EVERY “MOMENT” IS THE EDGE! Now you may ask “Why is ‘moment’ in quotation marks”? Simple. Because there is no such thing. Not really. Moment = mistake. Here’s the ride: There is no past (for that is only imagined temporarily in some neuronal electrical impulse in our brains). It doesn’t really exist. There is no future (for that is only a neuronally-imagined possibility or potentiality). That also has no objective existence. Neurons are transitory will-o-the-wisp opportunists which take advantage of the fickle fleeting newness of the illusion of the present. Let’s be honest, there isn’t even really any “now”; for as soon as you grab it as “now” it becomes a lie, no longer extant. Now is never now! Try to grasp it and it’s gone, like an incontinent elderly gentleman who repeatedly excuses himself and leaves the room. So let’s also forget about now.
Past, present, future — none of it is real. It’s all a chimera which dazzles us into dumb submission to history and/or speculation. There is only a mini-micro-next-to-fucking-nothingness of EDGE. That is the only element of reality (though even to use that “R” word is like a parent speaking baby-talk to her little child so s/he understands). Once you are on that edge there is no turning back. There you will remain, like a surfer on an endless wave. You can run your finger along its blade if you wish and draw your blood. Every edge has a blade and we are all blade-runners of ‘moments’ which seem to be consecutive, though all run into one. The un-(k)nowness of everything is one vast ‘moment’ down the bloody edge of which I skate-surf while screaming like an excited child and holding my breath at the same time. What each ‘moment’ is the edge of I haven’t yet discovered (though one day I will rediscover it). But I am forever chasing it — the hunt which never stops. Only when I reach the speed of light or more will all be known and unnameable.
The trick is to stay on the edge. It’s easy to fall off if one loses the passion for edginess. So we must confront it every single ‘moment’ of every day. We came to this planet for an adventure (by the way, did you know that?), so don’t forget it (as most do). That’s the only reason we’re here. Sliding down the chute from L i g h t f u l n e s s into the 3¬-D wacko darkly dance of flubbery flesh. Weeeeeeeeeee… Birth and death are respectively the aperitif and digestif of a dog’s dinner. The edge is the meal. Bon appétit! If we take off our blindfold, this life is nothing but a trip. One great big fucking trip. In. Both. Senses. Of. The. Word. Get it?
Illustration: Here I am standing at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere waiting for sod-all-except-Sunset. The drooping sun is a large vermillion blob above the horizon smiling at me sardonically across the lusty landscape? I know what is going to happen before it happens. Not that it makes any difference as I would still make the same choices. Edge choices. Every time. That’s the trick of staying alive. ALIVE, I SAY! Away from the edge, there is only death and nothingness.
Here it comes…
A car stops in front of me — its engine knocking unsteadily like some fateful leitmotif being hammered out by a drunken blacksmith on an anvil made of ebony. I am open. Waiting. On. The. Edge. Bring on the adventure. I am perspiring with excitement and anticipation. I hear the voice through the window before I see the face. In dirty Spanish, it speaks:
“¿Hola, hombre, que tal? ¿Quieres un paseo?”
He asks me if I’d like a ride. I have my surfboard in my pocket. He must have seen it.
“¿A dónde vas?” I ask innocently.
“Dondequiera que vayas es donde te llevaré”, he says with what sounded like a leer in his voice. Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse. Anyone who says: “Wherever you’re going, I’ll take you there” must be a godsend, right? Well it is for an edgely surfer!
