Because it’s always everything, it’s never just one thing.
You can’t merely point and say that. It wasn’t the boredom or the rut or the writing or the constantly dirty counter, peppered with crumbs of toast. Not the secret resentments or the insecurities, the abandoned dreams or low self-esteems. It wasn’t our childhoods or the lost ghost of happiness. Who’s happy? Okay, fine. Who’s happy and not stupid? Nothing’s as simple as they say in the AA meetings. It’s not. It’s fucking complicated. A complex web of incomprehensible connections. You can’t reach your hand in to grab something without grabbing it all. Do you honestly think you can sneak out to get the mail in your blue robe without that 14-year-old girl in China weeping for her dead mother? Somewhere, someone’s writing a poem about the connections between brittle leaves and corn flakes and, somewhere else, someone’s jumping off a bridge, thinking there’s such a thing as washing your hands. And it depends. It all depends.
When it broke, so did the car and the computer and the air conditioner and the treadmill. It all stopped working. All the things usually deemed inanimate, inconsequential, fell to pieces in united agreement, reciting Yeats. It can’t hold. It can’t hold. It can’t hold. So it all came apart.
But what doesn’t? I’ve lost all tolerance for happiness. When will we finally have done with all this ridiculous hope? The rules of the game are clearly spelled out in ashes and caskets. Whistle on and try to forget it but that’s the deal. So what then? The worthiest challenge is to work within these constraints, conscious of the fact that all this shit ends badly, and seeking joy in what’s innately broken. Can you do it? Everything else is just a sham and a pitch. You’re going to die. Now look at the sky and the grass and eat pancakes with maple syrup. Chew slowly. Is it worth it? Of course it is. There’s no time to cry over corpses. Lean in. Listen closely. Do you hear them? The maggots. They’re singing! They’re feasting and singing and I don’t know about you, but I want to know the words of the maggots’ secret song.