There’s a GPS-based superstition in my cult. When someone’s heading out, you are forbidden from asking them where they are going. It brings them bad luck.
I was 8 and a bedwetter when Grandma told me this. She looked at me like I was a serial killer every time I asked the question, so I showed the perceptiveness of one and asked a different question: “where is it that you will be coming back from, Grandpa?”
She didn’t like that, which made no sense because she didn’t like Grandpa all that much either; #marriage. All the years of oppression now mean I have the urge to ask people where they are going each time they are headed out and then and only then take a piss on the bed.
Behind this superstition is a truth that can tip you over the edge.
“Where are you going?”
I am going to spend an hour rushing through a stream of metal operated by a dead-eyed species — recently awarded the planet’s most recyclable plastic — to get to a place called office: factory farms for humans, to vigorously obey the commands of a guy whose brain is the size of a single goat shit and spend the next nine hours convincing him I am not as smart as he which is why I could only do 20 hours’ worth of work and that would be just enough for me to scurry back against the current of zombies who all hustle back to their graves the same time I do so they can be on time for their last performance of the day: an unprotected act bordering on necrophilia to produce offsprings who will go on to live the exact same life.
Look around you and you can’t miss the answer:
“I don’t care where I am going as long as I am going fast.”
It’s how we have come to love the why. Why is a bottomless question. Because our quest is such. There’s something on the other side of the unattainable we are after. And to put meaning to it gives us comfort. The answers to our why’s used to slow us down, but not anymore. Socrates’s sacrifice became our self-improvement exercise.
The answers to our why’s are now all the same: Keep going and you will find out and the faster you go, the sooner you will find out.
Life is movement. This movement gives us the illusion that we are getting somewhere. If you aren’t sure why you are doing something, here’s the answer: we want movement.
Words are my movement.
The essays here used to be my attempt at getting somewhere. If you asked me “Why I write,” I will make up shit about writing for myself so I don’t have to confront the plausibility that I am looking for your approval.
The why grinds you down, it’s the paralytic attack to a made-up purpose, fodder that produces chicken shit for you to clean. Welcome to existence.
But I am still here. Only because I realized in some of those movements is a place that made me pause. A place you would’ve never otherwise gone. Art is the destination’s dangerous road.
I am not writing to get somewhere, but to see more clearly, respectfully, the place I have come back from.
To live like speed is the only movement does not make your life intense. It makes your life superstitious.
You don’t have an answer to the question because you haven’t even left yet.