Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Escape Plan (How to Feel Better)

If you should ever feel unromantic, find you’re portable music playing device and go to a place teeming with strangers and sit down in the middle of them and all their weirdness. Take a minute and a half to notice all the microscopic idiosyncrasies of whoever is around you—particularly the hand motions and facial expressions and find a song and press play. Turn the volume up so that all the background noise disappears and watch as all the strangers and all their invisible crap explode into a hyper-active narrative full of inexplicable beauty. Seriously, everything around you will become part of a movie sequence that even you are a part of. Everyone and everything becomes a character and a place and I know it sounds really fucked up and awful and voyeuristic even, but you’ll feel in complete control of the world around you and you might want to jump out of your skin but even that is better wanting to jump out a window or sitting in your dirty apartment chain-smoking and wondering about who you are and why you’re here and why you matter to anyone who matters at all. 

It’s artificial as hell. It’s fake. It’s nothing at all except something that is guaranteed to make you feel like you’re a part of something that’s alive when you don’t feel alive at all. It gives you a place to be and sometimes that’s all you need, I think—even if you’re nowhere with no one. You’re in a place that you made that will stay. And you won’t get a hangover and you won’t wake up and regret it and you don’t have to call it back and you don’t have to worry about dying and you can’t get in trouble and when it’s done you can take it for what it is and not have to explain or attribute it to something other than what it was.

Amen Amen Amen.

For whatever it is, was



  1. I think this needs to be published immediately.
    This is some of the best advice I've ever read.
    Thanks Ben.
    You've cured many future nights.

  2. ahhh ben. i do this. i really really really do this.
    it's one of the reasons i spend such bizarre amounts of time alone.
    You sit and you watch and you create,
    and none of it is true and all of it is true
    and you're sure,
    because you're inventing it but you're not creating it.

    And what you said about airports and how you are so overflown with the drive to create, to document that intense narrative but somehow never can because the
    well because? i'm not sure i know entirely.
    the emotion, of course, but it's something else too.
    airports are tough. but they are so important.
    i was in one today. and i was watching this little girl keep peeking around the corner. she was all bouncy on her feet- so ready to run up and embrace someone. her mom(?) was also anxious but in such a different way. I never got to see who they were waiting for and that was perfect.

    and also your "juvenile tendencies" are fantastic. never loose them. i think it's remaining young. it's seeing things a certain way and i personally think it is one of the better ways to see.

    and, um, write a book.
    or maybe just lots and lots of these. LOTS.