Right Track 07/11/21

Being off Twitter, the synchronicities start up again. Yesterday morning I couldn’t get death out of my mind. Not in a morbid way, but in an imaginative sense. What will it be like one day when the lights go out? I found myself imagining the materialist view of the afterlife, which is that there isn’t an afterlife at all. Nothingness. I thought that I’d imagine that, try to feel out what it was like. It didn’t strike me as frightening, but in a way kind of beautiful in its inability to truly be perceived. There are Some Things outside our reckoning, and that’s one of them.

The sync comes in because, for no real reason, I decided to check back in on Conner Habib’s podcast. Against Everyone is a show I’ll revisit every few months, binge the six or seven episodes I’m behind on, and then erase from my podcatcher. I use this “erase” technique so that I’m sure I’m going back to shows I actually want to listen to. If I can’t remember it, I must not like it all that much. As a side note, I wonder how many people do this? Almost every show I listen to, I do it this way: Weird Studies, Rune Soup, Perfume Nationalist, even Cum Town (although with that one I don’t tend to binge six or seven at a time; as funny as it is, it’s only good for a few hours).

Anyway, the first thing that catches my eye on the AE feed is a solo episode called “The Spiritual Politics of the Dead,” and it is a doozy. It provides a frame for understanding death and the dead that I’d never heard before, and that I like a lot. What is the value in having a metaphysics that you “like”? Well, I guess it depends on how true it feels to you. I’m not sure Conner’s interpretation of death and “shell hells” is comforting, per se, but it feels correct. It’s worth a listen.

And, this isn’t a sync, but I do notice that the universe begins talking in different ways once you re-engage, and for me that’s in small, weird occurrences. Nothing supernatural necessarily, but just little things that reinforce how strange this world we live in can be.

I’m going to pick up some Mexican food from a spot on Campus Corner. This place that I spent so many nights selling hot dogs to drunk frat boys, or stumbling around, drunk myself, from smoky bar to smoky bar. I’m sitting in the restaurant without my phone, watching everybody else in the place on their phones. A combination of melancholy and smug superiority overcomes me: I am not like these other people! These zombies on their phones. Look at them. They’re at the tables, eating their food, not even talking to each other. Just looking at their phones. I push the smugness down. I want to hit my vape, and now I’m thinking about what’s on my phone. Probably nothing. But it’s in my mind all the same. Addictions! I grab my food and walk out, down the street and then into a parking lot. A car swoops around and I step out of the way. Hanging out the car window is a man (I think) in a full dog costume. Or was it a moose? He’s waving at me. I wave back. The mascot for the college is not a dog, or a moose. It only strikes me as I get to my car how weird that was, not in a Lynchian or Lovecraftian way, but in a “there’s something you don’t see every day” way.

Like I said, not a huge thing, but more a gentle reminder that I’m on the right track. I’ve been checking in on my Twitter once a day, as I’m convinced that cold turkey is not going to be the way to actually quit the thing. What I’m saying, is that I’m not sure “quitting” is necessarily on the table for me, as I’ll always need to go back to it, to update the dozen or so people who are both allowed to see my posts and haven’t muted me on whatever I’m doing. There are like two or three potential readers out there! Point is, I have to learn how to use it in moderation, the hardest thing in the world. Quitting something 100% is easy. Quitting something 99% is almost impossible. And yet, that’s the move.

What would a world look like where I could have one or two hits off my vape every few hours, rather than sucking through a Juul pod every day? Where I can check my social media feed, respond to messages, and then leave it? Where I could, maybe, one day (not this year) have one beer and call it a night?

We’ll see. Happy 7/11 day. Get a Slurpee or something!

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