January 16, 2005 by Alex P.
Lately, I’ve been feeling trapped. And I don’t mean trapped in the typical “poet stuck in a mundane world, artistically starved, slave to routine” sense, i.e., nowhere job, loveless relationship, bills to pay, no public attention to my craft. I just mean no matter how I spend my day, whom I talk to, what I get accomplished, it always seems to end the same way:  it’s 3 or 4 in the morning, I’m the only one awake within a three mile radius, and I finally make my way from the couch to my bed, where I am, needless to say, alone; because by this time my eyelids are being weighted down by anvils, and every muscle in my body has been permeated by battery acid or Clorox or sodium hydroxide.

So I go to sleep, my nonsensical, seditious or, oftentimes, semi-pornographic thoughts gradually fading to white noise, only to wake up either gasping for air, or so gradually that I’m finally propelled out of bed by the thought, “stop being lazy and get up already!” What happens in between is another episode played out in a confusing world I don’t really care to mention (“the poor bastard will be seeing it soon enough”). So I am thusly trapped. It’s not really a cycle, it’s not really a grind. When I think of grind, I think of two gears turning each other symbiotically in perpetual motion with no discernable starting point or initiation. My situation is much more like a hamster stuck in his wheel, but is the wheel fixed to an axle or rolling carelessly down the lane? Either way, it always passes the same point. And that’s not to say that my life is boring. It’s not like just school, work, home. It’s more like school, home, work, visit a friend, go to a club, party, kung fu class, poetry reading, show, etc. In other words I get my three square meals a day of human interaction, but lately I’ve been thinking I may prefer a constant stream fed to me intravenously drop by drop 24/7, ’cause a continuum might be better than this circular conversational meal plan.

Now the only escape from my nightly ritual is to delay the inevitable by staying up later and later, preferably with other people. So my late nights have often become early mornings (most often, Sunday mornings).

It’s also interesting to note that as a sort of running joke, I’ve always said I have to be home before dawn or suffer horrifying consequences, the typical vampiric (or is it vampiral?) evaporation in daylight thing; or technically it would be sublimation, the process by which a solid is converted to a gaseous state, skipping the liquid phase altogether, but you never hear the old slayer saying that vampires sublime in daylight. Anyway, up until last night I had almost started believing that this little myth was true, that I would indeed be burnt by the first rays of the sun. So what made last night different? Well, apparently I saw some merit in staying up til 6 AM after a theatrical performance and two consecutive IHOP visits, and explaining to an eighteen-year-old, self described poly-amorous, bisexual girl the appeal of monogamy using the language of mathematics and philosophy. Hey, I’ve heard “love is a chemical” for as long as I can remember, and I think it’s time for a change of approach, so for all intents and purposes, starting now, love is a vector.

In our conversation, we touch upon my observation, unoriginal as it may be, that the subjectivity of human perception establishes the inevitability of selfishness in all human acts. “No matter what, everyone else is just a character in my story,” she remarks. Wow, she actually gets it! Now, I’m not amazed by this because I had some preconceived belief that she was dumb, but rather because here’s a girl who only minutes ago confessed to us (me and a friend of mine) that she was not allowed to sit in that big leather arm chair in her living room because she had broken it before (note: she’s not really heavy at all). And here is a girl who also just told us that she isn’t allowed to take baths, only showers, because she’s left a filling bathtub unattended and flooded the bathroom before. Twice. Actually, now thinking back on it, that’s probably a good metaphor for young people’s lives these days. They leave them unattended and filling much faster than they had anticipated, only to become aware of the problem when they’re standing ankle deep in bath water, on the floor where the bathroom mat used to be. Perhaps we all leave our filling baths unattended at some point, and maybe it’s also true on a grander scale, like God left the draining fishbowl of human existence unattended while He takes care of some other important matter, while we’re left to circle this glass bowl frantically, watching the water level go down. But He wouldn’t do that, would He? Perhaps He’s watching us out of the corner of His eye, rubber stopper in hand, ready to plug the drain at the speed of light when He deems it necessary?

Anyway, this girl is a sharp one. Just for kicks I launch into my spiel on chaos theory but what I really wanna do is learn more about this box fetish she has. Not a sexual thing mind you, she’s just really enthusiastic about containers. Oh, and back to my little problem. Maybe thinking inside the box is the solution. I could go to bed at 11 every night, wake up at eight or better yet 7:30, seize the day, lather, rinse, repeat. Also it just occurred to me that I may just be lonely.

In any case it’s time to go, literally. I’m late for work. Oh and this would be the place where I cap off this little stream of thought with a concluding statement, a little golden nugget of wisdom to bring the whole thing together, but I’m not gonna do that. This just doesn’t feel like an ending, and besides I’ve come to believe that life, like love, is a vector. It just keeps going, “cause when you die, you look a mess.” Anyway, just for fun let me do a little math to see what would happen if love does cross my path. OK, cross product of two vectors would give me . . .love life SIN Θ. What the fuck does that mean?