My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Jul 9

Everything burns

Category: Life,Opinions

Ever since I choked on some pineapple juice, died, and woke up not being able to talk, it’s been very apparent that nothing lasts forever. Girlfriends leave, and come back, and leave again. You meet new people, they feel close, and they don’t, and they do again, then they don’t. You get high, and it fades. Liquor feels amazing, and then it doesn’t. Alanis Morissette once wrote, “you will learn to lose everything, we are temporary arrangements.” There’s a line from Heath Ledger’s Joker, he says, “everything burns.” Heath’s dead now. Everything does burn, nothing lasts, aside from possibly the written word. Still, the people behind the words don’t last. We’ll all be as dead as Heath eventually, and there’s not a Goddamn fucking thing we can do about it. Aside from suicide, our ends aren’t welcomed, or genuinely expected.

Everything burns… it’s such an honest thing to say. The idea that everything burns is frustrating, at least to me. Aside from the times I’ve wanted to quietly slit my wrists, and those times have been genuine, I don’t want to die. Really, I want to be happy. I want to write well. I want a woman to love me, and I want to fall asleep holding her. I want the life I have in my head. The idea that everything burns makes me a little insane, it crushes me, and it drives me. It’s why I write the way I write, it’s why I try things that scare me, it’s part of why I have it in me to drink too much, it’s part of my depression, it’s why I revel in new experiences. Last night, I looked into a woman’s eyes and said, “I really want to kiss you.” Saying something like that is kind of terrifying, but I can’t not say those things, because everything burns. I know everything burns, and I tend to make a lot of decisions because of that knowing. Right or wrong, it’s what I do. I let people carry me up flights of stairs at goth clubs, I drink like mad sometimes, I flirt like crazy, I write like there might not be a tomorrow. I do these things because everything burns, and I can’t not know it, not anymore.

I might be astonishingly physically fucked up, and I’m going to burn, but you know what? You’re going to burn just the same. Life ends for everyone. That’s why right now is important.


10 Comments so far

  1. Kim July 9th, 2009 1:37 pm

    I really liked reading this one. I feel like it really tells who you are!

  2. Susie July 9th, 2009 8:29 pm

    Your writing before was great . . . then you were away for a while . . . and then you’re back, and it is even better now! Some sort of hightened ability – I’ve seen this sort of improvement elsewhere – I don’t know where it comes from – Do you know? is it necessity?

  3. Christian July 10th, 2009 1:06 am

    Wow, that was really excellent writing. It reads so thoughtfully and polished. I wish I had that sort of gift. So much of the written world has devolved into meaningless nonsense but your blog has life and character. You may be wondering just who the hell I am and why I’m here posting on your blog. Well, the honest truth is that I just finished your episode from the second season of This American Life on Netflix. Literally just moments ago. Yeah I’m a little late to the party, but such is life. I knew when the show was over that I had to look you up. There was no way around it. For years and years I’ve listened to the radio version but I’ve never once tried to look up anyone featured on the show. I never even considered it. But this time I had to. I had to come looking and see whatever happened to you.

  4. Pete July 10th, 2009 4:04 am

    What you are writing is so, so true. Everything in this world is a “temporary arrangement.” You are not the first one to realize this, and certainly not the last. Even the Bible mentions this truth over and over again, from the old testament to the new.

    I firmly believe that each person deeply longs for the transcendent, the permanent, the infinite. Some people try to fill that desire with personal achievement, others turn to drinking, relationships, and the acquisition of material goods. As for me and my wife, we experience enduring peace through our Catholic faith, and while the past few years have been a bumpy ride, I’m confident that God will provide for what I need to endure the trials that await. It’s what allows me to be happy, despite having lost what seems like everything. I don’t mean to come off as preachy, but that’s what works for us.

    Please know that we both remember you in our daily Rosary.

    There are so many people in this world who don’t have the courage you have. It takes a lot of “chutzpah” to say what you said to that woman, and even to drink yourself silly and slit your wrists. It’s hard to find people who are as honest and steadfast as you, and the world would be truly missing something if you weren’t in it.

