Saturday, January 26, 2013

Someone spoke in class today, they asked, "Where is Jeremy?"

I look over and notice a fat cop with a clipboard cornering someone in my kitchen. Who is that kid? I move a little closer to get a better view of his face. He seems extremely distraught, almost to the point of having a bodily failure. I really hope he doesn’t urinate on my floor in his panic. I would never get over that. I would probably have to move. As I inch closer, careful not to arise the suspicion of my officer captor here, I finally am able to recognize the person being trapped in my kitchen like a loose rodent. His name is Jeremy. We went through some school together, though I never really spoke with him much. I always imagined he would be the kid who would one day stand up in the middle of class and blow his brains out all over the chalkboard. But his brain looks pretty intact right now. Who could possibly know what the future holds for him though.

The fat officer asks Jeremy for identification but Jeremy refuses to provide it. He doesn’t want the authorities obtaining his identity and I can relate to that on a personal level. No one wants to tell the police their real name. After all, anonymity is the only shield from the tyranny of the majority. Anonymous men largely fight revolutions. Only the leaders are remembered and that’s precisely why they are leaders. They’re the only ones willing to put their names on the line for the thing they are fighting for. And though I shouldn’t discount what the great leaders of our history have accomplished, I generally believe they were just charismatic men and women who did it largely for the fame and prestige associated with the position. What kind of megalomaniac doesn’t like the idea of having his or her name forever scratched into the annals of time?

But the majority of men are anonymous, not courageous by any means, and they all die the exact same way, forgotten the minute they close their eyes for the very last time. It will always be that way. Revolutions require ranks of anonymous men who will follow unthinkingly the charismatic leader who himself only symbolically takes on the system. But though he may not be physically fighting the war, he will be the one singled out and stoned to death, or at the very least exiled to some remote island, if the revolution ends up failing. What he stands to gain is only notoriety and for the most part, the common man is not willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for a result of that kind. The majority of us don’t want to be singled out; we like to stir up trouble in secret so that when the shit does hit the proverbial fan, we’re not the ones in the spotlight to take the fall. Through anonymity, our messages can still get out while we remain safely shrouded in the shadows. It’s a great system.

Honestly I believe anonymity is the only concept that allows this society to persist in the way that it does. If we had to put our names down every time we wanted to take a stand or issue an opinion or affect change, I am fairly confident there would be a significant decrease in speech, thus rendering the First Amendment relatively obsolete. In that case we would be left living in a dystopia resembling Communist Russia in the latter part of the twentieth century. That’s a terrible prospect. I wouldn’t know through experience but I could easily surmise that a life in a communist society would not be worth living. I don’t see how it could possibly provide anything to look forward to or any reason to get out of bed in the morning. If left to my own devices in that kind of place I would happily kill myself.

The cops have decided to arrest Jeremy as well. They are really cleaning house now. I’m not too worried about him though; he possesses no secrets of mine. But he is a wily little fellow, putting up an admirable fight that is serving to entertain me at the moment. I watch as he kicks and attempts to head-butt the arresting officer, fearlessly moronic but nevertheless admirable. His success in that endeavor would have made my day, but unfortunately the officer anticipates his moves every time. Finally the police succeed in subduing Jeremy, a reality that has left me feeling somewhat disappointed. I like to root for the underdog in a fight, and by my recollection of the past, there is no dog on this planet under Jeremy. He is under all the other underdogs. It’s a real shame he wasn’t able to win.

With his head hanging in shame and defeat, Jeremy allows himself to be escorted out the front door by the fat clipboard holding officer and his lady partner. I shake my head in dismay, thoroughly disgusted by the outcome of the fight and looking for something new to occupy my mind. Unfortunately there’s still an officer guarding the balcony door and there are tons more milling around near the front of the apartment. So I am essentially trapped in the living room, way too lethargic and weak to think about escaping to freedom anyway. Jeremy looks over at me with exhausted and defeated eyes, trying to speak but unable to find words. Before I can offer anything to say either, he is ushered out the front door, his hands behind him and his head hanging down. He’s going to have a hard time forgetting his first time on Oxy One Sixty. As will I.

Epilogue --

I’m in heaven, idyllic euphoria all around me, covering me, treating me like a queen. I could melt into this bed right now, a puddle of pliable matter, not liquid but not necessarily solid either. And everything would be okay. A new sensation has just presented itself, one I am unfamiliar with coming from this particular drug. It’s a feeling of falling, but falling providentially, like this sensation right here was my destiny all along. Terminal velocity has come and gone, and I’m still falling. But it’s not frightening by any means. Quite the opposite, it’s peaceful, melodic almost, like I have finally found a feeling I could live under the thumb of forever. But there’s no endgame, no finality, no devastating impact to tell me that I’ve reached the conclusion. I’m falling toward something that has no ground, no floor, no purpose or direction. There is no bottom; there is only perpetual falling. But I’ve made my peace with it; I’ve accepted it as my reality. The rush of falling is thrill enough, knowing I will never suffer the impact of finality. This is my eternal bliss, living in the space between the cliff and the ground. I wish it would never end. Gravity is not a factor, not in the true sense that causes you to break apart, a victim of magnetic pull to an object you never even desired to see in the first place. Gravity will not enter into my equation at all and for that, I thank the Oxy One Sixty.

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