Music of my Life

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chapter 4- Thursday

People assume tragedy is the pretext to insanity. What they fail to understand is a different phenomenon. Sometimes, insanity precedes tragedy. Sometimes tragedy, trauma, catastrophic occurrence, they are born of delusion.

Thursday morning.

I dreamt in dead languages last night, Sumerian, Aruá. Don't ask me how I know this. The birds singing outside reminded me that regardless of my life, they and the rest of the world continued on unbothered.

A red blinking in my peripherals caught my attention, the answering machine, I had a message. I pressed the playback button and a woman's voice spoke to me. She called me sir, and told me the book I had placed on hold was in at the public library. I didn't put a book on hold. Ominous isn't the right word, but it's the only one I can think of.

The Breakfast of Champions Addicts, Kool-Aid and pills. Liquid motivation to wash down my pharmaceutical stress relief. Tangerine, just to clarify. Against my better judgement, albeit impaired, I ventured in the direction of the library, it wasn't far away. The Vicodin occupied my attention between destinations. I exited my house, and then I arrived. My consciousness was consumed and buzzing. A man sat on the steps of the large stone building, his disheveled clothing and obvious disregard for hygiene contrasted sharply with the grandeur of the library. He said something to me. He seemed like he meant it. I couldn't hear him over the waves crashing in my head.

Through the glass doors, past the book drop, to the desk. The woman there assisted me in locating the work I had allegedly put on hold. She handed me a book that would be gray haired and decrepit if it were alive. I sat alone in a dark corner, breathing deeply, contemplating. The geriatric pages sent a cloud of dust into the air when I pried them open. There was no title, just an author; Friedrich Nietzsche. There was two pages of writing, the rest were blank. With an irregular heartbeat and a clouded mind, I read on.


Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed.
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."
Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

I read it again.

Then I read it again.

And again.

And again.

Confused isn't the right word, but it's the only one I can think of.

This was a coincidence. It couldn't be relevant to the bathroom, to the mail, to the pain. In frustration, I dashed the book against the table. It resulted in a resounding crack, a nebulous of dust, and a paper rectangle that fluttered to the floor. I was at odds with myself, still pretending coincidence existed. Deliberately, I reached down, apprehension coursing through my body, making my fingers shake. I haltingly clutched for what looked like a photo under the table. As I pulled it nearer my face, the masquerade of coincidence fully crumbled. Fuck Seattle.

I recognized the handwriting on the back of the postcard as if it was my own.

New values must replace the divine order. The death of God will allow human creativity to fully develop. You are the madman. The time is coming.

Fear isn't the right word, but it's the only one I can think of.