Ain’t That Some Shit…

Death by Party | Mundane

There cannot be many moments in a life when what is civilized ceases to be, when the structures of continuity-job, shelter, routine, responsibility, choice, right, wrong, the state of being a citizen-disappear. English, the great mapping language of imperialism, has no verb that is the antithesis of “to civilize,” no word to describe the act of unmaking the rules that citizens have made. Our lives do not admit the prospect, are organized to exclude it. Our day consists of patterns of conduct that hold us intact. My place in a civilized society, my place as a citizen derives from an arrangement of agreements and routines. My day is heavily patterned:
I wake, piss, eat, shit, shower, dress, travel to work, write my letters, make my phone calls, pay my bills, attend to my diary, drink coffee, piss, talk, lunch, run errands, drive home, eat dinner, drink, piss, am entertained, fuck, piss, clean teeth, sleep.
I have an apartment, a shelter. I leave it in the morning and return to it in the evening: it is there-a material fact, not simply reassuring but reinforcing in it’s familiarity.

I live there in an agreement between a landlord, a bank, and me. I am a collector, not in a refined sense but in a fundamental one-my photographs, my articles of clothing, my pieces of furniture (arranged so), my friends and loved ones (arranged so), my idea of life made smooth and comfortable by regular use, my papers, my work, my idea of me. I surround myself with things, prop myself up with property, fill up my space with stuff:

I personalize it. I make it intimate, I make it mine.
I have so many images for it-this state of being a citizen, of being civilized. I see it as a net that holds me in place, keeps me from falling. I see it as fabric, a network of individual threads, intertwined, pulled tight-that keeps me warm, that I can wrap around myself. I see it as property, a house, a structure, a made thing, walls to keep out the cold, a door to keep out the unwanted, a roof to protect me from the night and its terrible undifferentiated darkness.
But I see it to as a weight. I see it as a barrier, an obstacle between something and the me I don’t know or understand. I see it as a mediator, a filter that allows only certain kinds of experience through. And I am attracted to the moments when it disappears, even if briefly, especially if briefly: when the fabric tears, the net breaks, the house burns. The metaphors are shitless. This line, again; this boundary: I am compelled, exhilarated, by what I find on the other side. I am excited by it; I know no excitement greater. It is there on the edge of an experience which is by it’s nature antisocial, anti-civilized, anti-civilizing-high temperature visionary obsession: exalted experiences that by their intensity, their risk, their threat of self-immolation exclude the possibility of all other thought except the experience itself, incinerating self-consciousness, transcending our sense of the personal, of individuality, of being individual in any way. What are these experiences? There are so few; they are so intolerable. Religious ecstasy. Sexual excess (insistent, unforgiving). Pain (inflicting it, having it inflicted) – pain so great that it is impossible to experience anything except pain, pain as an absolute feeling. Arson. Certain drugs. Criminal violence. Being with a crowd. And – greater still – being in a crowd in an act of violence. Nothingness is what you find there. Nothingness in its beauty, it’s simplicity, its nihilistic purity.

Thank you Bufford, thank you so very goddamn much.

– El Chacal

 

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