  5. Kristen July 11th, 2009 10:14 am

    Hello from Boise, Idaho. Great writing.

    “There is nothing as whole as a broken heart.”

    P.S. Love lasts.

  6. Angie July 15th, 2009 9:57 am

    Great post. As Ellen DeGeneres said, “All we have is here and now… and that’s why procrastination feels SO right.”

    Keep on keepin’ on, Mike.

  7. Anne Buster July 20th, 2009 6:44 pm

    Hey Mike –
    This entry is lovely. It just feels very genuine and poignant. I’m the mother of a two year old and somehow your sentiment reminds me of playing peek-a-boo. Why is it so fascinating for small children to watch someone appear and disappear, to learn that some things are still present even if they are hidden? Perhaps we all long for things to be lasting and we are surprised and delighted when they are.

    Most of the time the complete transitory nature of our whole existence is depressing but I also think it is freeing to know that pain and sorrow are as finite as anything else.

    Sorry to wax on – on your blog. You just got me thinking. You are a brave and brilliant man and I wish you luck and love. Remember you have many readers and admirers. Enjoy the rest of your NY trip.

  8. Sara S July 27th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I wish I could have the courage to try all the things I fear. I know everything burns, too, but instead of motivating me as it does you, that knowledge paralyzes me. You rawk.

  9. Orly August 1st, 2009 7:34 pm

    This feels like one of the most honest things I have ever read. Wow. That’s why I read … for that sense of recognition, that sense that I am not in it alone. Everything *does* burn. Everything *is* temporary. It is maddening and sickening and sometimes very beautiful.

    This reminds me of something I read in a book on Buddhist Psychology (a place I find solace). A Buddhist monk was speaking to a crowd of people who had survived the Khmer Rouge. He said: “Everything that arises, passes away …. You have lost so much. Now you know how precious everything is in this world. You must love again and let new things grow.” I keep that in my pocket.

  10. leah November 11th, 2009 12:35 am

    i’m a little upset that nobody has anything to offer you but “your writing is wonderful”, writing is wonderful, it’s a gift and i’m glad you use it to express how you feel in a culture thats so difficult to understand the depth of another persons thoughts and emotions. Were so tied up into alternate reality through media and situations where its hard to ever find someone who really understands.

    anyways. I have a lot of friends like you, even though you don’t know me. It’s funny how you can feel like you know someone through what they write down. You are right everyone burns, it’s an instinct we all have when we are bound by our… well for lack of explaination, depression, or our insecurity, our meaninglessness, ect.

    There is truth in your words but you lack understanding, understanding which (since it’s so hard to find) will only be obtainable to most by pursuit of it. Your depression is the same depression as everyone elses depression, it’s a separate entity if you will.

    This entity is none less then one from the story in the garden of eden. When satan the angel rebelled with other angels in pursuit of being god. Because of this god cast him out of heaven. Satan was in the garden of eden and tempted eve because he hated man, man was created in gods image. He hated us then and hates us now, and his goal is to deceive everyone of us. Because he has eternity of burning waiting for him and he will drag everyone he can down because of his hatred towards us. Satan and his angels (or demons) are the forces that tell us to do wrong and tell us that we have no hope. They are things like depression, and suicide, insecurity, homosexuality, sexual immorality, ect.

    Even though you have done wrong and you have listened to those things, you can still have life. Take a step towards understanding, grab a bible, read it start with proverbs and John in the NT. Understand that this is why Jesus died, so you may live. Repent and stop indulging in the things that are draining your lifes blood and taking you to hell. Understand im telling you this because Ive been in your situation.

    I was like you, until I had someone in my life forgive me for what I had done to them, he had told me about god and about jesus dying to take those things that bound me so I may live and be free. I was struck by this and pursued trying to understand christianity until I found it. I hate to see people depressed without anyone to be that person for them. You dont have to burn forever, Jesus died so you may live.