So I slowly bend down to look at the visog, savouring the anticipation. As his multi-faceted countenance comes into view, I see grime, chaos and instant gratification. Even the beard is disordered, growing unevenly over his wasted wyneb. A raft of earrings lines the mucky lobe of each ear. What remain of his teeth are broken and stained with brown and black matter which looks like the debris in the lungs of dead smokers. Protruding from one grey eyebrow is a darker hair of such length that it has wound itself into a huge, thickly-gathered spiral which — when elongated — must be several centimetres long. The inside of the car reminds me of the open spaces commonly found at landfills. Old, dirty, worn plastic bags litter the floor. What looks like years of phlegm from the back of a finger wiping a dripping nose is smeared crustily on the car seat next to him. A hot stench of squalour tinged with the iron whiff of blood wafts into my face through the open window. Almost every item in the car is filthy and damaged, including the driver. This is the chauffeur from heaven — my very own personal missionary to transport me away from the nightmare world of brokenness, anomie and darkfest. It couldn’t be more perfect.
Just as I am neatly profiling this gnarled specimen of humanity, a little voice on my shoulder says to me:
“How superficial of you. Don’t stereotype people. He’s probably completely harmless. You can’t judge a sausage by its skin. Don’t be fooled by appearances. In any case, what you see in others is what you are inside. All you have to do is be filled with love and no harm will come to you.”
I turn my head to look at this impostor on my sleeve. I’d heard this voice before. It lives in the repressed, artificially-contrived neo-conscience of the bland and unbrave. Normally one would not see its face but these apparently extreme circumstances had made it rear its ugly head. Its expression is super-squidgy and intrinsically apologetic with a sickly unctuous smile — like a bishop’s contrived countenance while giving the reading in church on a Sunday. On first seeing it, I almost vomit. Not that it would have made any difference to the car if I had. In fact, a heap of regurgitated food would give the vehicle’s interior some much-needed colour. Maybe it would even become a sought-after art installation. Ideas begin to dance in my head about how to increase the artworthiness of this historic means of transportation. There was already a ragged, bloodstained cardigan on the rear seat. That, alone, could have value if it had belonged to a kidnapped newsprint heiress. How about some broken glass, or a bloody machete? Too late! I can see them both sticking out from under the seat on which the cardigan languishes. No matter what great ideas one has, there’s always some other bugger who beats you to it!
“You’re so judgemental!” says the squidgy face on my shoulder.
“You calling me judgemental is itself judgemental, you withering, pulpous, maudlin midget!”
As I look into its eyes it occurs to me that the face on my shoulder is the consummate “tête à claque”. Splat! Without further hesitation I slam my fist into its mushy face and it disappears in a cloud of hot air (which is all that it was, apparently). I can breathe again.
“You get in or not?” says the driver, in broken English now, leaning towards me with an almost saucy expression on his face (which is most appropriate, for I see that a number of different coloured salsas splashed abundantly on the front of his grubby shirt give it an almost psychedelic effect). As he leans across the passenger seat, I realise why the car stinks so profoundly: His breath — a mixture of rotten fish, tobacco, aniseed, alcohol, urine and repeatedly used chewing gum. Urine? Maybe he sucks his own dick! A man like him has to get his pleasure somehow.
I open the door — though not without a struggle as it has to be forced, creating a huge metallic noise, due to the number of accidents which have befallen the car. I sit in the seat and sink down into its collapsed bucket shape like a trapped animal. No point in wearing a seatbelt in this heap. As I look around I see there is no seatbelt anyway. Some tattered remains of it dangle from its housing on the wall. Dried blood (or is it refried beans in tomato salsa?) is spattered on the sill in front of me. To me, it doesn’t matter which. I smile knowingly to myself. This is getting even better.
Some cars have gathered in a tailback behind and voices can be heard shouting with frustration. The driver utters some garbled obscenities through his window to them and we set off on our journey into the unknown. As the car lurches into action, I am filled with an almost uncontrollable urge to pluck the coiled eyebrow-hair from this fellow’s forehead. It would be so easy. One lunge with a carefully-controlled pincer action of the fingers and the deed would be done. But not yet. I must choose my ‘moment’ wisely. There’s a ‘moment’ for everything; and every ‘moment’ is the edge… or not…
Part #2 to follow shortly…
© Alan Morrison, 2017