David Oprava

Whilst Busy Living
I.
I am almost 35 and I think I am trying to kill myself. I’m not sure. It’s an incomplete notion. There are the overt signs, overweight, overwrought, overly intoxicated, but no one ever says anything to anyone. Watching self-destruction and commenting are incompatible in polite society, so I continue to consume with no relevant sense of perspective, a fly pinned on the front of a 747, still alive and really just along for the ride, whenever it might end. Not in a morose way, because when laughter comes it is deep, velvet, crimson faced and palpitating, tar-lung thick. It passes. I wish I had never watched TV, read a book, or seen a movie. They are full of lives that are supposed to be but never can, because the people in them are the dreams of what we think everyone else, including me, could be. They are impossible to become, because no one ever looks, feels, or acts that real, we just are as we are, all we’ll ever be. But, I love life the way one loves themselves, one measure adoration, one part self-deprecation, and a touch of self-annihilation. It’s an imbalanced equation. The gear grinding of the teeth is how I know that what I am doing and where I will go is a tick-tock process, pushing each limit and still alive the next day, waiting, wondering, what will it take? What’s at stake? I am almost 35 and I think I am trying to kill myself. I’m not sure. It’s a complicated notion.
II.
As I get bodily bigger, inside my self gets smaller and smaller still till soon I imagine a diamond will emerge in my morning stool and I will know then, that is the end. Entropy happens at different paces and in places seen and unseen in my friends, the ones that are left, the obsidian formed in my youth who, although weather beaten, I still call when drunk or low or reminiscent of things that have been. A doctor, a lawyer, a rock star, a teacher, a wife, a mother, a widowed brother, nametags they wear for the majority they meet, but I know under there, somewhere, is the child who played with me, a past conjoined, replete with soundtracks and expressions I haven’t seen since. Morality may be sentimentality, but before senility robs me of my memories, I’ll cement them in time, cut the stem, and let them be mine, at the end.
III.
If only finding roots were as easy as looking under my feet, how simple it would be to have a sense of belonging. But belonging comes from breeding and close proximity to those things we know, love, and accept us, no small task for an insulated world where I no longer cling to sanity’s stringent plot line, a sublime sense of opportunity unfolds to the growth of a fresh sensation, insanity being born, not kicking or screaming, but smoothly expressing as a lactating breast so much pent-up stress, madness, quiet, simple, erotically supple, naked madness, the mind at last undressed. No one is there to tell me I’m sane.

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