Thirty-eight days ago, I returned to the States. I spent several months in the South Pacific working and enjoying the sun and sand. Of course, I was excited to be reunited with my family, but at the same time, I felt a creeping dread at returning to the Empire of Nothing. A dread that was justified immediately during my layover in the airport where I gazed upon corpulent Americans huffing behind filthy face muzzles. Disgusting mutants with limp undersized arms and oversized guts sucking down foul masked air.
My initial return has been demoralizing. The forced distancing, the irrational regulations, the dehumanizing effect of not being able to see or return a smile, the forced humiliation of being unable to hear or be heard properly when ordering something as simple as a cup of coffee breaks my heart. What happened to us? What happened to the independent American spirit, the rough cowboy, the adventurous astronaut? What happened to the great nation that holds freedom and independence above all?
On a beautiful sunny California afternoon, I watched my daughter, the friendliest child, run up to a dad playing catch with his two young sons and ask them if she could play with them. The dad nervously looked at his wife, tucked up his mask, and said no because of the virus. A grown man, denied kindness to a two-year-old because his wife shook her head for fear of a virus with a 99.9% survivability rate. Disgusting. I wanted to spit on him and crush his skull. How could a man be such a coward in front of his sons?
What started as anger is now disappointment and disillusionment.
What the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass used to be beautiful!Ordell Robbie, Jackie Brown.
I’ve lost old friends this year. Some have cut me off, others I can’t even bear to contact. Friends who used to proudly display their punk rock individuality are now proudly posting how they stood in line to get the latest government-mandated corporate vaccine. Disgusting.
I have friends that work medical. They went in for overtime to work in empty hospitals. They enjoy being healthcare heroes. I can’t stomach them in my life. I’ve lost all respect.
They are not my people. I will rather be alone than in the company of bugs.
Everything around me is so absurd, so ridiculous, so aggravating that I seem to be in a constant state of cognitive dissonance. I feel like an alien, disassociated like Patrick Bateman. So, I drive.
Disintegration—I’m taking it in stride.― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I missed driving. Living on an island I didn’t get to drive so I’m making up for it. I drive on the 101, up and down the coast, from Santa Barbara to Malibu. I’ve done a lot of driving these past thirty-eight days. California is a beautiful place.
When I’m driving along the coast it’s easy to forget the cowards, the bugs, and the emptiness of the dying empire. There’s something liberating about driving in California. Tarantino captured the feeling in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The scenes with Brad Pitt driving are the best he’s ever put-on film.
Disillusionment brings liberation. I have always had an optimistic streak and having a front-row seat to the decay of empire is interesting. I cannot change the world around me. I cannot change the men around me. Modern man is no different than the dirtiest dark age peasant. Modern man is a lower creature. The filthiest serf could feed himself without Amazon while the modern man has all the knowledge at his fingertips but chooses to spend his time masturbating and video gaming.
What I can do is accept the reality of a crumbling world and refocus my efforts towards internal struggles. Work on my family, my writing, my art. Better myself and find others who are aliens to this world. Barbarians making their way through the chaos.
I’ll also keep driving.