We’re driving through cornfields and the light is perfect. Like ridiculously perfect, and you’re singing “Graceland,” and you and the sage hanging from your mirror are swaying and silhouetted like a Terrence Malick movie. And I’m thinking, fuck this. Fuck you for this perfect moment of well-lit, breezy, singing-together elation that is almost transcendent enough to make me un-self-conscious of it. Except clearly not quite if I’m thinking that my life is almost real enough to be a movie. And you’re smiling and admiring the light, too, and you probably catch me looking at you. But you don’t know how I’m thinking that tonight I am going to fuck you so hard to punish you for making me happy.
We’re not allowed to be happy. The times are too fucked. Maybe we could get away with this sort of thing when we were 19, but now we know better. We’re not allowed to have real moments unmediated by how we think they should be according to fiction or how they will appear when fictionalized in our facebook feed. We live in past fictions and future fictions. As soon as we realize we’re experiencing the present for what it is, it’s already a fiction. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with fiction. (I would quote Guy Debord here, except it was Debord who said, “Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs,” so I wouldn’t want to be reductive with usefulness.) Fiction is useful exactly because it is more real than real life. But reality is rejected in favor of realized fiction and I reject that. I want to be miserable and messy and really fucking real, so fuck you for manifesting your golden retriever relentless rapture on me until the edges are as haloed as 8mm.
Thank goodness you’re leaving soon. This freedom only exists because it has a sell-by date. Real life can’t be this carefree. We’d use up our serotonin and burn out. Hedonism can’t be sincere anymore; it must be tinged with sardonicism. They don’t make sober ecstasy this pure. I didn’t do something in some past life to deserve this.
If you only live once, then you need not be too concerned with karma. Unless, even if you only live once, not being concerned with karma is bad karma. Those YOLO assholes don’t understand that they each single-handedly bear the brunt of humanity’s eternal suffering on their beach-bronzed, gym-toned, over-instagramed shoulders. If we’re talking about deep experience, there are those who would argue that you couldn’t experience the elevations of joy without having travailed the depths of despair. I say we must always experience them simultaneously. Let me also be dejected in my delight, delighted in my despondency. This unblemished jouissance just makes me want to check my fucking privilege.
If I’m falling for you, then fuck you doubly. And don’t worry, I will. I’ll fuck you for appearing and blowing everything to bliss, and I’ll fuck you for leaving and for letting us live this love affair’s lifetime in three days, like in For Whom The Bell Tolls. Because we know exactly for whom those fuckers toll.
Rachel Wohlander is a writer currently residing in California. She has an MFA from Brooklyn College in Performance and Interactive Media Art and co-curates the bi-coastal salon Scarlet Fox Letterpress. She is working on her first novella.