Sunday, August 19, 2007

choked in layers

I would save you if I could. And, if things go my way, I just might. I could save you from light and noise pollution. I could save you from advertising overdose and urban sprawl. Overpopulation and mutated viruses. Propaganda and counterpropaganda. Terrorism and counterterrorism. Wars, global warming, and off-gassing. Big business, government monitoring, and social disconnection. Most importantly, I could save you from banality. I could save you from yourself.

Someday, you might thank me. Parades in my honour, streets and civic holidays named after me. Everyone will remember the day when I saved humanity. Everyone will remember the day when Becker Garvey Moore saved humanity from slipping into the whitewashed folds of a lacklustre hell. That, or I’ll wind up dead or destitute, lucky to have you toss me some change for a pint. Fortunate to have you walk by me with eyes filled with something other than disdain. Who knows what the future might bring.

I could have been comfortable in my big house. I should have been. My big rambling house on its rambling street. My big rambling house on its rambling street in that great, insipid sea, suburbia. That sea of bleached vinyl and colourless shingles. Empty, staring windows and vacant decks. Manicured gardens and faultless hedges. That roof of lazy blue skies, and that eternal green carpet of broad-leafed, weed-free grass. I could have been comfortable – but just how is an imperfect man supposed to feel at home amongst such perfection?

Each day was the same. Wake up at the same time. Drink the same two cups of black coffee. Eat the same toast and eggs. Read the same bloody news. War over here. Terrorism over there. A little murder. Some rape. A lot of thieving. I’d unplug my car, make the same trip to work, do the same meaningless bullshit. I’d sit vacantly at my desk, or, if I needed a change, angrily. Sometimes, on a good day, I’d just sit there complacently. Watch the clock. Drive home. Warm up the same supper. Watch the same television. Sleep the same sodding sleep.

Excuse me if I seem a little disillusioned, a little disappointed, a little disparaging. But we were promised more, were we not? Should not life be at least somewhat interesting? Flitting trip back to childhood, and dreams of adventure and exploration. Of world travel and voyages into space and beyond. We were allowed to foster certain expectations, then, while our elders kept the sinister truth to themselves: that our adult selves would never amount to what we expected; that our lives would not be different, unique; that we would never have any fun.

2031, and I was far, far away from what a naïve me just twenty years ago thought I might one day become. I had grown into little more than a sucker at a desk, my work monitored by management, my life monitored by the govvies. I was an empty shell, a husk, my insides scooped out years ago by the authorities and replaced with sterile foam filling. Creativity suppressed, any individuality deterred. Bubble-wrapped for my own protection.

Then, it never occurred to me that I might one day be in a position to construct change, to posit permutation. Then, it never occurred to me that I might one day elevate myself to an architect of my own advancement. Our advancement. That I might one day wake up, rub these tired eyes, and see everything, for the very first time, as it really was: a nightmare within a nightmare within a nightmare. Ad nauseum.

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