Trash blows around the parking lot below my window. Where does it all come from? There’s a cup from the taco shop three blocks away sitting by my front tire. There’s a squirrel running on a wire, delicately traversing from a tree to a rooftop. I can sit here for hours and watch nothing happen. Watch it all slowly with the eyes of an enlightened vagabond. The front page of last week’s newspaper has plastered itself against the garage door.
It’s Thursday. Another week almost gone without finding the words to insert in the parenthesis of my life. ( ? )
Love. Money. Drugs. Clothes. Drink. Jokes. TV Sitcoms. Home Decor. Religion. Travel. Politics. CNN. Video Games….
It’s all finely designed distraction from your original mind. Peace… the only drug worth doing. The rest is just hand-held misery. Portable poisons, take with you where ever you go.
We seek constant entertainment.
I coil in fear from having nothing to do. I must keep doing something. Writing. Eating. Drinking. Reading… even meditating keeps me distracted from sitting in peace. Take a deep breath I tell myself. You feel that? That’s your life blowing in and out.
Buddha pushes a shopping cart and stops to look in a trashcan. His hand disappears and he shifts through it for empty cans, pulls one out. I can see that someone had been drinking Modelo Especial and realize it is mine. When you shake it you can hear the lime wedge rattle like a castanet.
The economy is going to hell. I’m between jobs myself but I realize that hell is a place in your mind and not anywhere the economy can go, so I disagree with myself about the economy going to hell, it’s just bad right now, and then I realize that I do it all the time, disagree with myself — that is the only true hell. Discomforted Mind. Unsure Mind. Untamed Mind. It’s hard having a mind built on contradiction. I say I am an artist and belch and then down two shots of Makers Mark and order two more and tell the bartender I am a Buddhist too!
If I was either, I’d probably be more miserable. That’s the irony. A more tortured Artist. A more aware Buddhist. No. I’m probably better off just being plain-old me. A pretender of the Arts. A mocker of Buddhism. Another soul cast amid the splendid beauties of Mara: the pleasures that are really obstacles, the highs before the lows. Samsara is the routes I cling to to escape the suffering, the discomfort and all that, boredom, unease, insecurity. Feeling like every second you must be a movie star, or loved, or admired, but feeling like you’re never any of these things… that’s Samsara.
My heart feels like an empty vessel, a trashcan waiting for abuse, both the mean and pleasurable kind. Come throw your love, your criticism, your affection, your praise, your anger, into it. Come fill me up with the trash it craves. Craving the cringe. Yearning for the irk. That’s how this life gets you. There’s Samsara on every billboard in L.A. It’s what keeps the economy floating until it sinks like the piece of shit that it is.
Yeah, I’m not feeling very good right now and that’s alright! It’s just how I feel and there’s no escaping it. Not right now…
When I’m looking at the clouds I don’t see shapes. I see tiny molecules of water suspended in the sky.
I tell myself to smile… fake it… Buddha laughs at me every time I get like this.
“It’s okay,” he says, “You’re human.”