Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Time and “the one.”  §

Well let’s see if I can do something softer.

Let’s see if I can write something without yelling.

Let’s see if I can open up and all of that.

Here I sit listening to The Scientist, one of those tracks I can’t listen to. Even when I listen to it, I have to tune it out. I can’t cry because I can’t. There are times when I sit here and want to cry because I can’t cry, but whatever. When you can’t cry, that’s when you know you’re really sad, you’re all wound up, so wound up, a winding-up of decades and decades.

— § —

“Questions of science. Science and progress.”


© Aron Hsiao / 2002

— § —

Everybody either has “the one” or “the one that got away” but I don’t have either.

There’s a big, soft, warm, dark, sad, infinite absence there. I want to long—tearfully, fitfully—for the one that got away. I am waiting for the one so that they can become the one that got away so that I can hold that close inside me, that bittersweet thing, that gray fall-day longing, instead of mere eternity.

Or maybe that’s wrong.

Maybe they’re all the one that got away. Maybe that’s what “the one that got away” means—that it wasn’t ever to be, that it never could be, that it wasn’t right even though you wish it was, and that you don’t really long for them so much as you long for longing for them.

I don’t know what Sunnie the therapist would say about that. Something bland and enlightened, no doubt. There are times when I wonder what it would have been like to reach out and strike up a friendship there.

Actually, I wonder that about virtually everyone that I don’t reach out and strike up a friendship with. But only a few friendships ever work out, and I have all that I can handle both of friendships and of failed friendships.

What do I want?

What do I really want?

When I picture myself on a dirt road somewhere in the fall, afternoon sun illuminating bits of a path, a vague mist in the air, a sort of Norman Rockwell portait of myself, what am I really after? Childhood? Safety? Security? Peace? Those are the therapeutic standards.

Who knows. If I was actually there, of course, it wouldn’t live up to expectation; it would just be a place. I know this. A place like all the others.

Not the place that the song creates—a place where things mean things, or at least once they did.

— § —

Why back to the start? Because that’s when it mattered.

— § —

When I was a kid I told my parents that I felt blank, that I didn’t really care about much of anything at the end of the day.

It’s not entirely accurate, that—there are many times in life at which I’ve been upset, frustrated, passionate, indignant, desirous, etc. Sometimes to the point of distraction, of breakage even.

But I always get over it.

That’s what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to get over it. I hate that I am over it.

That’s true of everything. Every relationship. Every friendship. Every death. Every disappointment. I hate it that they mean so little so soon. Within the space of one human lifetime. Even less than that. Within a year or two, even a month or two.

Things that mean something once ought damned well to mean something forever.

Only that’s not how it works.

— § —


© Aron Hsiao / 2011

So that’s it. It’s all just death again. Death and endings and history.

I hate that things end. Because it means that everything that I care most about now will also end, and will also disappear, fade out over time.

“Nothing is forever.”
“All good things must end.”
etc.

That’s what I dislike most about being. That’s why I want to have the one that got away and to pine for her every minute of every day. Because then the meaning was eternal. Like we all claim it is.

But of course it isn’t.

Because nothing is forever.

— § —

How many times have I quoted this? Too many to count:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time…like tears…in rain.”

I know what a therapist would say. They’d say it’s about my own mortality, my own death. They’d be wrong. I’m nothing special. But there are things that are special.

I don’t care if I don’t make it far.

But the fact that the people and things that are special don’t make it any farther than I will seems like an intolerable tragedy, an incredible injustice, an infinite loss. One with which I have never been able to properly cope.

Probably never will.

— § —

Have I written this post before?

Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve written it every day here for the last eighteen years. I’m pretty sure I’ve used the words “never” and “forever” more than any other two in most every bit of creative writing I’ve ever done. Never and forever are the two concepts that undergird the universe for me, the practical material of yin and yang.

That’s why Buddhism is ultimately a crock. Because a fundamental moral wrong lies at the heart of the universe and even if you can’t change it, letting go of it is a cop-out. You have to fight for what’s right, even if it is foreordained that you will lose.

The fundamental moral wrong is time itself, without which there would never be meaning, but within which meaning is forever disappearing anyway.

I could go on like this for hours.

That’s the problem with time. Exactly that.