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Wednesday
Apr242019

No island is a man

It is now easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism.

from Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, Zero Books, 2009

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It seems I'm one of those people who's always looking around for meaning wherever I am. 

I don't claim this as virtue. It's much more like walking around in the dark at 3 a.m., walking as if bolted down and needing to remove each bolt, bolt-by-bolt, step-by-step, so as not to fall, stepping twice with each foot while wading into the trout stream as instructed by my friend in Wyoming, an outdoorsman, and taking the lesson I learned from him in the wild back into the otherwise calm domesticity of my home.

My home: the greatest gift of my capitalism.

To have a home is to know exactly where you are.

At home I know the exact number of steps I have to take to get from x to y in the dark at 3 a.m. In my case x=my bedroom and y=the kitchen. There are 11 steps from the bedroom to the kitchen, 11 down and 11 up. 

In those times when I can't sleep I sit in the black chair, once I get downstairs, and think how fortunate I am to have a conscience that wakes me at night and keeps me awake for however long it likes. A conscience is the greatest gift my parents gave me. My conscience is what tiptoes around at night looking for things it can seek justice for in the morning.

The high school kids I saw yesterday afternoon. 4 of 5 of them just out of school, on the corner of Balboa and 34th, were on cellphones, not talking to someone else but scrolling intensely, each with their head down. I felt sorry for them, I didn't need to but I did. I think it was my conscience feeling sorry for them. Not only did these kids not look happy they looked like they needed to be constantly entertained. I thought, they're looking to their future, a future they're addicted to achieving ASAP.

Going up the staircase I refer to in the prose above. There are 11 steps down & 11 steps up, a dogleg left coming down, a dogleg right going up. Photo by author, August, 2018. 

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