love. week thirty two.
city. new york city
I am suffocating.
I inhale your love, filling my lungs with your noxious fumes.
I am addicted to your poison, I smoke a pack a day.
Testing my endurance, I breathe in, hold hold hold hold hold, how long can I wait?
Just the other day, I tenderly packed my shisha with peach flavored tobacco. I curled up on my sofa with its long hose gripped firmly in my hands. For hours, I delighted in its suffocating fragrance.
I can’t breathe. And so?
The Lord breathed into my nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. But I prefer your crippling shadows; and man became a deathly Lord.
The psychologist asks why smokers smoke and chokers choke and sleepers sleep and reapers weep. The mystic replies that only those who are blinded can truly see.
Have you ever drowned in desire? Choked on excitement?
Work to live, don't live to work. I prefer a good man over a good man.
Those who shout amen to the preacher’s call, will never rise as high as one whose silence derives from mute desperation.
I used to believe that I awoke from my dreams in the morning, now I believe that life is but a dream, and death is our awakening. Pinch yourself, are you awake? Can you feel? Or are sick men the only ones who’ve healed?
Am I condoning violence? Am I romanticizing death? Am I really so privileged that I seek out pain?
But if my presence is measured through my desire for dissolution, that's a strange privilege.
But I confuse myself.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to learn to dive. And the boy rented equipment, hired a teacher, and descended into the sea. But the boy did not know that his tank was empty, and found, with gradual terror, that he could not breathe. Stronger, stronger, he sucked on his metal canisters, wrestling against an iron fist for the last drops of oxygen. And the teacher finally noticed the struggle, and the teacher pushed his own tube into the mouth of the boy. And a rush of the sweetest candy (un)known to mankind filled the boy’s lungs, hitting his neurons like a rush of cocaine.
On that day, the boy did not learn to dive. Instead, he learned to die.
But I confuse myself further.
Desire is suffocating. The Buddha prefers to breathe the sparkling Himalayan air. Is he too holy for life? Is he too holy for death? I bet he loved to fuck missionary style.
Is that it then? Am I just… bored?
The Buddha wasn’t bored. He was TURNED ON.
But only a hard dick is on, a flaccid member is definitely off. Right?? A lover holds out, until he loses control. The Buddha rushes into orgasm, preferring to die all the sooner.
There’s a relief in suffocation.
Today it is 97 degrees in NYC. At first, I cranked up the AC, turned the fan on full blast, and still sweated through my clothing. Mumbling, grumbling, tumbling, I tried to focus on writing this post. Sartre said that hell is other people. But actually, hell is just hell.
Finally, I gave up. I turned off my AC, opened my windows wide, and let the heat roll over me, into me. Bring on your worst! I’ll let it all in. I'll roll out the red carpet. I’ll suffocate gladly. I’ll even go out, buy some cigarettes, and do your job for you!
And as I burn my last smokes, my lungs crying for relief, my mind rushing for escape, my stomach churning with fury, I may still say that I am free, that pain does not equal suffering, and that there is a certain tranquility beyond the Fortress of Comfort.
Maybe I should not have started smoking, just to write this piece. Maybe I shouldn’t torture myself. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
At my side the Demon writhes forever,
Swimming around me like impalpable air;
As I breathe, he burns my lungs like fever
And fills me with an eternal guilty desire.
- Charles Baudelaire