you need is to finally make that jump from proselyte to prophet. To cross that nonexistent bridge between nothing and nowhere.

Acquiescent. A stench rises as the corpse begins to suppurate, its decaying flesh rotting and cracking, releasing streams of yellow-green puss. I catch the waitresses eye, and consider asking for cutlery. Delicious antagonism - I've a heaping plate of it before me.

You continue your rant, and as you do so, your voice fades into silence. Your lips move, but you're saying nothing, and I lift my eyes to the window beyond your shoulder. Clouds are rolling in, turning the afternoon sky from brilliant blue to dull grey - but it's all the same in here: a smoky haze and nicotine stained lamps, the fading wallpaper of decades gone by, books as ornaments high up on crumbling shelves. Years upon years of bullshit; not a shovel in sight.

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