The walk from my house to the gas station is wrought with eyesores in the form of unnecessary human intervention. A beautiful brick home painted an obnoxious yellow and rendering the glory of its original state completely obscured; wolves maimed and watered down to the point of canines happy to be on a leash and completely unrecognizable from their feral counterparts. All kinds of minor tragedies in every single direction.
And that gas station is no different. Cinnamon whiskey. Apple pecan whiskey. Cherry Coke™ flavored whiskey and all marked at higher price points than their original (and better) selves. Human intervention is everywhere and it’s disgusting. It’s like we are smart enough to create beautiful and wonderful things and just dumb enough to think that we can improve upon perfection once it’s achieved (and, thus, putting out a worse product one hundred percent of the time).
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe flavored whiskey is better than whiskey with some ice cubes. Maybe yellow brick is prettier than red and maybe dogs are better than wolves. Who am I to say? And perhaps I find such an inherent bias toward it being worse because I see myself in these altered beauties.
Maybe all of this is true at the same time and maybe it’s all just fucked up and we live in a perpetual chaos that defies reason no matter what color glasses you put on. Rose colored or neutral density or blacking out your realm of sight entirely.
But I do know one thing for sure…
I like myself best when I’m alone. I like to play loud music and pretend that there isn’t another living soul anywhere in my vicinity (even though, unfortunately, most of the time this is just me lying to myself). I like to walk into my house, take off the weighted mask that I’ve assembled over intense years of careful maintenance, and sit in a dark room where nobody can get to me. When the brain turns itself off and the soul settles in deep through the couch cushions. Where there is no spinning (or sometimes, oftentimes, a lot of spinning catching up to me all at once). Where nobody lives at all.
Where nobody can get to me.
I feel like exposed brick in this house when I’m alone, chipped at and glorious and true. But I’m yellow outside of the walls. I am a plastic handle of five dollar whiskey when I’m by myself and I’m god damn Fireball™ when I’m at the bar. I’m a wolf here and a chihuahua out there.
Damn near everybody seems to suggest that I’m at my best when I am the comfortable things that they know, but deep down in the core of my spirit where only I exist, I know that I am anything but. The worst parts of me to them are the best parts of me to myself.
But I will continue to paint myself yellow. And I will continue to douse myself in faux cinnamon flavoring. And I will never howl at the moon as long as there is any chance that somebody is listening. Because this is easier to everybody else and that’s the way things need to be.
We all exist in a vacuum. Some of us just suck better than others.