Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A brief meditation on the subjectivity of human experience

Stuck in traffic today, and the loud music coming from the car next to me draws my attention.



Teenagers in an old Grand Prix, one girl with her foot up to the corner of the window.

Garth Brooks belts out from their radio and they sing along, stopping only to take drags from their cigarettes.

The sun, the temperature, and the humidity are all in balance; the end of summer climate just beginning to give ground to the cooler days of fall.

Enough of a breeze that you can restlessly imagine a life on some pier somewhere, loyally tending your lighthouse, but not so windy that you get owie booboos in your eyes from blowing dirt.

They close their eyes as they sing.

Obese, sure, but young.

And I think to myself, I bet they are having a moment.

One of those larger than life moments handed out to the young with disgusting generosity.

I squint at them and consider my own moment.

 In my car, a Down Syndrome boy snores in the backseat; the relaxation of sleep allowing him to break wind without discretion.

Next to me, Elsie sings along to her Ipod; her voice is yippy and abrupt; almost as if you kept slamming the door on Benji right after encouraging him to speak.

At a certain level of octave and volume, waves of breath make their way to my side. The breath of someone who brushes her teeth with Laffy Taffy and Blow Pops.

Suddenly I am struck by the subjectivity of moments.



Objectively, the teens and I are experiencing the same period of time; but in their experience, the period is fleeting, exciting, full of all of life's biggest emotions and fueled by a shameless, guilt-free indulgence of nicotine and modern country music.

For me, it is farts, breath, and the deranged warbles of the schizophrenic.

Maybe this is why we hate teenagers.

The light turns green and they drive off into their future. Straight on into love and delicious heartache, spontaneity; perhaps early onset diabetes but Od's Bodkin who gives a damn.

My car dies and I have to restart it while the old man behind me lays on his horn.

It's pretty loud, and the student in the back seat awakens with a tremendous snort. "Cookie, cookie, " he mutters, but his hand is signing 'toilet'.




26 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, depressing as hell, funny as hell, and sadly, ever so true.

    How do you do it Gween? How do you walk that delicate line between The Light and The Dark?

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    1. Thank you! I um...I didn't know that I did that...

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  2. Is it wrong that your blog makes me think of Faulkner?

    “...I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire...I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”

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    1. Yes, but did Faulkner ever use the term "owie boo boo"? Score one for me.

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  3. Your commenters are so smart and eloquent and then here comes me. I might as well be sitting in your backseat....

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    1. What? Oh shut up you! get up here in the front with the schizophrenic girl singing along to her invisible ipod

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  4. You are a great writer Gweenbrick. You have the heart of a poet.

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    1. Aw thanks Kevin-when I really try to write poetry though, I have to say it is quite icky

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  5. Yeah, this is a truly beautiful capture of honesty and the human experience. You may laugh about, feel silly for, or sway, unsure of the direction of a post like this, but at the heart you're sharing a moment with us. That is valuable stuff. Thanks, and welcome back.

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    1. thanks, but I was trying to just be silly-something always go awry

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  6. Farts, sugary breath and schizophrenic singing or modern country music?

    Hmm . . . too close to call.

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  7. Oh the perversity of the universe. You're really coming up with some great profound stuff here. Have you ever considered writing poetry as a serious endeavor? Just curious. And, I have to wonder, what do cookies and the toilet have in common? Please do not answer. I do not need to have cookies ruined for me. Thanks.

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    1. He wants a cookie, but he knows if he signs toilet he will get our attention

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  8. I would pay money to hear you tell these stories at large book store chains. Maybe there'd be a coffee shop in one of them so I could have a soy latte while you talk about wiping some guy's bum. This would be a great great thing.

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    1. coffee and wiping....not sure if that is a good combo there

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  9. oh Gween, I've missed reading you (been away from cyberspace). Put me down for a copy of your book.

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    1. Hi Julie! Where ya been? I think if I wrote a book, it might suffer from a serious case of the thematic redundancies

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  10. i need to have myself a moment now

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    1. just remember I am only being partially serious, so take your moment with that in mind

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  11. With tobacco blazing, I would include "smelly" in Vantage B as weLL. .. ... .. . then I suddenly thought, isn't Vantage a brand name for a cigarette? Hmmm, why yes it is.

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  12. Way to carpe that diem!

    - Long time stalker, first time commenter

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  13. Carefree, self indulgent teenagers is enough of a reality slap for those who are not let alone when the carma dude rebukes for teenager envy/hate and kills the car with a double scoop of old man road rage... Dang ain't life grand -lol-

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  14. Think I was in the car behind you.

    The sun was in my eyes, below where the visor reaches. I sat on my sunglasses the day before, cracking the frame so that one lens keeps popping out.
    I was thirsty as hell, but forgot to bring a bottle of water. There was one in the cup holder, sitting at a tepid 110 degrees.
    A horsefly had flown in my window, and was still trying to decide which side of my neck to bite me on.
    But damn, Garth sang that song good...

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  15. At least you're a man. I still have moments, but they are called "hot flushes" and they are not pleasant.

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