A Slice Of Life Pie By DL Banks
My head is in another dimension. My feet are talking to their soles.
Why should we remain oblivious of what lurks in the shadows? How can we live in the world if we don’t understand how dark and brutal it can be.
I relinquished myself to existence pure and simple, thinking absolutely nothing—as if my mind were merely an echo chamber for the music, as if it contained only ether or at most a vaguely pleasant odor as of roses preserved between the pages of a book, their significance long forgotten. The tongue of the road gobbled me up and I allowed myself to sink like a tasty mouthful all the way to the bottom of a marvelous, rejuvenating vacuity. Later, it would occur to me it’s the emptiness we mistakenly call Innocence
When I was younger, I would cling to life because life was at the top of the turning wheel. But like the song of my gypsy girl, the great wheel turns over and lands on a minor key. It is then that you come of age and life means nothing to you. To live, to die, to overdose, to fall in a coma in the street… it is all the same. It is only in the peach innocence of youth that life is at its crest on top of the wheel. And there being only life, the young cling to it, they fear death… And they should! …For they are ‘in’ life.
I just wanted things to be simple. I didn’t understand why things had to be so complicated for all the grown ups. And I decided that if growing up meant things got confusing, then I would stay little forever. I would stay simple. But unfortunately everything around me did its best not to be. The world liked to be complex. It liked to twist, to distort. To bleed you dry of whatever feeling you could muster while still letting you hold on to your sanity so that you could experience heartache at its prime. I didn’t know how cold the world could be when I was eleven. If I would have known…maybe I would have packed a sweater.
Obedient to no man, dependent only on weather and season, without a goal before them or a roof above them, owning nothing, open to every whim of fate, the homeless wanderers lead their childlike, brave, shabby existence. They are the sons of Adam, who was driven out of Paradise; the brothers of the animals, of innocence. Out of heaven’s hand they accept what is given them from moment to moment: sun, rain, fog, snow, warmth, cold, comfort, and hardship; time does not exist for them and neither does history, or ambition, or that bizarre idol called progress and evolution, in which houseowners believe so desperately. A wayfarer may be delicate or crude, artful or awkward, brave or cowardly—he is always a child at heart, living in the first day of creation, before the beginning of the history of the world, his life always guided by a few simple instincts and needs. He may be intelligent or stupid; he may be deeply aware of the fleeting fragility of all living things, of how pettily and fearfully each living creature carries its bit of warm blood through the glaciers of cosmic space, or he may merely follow the commands of his poor stomach with childlike greed—he is always the opponent, the deadly enemy of the established proprietor, who hates him, despises him, or fears him, because he does not wish to be reminded that all existence is transitory, that life is constantly wilting, that merciless icy death fills the cosmos all around.
I’m a fool. I expect too much, then I’m angry because nothing ever works out the way I want. When I was young and full of hopes and aspirations, I didn’t know I would get hurt so often. I think I’ll get tough and won’t ache again, then my fragile shell shatters, and again, symbolically, my blood is spilled with the tears I shed. I pull myself back together again, go on, convince myself there is a reason for everything, and at some point in my life it will be disclosed. And when I have what I want, I hope to god it stays long enough to let me know I have it, and it wont hurt when it goes, for I don’t expect it to stay, not now. I’m like a doughnut, always being punch out in the middle, and constantly I go around searching for the missing piece, and on and on it goes, never ending, only beginning..
For eventually one gets over reality’s affront to one’s innocence. One grows accustomed to the melancholy fact that we all sell ourselves at one time or another, that whoring is the dirty little secret of our success as human beings. We violate the innocence of things in the name of rationality so we can wander about, uninterrupted, in our search for passion and sentiment. It’s innocence when it charms us, but ignorance when it doesn’t.
Maturity is the moment one regains one’s innocence