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  • Bill

A Year of Absence and the Deep Sickness I Have to Show for It

We just passed one year since I've written an article for my website. My only art space, the dearest, most sacred and emotionally honest corner of existence I'll ever have had for myself, and I haven't been doing shit with it. You, the humble mollusk, are probably asking yourself, "what the fuck is wrong with you, Bill?" And that's such a great question to ask!

In reality, you aren't asking that, because you aren't reading this. Nobody is.

You see, what I've ultimately come to accept is that human empathy is only a concept. It's a theory. Like the planet being flat. A falsehood. Nobody, anywhere, has ever cared, even a little bit, at all, about anybody, ever.

What I wanted to bring to show-and-tell today, what I have to show for the past year, is something I've only recently perfected. Proof of life, if you will. It's this thing I've developed and refined and polished and I've gotten to understand very well. I like to call it my own personal all-encompassing misanthropy. I have this rotten, disgusting, stinky, fuming, convulsing little mass inside me, developed over time. I am its host and it is my, uh, my little buddy. He helps me with my problems. He validates all of the ugly, unhealthy bitterness that seeps out of my skin when I sweat.

I look around, I really sit and take an honest look around, and what I see is apathy and helplessness. Two sides of the same coin. I see us, people, as an apathetic and helpless dusting of cells clumped together. I see apathy, I feel helplessness. Again and again and again. For the past year, all you can see is people dying and other people not caring, and staying by your principles and ethics and morals means that you restrict yourself to a bitter, quiet, lonely place, and that your quality of life walks right out the door, and the shuddering, thrashing black mass lets himself in. He's my roommate now. He doesn't pay rent.

Obviously I have some strong opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic response by the public, opinions I've never willingly stayed quiet about. I'm only expressing the same ~freedoms~ and ~rights~ being touted by these self-involved murderers, these dispassionate, egocentric plague rats. Sinful, shameful little monsters.

I don't know, man. It's on my mind, so I'm talking about it. Where have I been in 2021? A deep state of distrustful, bitter depression. I listen to a lot of shoegaze grunge and dark industrial music. Doom metal. Anything to exacerbate it, to pump the festering little black mass full of steroids. I don't feel comfortable being happy right now. The happy people are the ones living life without a care in the world, going out to ragers with their buddies on a Saturday night.

Day-drinking at the state fair, as if I didn't watch my only father's lungs fill with fluid over a phone screen this year.

Sitting in the hot tub with seven other cool kids, as if I wasn't told that "since he's getting the same medications they gave Trump, he'll be fine, COVID is just a simple flu anyway."

I didn't get to see my last surviving parent face-to-face for the last nine months of his life, and he died anyway. Alone, with tubes down his throat. A week later, I saw my cousins posting about how people wearing masks and getting vaccines are mindless zombies. How the fuck do you go back to experiencing happiness and fulfillment after that? It doesn't feel like anything remotely natural to be in a group of people and to be laughing and joking. Yet, people are doing it. People are living the FUCK out of their lives.

Often I feel like I'm this fucking insane man, fueling delusions of ego-driven morality or envy-driven bitterness as an excuse to fix some tertiary problem in my life, something unrelated. I think this way because of just how ALONE it feels to be the one saying the things that I'm saying. Maybe it's a red state thing, maybe it's my age group that is self-centered, maybe all people of all creeds really are this rotten. I know I'm not alone, but so very often I'm the only one saying the things that I'd understood to be simple precautions understood and respected by logical, empathetic people everywhere. And if I'm the only one, it has to be me with the problem, right?

"Jesus Christ, Bill, come down from your fucking tower. You aren't any more moral than anyone else. Let people do what they're going to do. You can't do anything about it."

Oh, mollusk, you're so right. You're so very right. I'm not here to play moral-posturing high-ground holier-than-thou. I'm not here to tell people that I'm better than them. I'm not here to tell people what to do, to make some kind of impassioned plea, to touch the better angels of the reader's nature. It's as I said, nobody is reading this anyway. This is for me, to give my withered mass of cynicism a platform, to let it breath. Unsupervised play time. There was something someone said, on some social media, somewhere, at some point. It's all so blurred together at this point, that's the best I can remember. What was said was along the lines of, "the philosophy that you aren't willing to put your life on hold for the pandemic has literally ended lives" And it's something I think about often. I mean, clearly, if you can't tell by the monolith of negativity before you.

Honestly, mollusk, I am in a very very dark place and I'm just now realizing it. I don't know how long I've been there, if it's been waxing and waning, I can't say. But I haven't been doing well. I've been smoking, well, a lot of marijuana this past year. I've been staying home, disregarding a brief period there when the pandemic had eased up and I had first been vaccinated. I've been whittling my social circle down, since it's so easy now to tell apart people I like from people I don't. Worse than any of that, I've been neglecting my art to an inexcusable degree. Writing, videos, music, graphic design. The very little visual art I've made has been displayed in this very article, but apart from this very small library, I've hardly accomplished a thing. I single-handedly took the 'Bill' out of 'Put It on My Bill'. Which isn't so hard when it's all single-handed, and it's all your hands.

Call it grievance, call it long-term unaddressed depression, call it bitter, reckless abhorrence, call it mindless self-indulgence. Any way you slice it, you'd probably be right on the money.

So, uh... I guess, uh... that's where I've been. I can only hope that this was an encouraging and cheerful little update for you. I'll be creating more things, more frequently, hopefully. So, I guess look out for that? Thank you for reading, too. Uhhhh. Whatever.

Oh, and I got a cat, too.



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