September 2008

Artificial Heart

I can almost see you.

The hints of some small degree of substance in the insubstantial mist that you are. I can almost see what you look like.

I can look as long as I can without running the risk of you catching me, But even with the lengthy and carefully timed cautious stares, the mist of you escapes me.

All but for one part.

The one at the center of you.

Your artificial heart.

You have built your entire universe around it, the dead thing in the middle of your chest. You buy it clothes and cars and mansions and anything that looks like someone you know or even someone you donít might see and think you clever and innovative. You know that you too will see it and you hope that you may also feel the same way.

But it is never real and it is never enough.

Everything you are is a simply repeated mechanical motions.

On some days, you are even cold to your own touch. On some days you think for a second that perhaps you are dead.

But then you hear it.

Your artificial heart telling you everything is Ok. That you are more free and alive than anyone else. And that makes you feel better, makes you enough again.

You are both two great cancers living off of each other, and when you die, your death will be artificial for all of those around you.

Only a faint smell of burning plastic and the dull synchronus rythym of a million other artifical hearts.

Just like yours.

There is treachery afoot and the bathroom smells of rancid cappuccinoÖ

I already know how this ends.

This is exactly why I left. To many times witnessing the fade of a person away over time leaving only an echo.

Are we really that easy?

I shudder to think so.

So much of them is wasted now, so much just gone. A quest to be the coolest of the cool has turned on them with all the violence and wrath that the universe can bring to bear.

The world is a brutal violent and dark place where survival of the fittest no longer even applies. Itís survival of the ones with the money and the vicious. The rarest thing to find in this human jungle is safety.

Most people lie to themselves about themselves everyday, just so that they donít have to confront the lies of the world, or the even more terrifying lies of their own design.

I suppose itís a survival mechanism in a lot of ways. On a near daily basis I am becoming more and more convinced that North American society breeds the most insecure people on the planet. Almost everyone is scared and lying.

But not everyone is, and when you find those rare precious few who arenít simply doing and being what they are told by governments and corporations whose sole interest in Joe Average is how they can best get what they want from him (or her for that matter).

They do what they do because it is right. And there is immeasurable joy and inspiration to be found in that.

The Calm Before The Fall or The Fall Of Man or Fallout (I could go on for pages with thoseÖ)

There is also a great amount of happy. Puppies, baby birds, being employed with a company that doesnít make me feel like I need to shower every time come back home from working for them to get the dirty off.

And the fact that fall is finally here and I can now begin to wear my jackets again.

All very good things.

Fall is, by the way and well beyond a shadow of a doubt the very best of all of the four seasons. I know that the other seasons may say differently, but they are dirty filthy liars who are not to be trusted under any circumstance. They lie about who they are and they are massively unstable. I am quite certain that Summer in at the very least bi-polar and Iím reasonably sure that Winter is an aging alcoholic. And spring? Sheís a dirty one that one, and she is only all with the happy because sheís trying to hide the fact that inside she is really angry and scared and doomed.

Paxil for all three of them I say.

Except Fall.

Fall is none of those things.

Fall is honest and hard working and it never lies about who it is, but rather offers you the occasional pleasant surprise. Everyone knows that itís getting colder and they expect it, but everyonce in a while for no apparent reason the temperature flies up and we get the extra treat of a beautiful and warm day. The leaves turn and dance their suicidal dances and Halloween is just around the corner.

Plus I get to pull all of my coats and jackets out of the closet and feel comfortable again.

Which is a huge selling feature when it comes to the seasons.

This election, vote fall.

Because all of the other seasons are only in it for the fame and the glory.

Fall is here to help.

The Mofoís changed goodies.

I am officially at war with the Hersheys company.

Bastards.

One of my simple joys Iíve in life had for the last as-long-as-I-can-remember was the gentle little candy that went by the name ďGoodiesĒ. Take old time licorice (like those pipes or cigars that you can by at candy stores) wrap it up in a variety of coloured candy coatings and you have a little piece o heaven.

Well they went and buggered them up.

Now the old time licorice has been replaced by some sort of gelatinous goo.

Doesnít even taste like licorice.

Tastes more like toothpaste.

I didnít eat candy for the good of my teeth. It was my comfort food.

Iím all for improving things that need improvement, but I also live by the motto ďIf itís ainít broke donít fix itĒ.

Well goodies werenít broken but now they are.

I sent them a very polite e-mail requesting a case of the old ones if they had any kicking around.

I didnít hear anything back.

If I ever find me a Hersheys office, thereís gonna be payback.

In spades.

Denouement

I was going to write a story.

It was about a boy who looked too close at the world and fell right through it.

There was another one, about a girl who was born with a broken heart.

I will write one of those for next month.

Thank You for reading this if you have, and you know where to find me.

Nate@natepike.com