Something happened to me today that just about proves that things can never change. First, some background info.
One day, when I was a kid, I did something wrong. I couldn’t tell you what it was, but I must have, because my mom called me into her room and asked me to bring her my favorite toy, an elastic He-Man action figure. He was made of some rubber-like material, so that his limbs could stretch to outrageous proportions, and his body could literally be knotted into itself.
My mom took him and tried to break him. I smiled a little to myself, watching her pull and twist in every direction; He-Man survived it all. There was a reason he was my favorite – fucker was invincible.
Then, my mom opened a drawer in her night-table, pulled out a pair of scissors, and in a single stroke, sliced He-Man in two. Here was the person I trusted the most in the world – the person who’d given me everything. She let the He-Man halves fall to the ground, but my line of sight moved up, to look her in the eyes. And the moment she looked right back at me, I decided that I could count on no one in this life, and that I would live a life of complete self-sufficiency.
My journey towards complete self-sufficiency has certainly kept me busy. I’ve trained in various forms of martial arts – kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Chen, Yang, and Sun styles of t’ai chi ch’uan, capoeira and kalaripayattu to name a few. I’ve educated myself in emergency response procedure during hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, famines and epidemics of mass hysteria; I’ve learned how to give myself the Heimlich maneuver, I can cook meals in all major food groups, and have even developed eleven variations on playing catch by myself.
I’m working on launching the first ever completely self-sufficient toy manufacturing company. The company will create its own raw materials, which it will ship to itself via vehicles built by company employees from scratch, based on all original company designs. We will run on company-generated electricity, heat, plumbing and internet. As employees, we will hunt or grow our own food, build our own shelter, and create all future employees. We will also buy and use the product, and pay for it using proprietary company currency.
Piece by piece, I will take over the company’s duties, until I am its entire workforce. Then I will literally be a society unto myself. I will then continue expanding, have more and more financial success, until I become the entire world. A universe unto myself. I’m 60% sure I can make this happen.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I don’t count on women for sexual pleasure. No, what I do is I masturbate like a motherfucker. All day. Porn used to take care of my stimulation needs, until I quit it for good. Part of me resented the fact that I had to count on the internet and electricity to access it; I’ve yet to create these commodities for myself, so I avoid using them as much as possible. The other part of me was offended by the violent and misogynistic tendencies in contempo-porn, the scale finally tipping over one day when, on the interracial section of a mainstream site, I came upon “Petite 18-Year Old Slut Brutally Eye-Socket Fucked By Chupacabra and Loves It.” I vowed never to watch the stuff again.
So what I do now is I visualize scenarios with whichever unsuspecting female friend, acquaintance, or younger sister of ex-girlfriend strikes my fancy. Thing is, it’s not easy to choose an object of a sexual fantasy. And it was working through just such a decision that I found myself earlier this afternoon, lying awhile, weighing my options. I considered the girl I have a crush on, but I couldn’t use her, because that would be disrespectful, and taint her, and would shift my view of her from Madonna to whore before I got the chance to physically make that shift happen myself. I had my stock selection, but those had gotten boring, celebrities always seemed pathetic, and family members of friends seemed like I’d be doing it more to break taboos than anything.
Before long, I was pondering the pros and cons of taboo-breaking for its own sake, and my thoughts had drifted quite far from anything sexual. That said, I wasn’t gonna just like get up and go about my day without finishing what I’d started. So there I lay, pondering away, until a few hours later, I noticed that my head had split into two halves, and that I was now two heads on a single body, and what had been internal thoughts, was now an out-loud conversation between two head-halves. We instantly agreed that this was an incredible opportunity to do amazing things.
Left noted that this sudden splitting of the head was not unlike your typical superhero origin story; and so it might be for us. We could design a costume – we’d be needing shirts with two collars now anyway – and come up with a cool superhero name, and just go and dedicate ourselves to saving lives, and all the good we’d cause would make this head-splitting event a miracle which forever improved life on Earth.
Right called Left a fag, and said if this was gonna be an origin story, it should be for a super-villain. We could steal, murder, rape, mutilate, cause the end-of-faith-in-humanity in, and all around live life to the fullest now.
Left tried to compromise. “What about an anti-hero?” he asked. “Like a Batman type of person, someone scary and with some antisocial tendencies, but still essentially on the side of good.” Right said fuck that, and if we were gonna compromise, why couldn’t we be like a posi-villain, who would occasionally help old ladies cross the street, and fill his roommate’s cat’s water bowl without being asked, but would still essentially seek the take-over and/or destruction of the world?
We brainstormed completely neutral super-personhood, to really compromise, when it occurred to us that there was nothing really super about our mutation, and that much more than a super-hero or a super-villain, we were really just a super-freak.
At least we were impossible. And we could use this impossibility to inspire people, and show them that even something as clearly impossible as a two-headed man, is in fact possible. We could go to people who’d tried and were ready to give up on time travel, teleportation, mind-reading, perpetual happiness and immortality, and say to them, “don’t you see? if we can happen, anything can happen!” Or we could go to disillusioned peace activists, or grad students sludging through Finnegans Wake, or fringe mathematicians working to formally prove that 1+1=2, or alcoholic film scholars who’ve resorted to deep-sea diving in their search for the lost footage from Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons, and be able to say to them all, “don’t give up yet!”
Or, suggested Left, we could go to our dad and say, “see, if this can happen, then it must be possible for us to forgive each other, and have a father/son relationship again.”
And so the afternoon went, lying in bed, arguing about what to do with this newfound two-headedness. Until a few hours went by, and I gradually noticed that myself and my heads were, once again, one.
The rest of the evening, I felt very hopeful that this event had left a profound change in me. Maybe I would be more well-balanced now that my two halves had found individual expression; or, maybe I would now go through life having a vague internal sense of being really two people squeezed into one; or, maybe of the two personalities I was today, one of them used to be the dominant one, and now they’d switched, and whereas before I was Left, now I’d be Right, or vice-versa.
But, now, as more hours have passed, I’m seeing that this day is exactly the same as every day I’ve ever lived. And if something as ridiculous as all this can happen and make no impact at all, then it really must be the case than nothing will ever change.
NEXT: 5. Suicide