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  LIFE AS A LOSER #94: "It Is There, and Then It Is Gone. But It Still Exists. Has It Changed Its Shape, Form or Structure?"  
   
   
 

Thereís a term they taught us in my Psychology 104 class that is escaping me at the moment. Maybe you can help me out. It involves early-stage human development. A child reaches a certain age of maturity when they no longer believe that an object disappears if they cannot see it. That is to say, when a baby is very young, if you put your hand over its eyes so you disappear from its vision, it no longer thinks you are there. Whatís that called? Object permanence? Something like that? I skipped that class too often and got a C.

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Remember that movie Jurassic Park? It was a bit of a hit when it was initially released. Had dinosaurs in it. They were eating people. Remember now? Excellent. Now, philosophers and physicists surely had been discussing it for years, but until I saw Jurassic Park in 1993, I had never heard of the Chaos Theory. For those of you who are reading this on a stone tablet, Chaos Theory says that every action in the world derives from the randomness of any other action. Everything that happens affects everything else in the world in some infinitesimal way that grows radically as it progresses through nature. To paraphrase, a butterfly flaps its wings in Iowa, and the flow of nature runs its course in response to that action Ė a moth runs away from the breeze created, which is then eaten by a frog it ran in the path of, which then is eaten by a pig, which is then ground into pork and eaten by a human who gets indigestion and in the midst of his pain accidentally steps in front of a cab and SPLAT. Every action leads to another action, which leads to another, which leads to another, so on. I ainít inventing the wheel here. You get it.

This is a fun little pop theory. It makes us all believe that the decisions we make on this earth are somehow relevant, that whether or not we decide to go to Benniganís instead of the Outback Steakhouse on a Friday night actually means something. Itís perfect for our day and age. We feel important. This is an level of significance I do not want.

When I moved to New York City, two years ago last January 8, I was just a regular guy, a schmoe with dreams of the big time. Iíve covered this, and let us not dwell. I have made many decisions in my life since I moved here, most of which were on the level of "Do I masturbate tonight, or do I not stay up and watch Oz?" But if you subscribe to this Chaos Theory business Ė which has always made a great deal of sense to me, Iím sad to report Ė then, well, you start to think that the world would have been a whole lot better place had you not existed. And that canít be good.

The Journey of Self Discovery is something youíre supposed to do when youíre young. Itís perfectly natural. Who knows shit about themselves when theyíre 23? I made certain decisions because I was immature, or because my priorities were all out of whack, or because I thought I was something that I wasnít, or just because Iíd eaten some bad pork. Unfortunately, those decisions have ramifications, and they ripple outward, and next thing you know, youíre hit by the damn cab. Or someone else is.

Last year, I looked at the way I was a year before and thought how stupid I was. The year before, I did the same thing. A year from now, I will think about how stupid I am now. It is an endless cycle. It is difficult to deal with. Will there be a point that I just become normal? That Iím just as wise in 2014 as I was in 2013? Man, I hope so. I doubt it.

It is a fundamental element of the human condition that we are unable to truly understand the hurt we have caused others until we feel the same hurt ourselves. That until weíve hit that point that we question everything and what we mean and what we do and what the fucking point of fucking all of fucking it fucking is Ö we understand nothing. We are only out for ourselves, and hopefully youíre not caught up in our endless loop of shit.

Dammit. This is a column. This is something that people should want to read. They want a tale. Iím supposed to be telling you a story that entertains you, or enlightens you, or sheds light on your own thoughts in a way that helps you understand that youíre not alone, that other people think that too. Iím not sure Iím doing that right now. I think Iím just typing whatís on my brain in random patterns that do not connect to anyone who would have absolutely no idea of the banal drudgery of my daily existence. Maybe Iíve just drank too much. This is probably senseless to you. You donít know the details. You just know you clicked on the column, and entertain me, motherfucker, entertain us. OK. Fine. You want my fucking blood? You want my soul? You want me to rip it all out so you have something to keep you occupied while you enjoy your fancy coffee on a Monday morning? You want the truth? Fine. Asshole.

I hurt someone. A while back. I hurt them without truly realizing what I was doing. I was caught up in my own brain, because that was the way I was then. (Shit, itís the way I am now; I just recognize it more than then.) It was something I had to for me. I needed it. Iím sorry, but I broke their heart. But the action of breaking their heart then sent them in this direction, and I went in this one. And this happened to them because of it, and then this did, and then this did. They felt this way about themselves, and they reacted in this way and then that made them feel this way, and next thing you knew, two years had passed. I didnít realize what Iíd put them through until I was put through it myself. And then I saw them again, and I was reminded of it all, and how this was a whole big fucking mess of my own creation. And then I felt bad. Real bad.

Is that fucking clear enough for you? No? Well then fuck off, go read Dave Barry.

***

Iím not even sure this makes any sense. Forgive me. I guess my question is this: If we made a poor decision in the past, can it not be made right? Is it impossible to correct the mistakes of yore? Is it too late? How much has an object changed when we look at it again after someone takes the hands away from our eyes?

Seriously. Iím asking you here. Give a brother a hand. Because I donít know. Forget that stuff I said earlier, about the coffee, and the whole "entertain me" business. I was just lashing out. I didnít mean it. I really like you. Youíre a nice person who pets puppies and gives to charity. Please, help me out. Iím really a good guy. Honest. I swear.

 

*BT*

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