This is probably my basic stance on life:
It can't be her because ...
Which represents, I guess, a basic lack of faith in what people call 'the universe' sometimes, and a zillion other forces of nature from 'karma' to 'god.'
I live inside negation.
So. Evidence is very important to me. But in cases where I've already deemed a point impossible, I don't go looking for evidence that might negate my negativity. I know. Go ahead and call it bad science. Bad, bad science.
Take the affair at the Roundhouse in London, for example. It's a simple enough example.
I was in the midst of a very long line to get into the Roundhouse to see Dylan and Ginsburg together. I mean, who would miss something like that? And I noted to my friend that a woman further up the line looked exactly — I mean exactly — like a woman I knew back home.
"Go up there and check it out," he said. And I gave that fateful line—
"It can't be her because —"
And of course it couldn't be her because she was back home, and we were in London. And what was the likelihood of it being her anyway? And I'll be damned if I'll embarrass myself walking up to a complete stranger... etc etc. At that moment of my little rant of why it could not be her — she turned around.
It was her.
It was great!
Okay, so despite my being emphatic, I was wrong. We hung out for a week in London. And I forgot the incident afterwards. And of course, in my sociophobic way, did not call her when we both got back.
I was at a stuffy party of psychoanalysts about fifteen years later. The men (it was men — and their wives) were smoking big fat cigars. I was roaming the library of the villa hoping to find something of interest to read so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. Eventually, I dragged myself back into the great room. And I saw this woman on the other side.
"It can't be her because —" I said to someone I'd managed to strike up a conversation with.
It can't be her because I already bumped into her at the Roundhouse in London on line to see Dylan and Ginsburg. It can't be her because these things don't happen twice. So, no, of course I won't go over and check it out.
She heard and turned around.
And it doesn't take a genius to realize that if I'm bothering to even tell this, that of course it was her again. In the most unlikely of places. She'd gone from hippy to psychotherapist, hanging out with la crème de la psychoanalytic crème. We chatted briefly about the impossibility of this-sort-of-thing happening twice. She gave me her number. Again. And still I didn't call. And never would.
So. It's really not serendipity that I want to talk about. It's about basic nihilism. The attachment to negation. Living on the downside of the dialectic. (I'm for it). Somebody has to do it. Especially when you're surrounded by people of faith. People with faith. With hope. With expectation. With a sense of purpose and meaning. With, dare I say it — optimism. And a sunny disposition.
Existential nihilism (obviously) negates all that. There really is no meaning. It (whatever it is), just is. There's no purpose — and therefore certainly no divine purpose. There is no point. No point at all. We simply are.
Things were not meant to be. Instead, they just happen to be.
I've been having a little trouble with my basic worldview of late. It's just not working for me.
If I were someone else, I'd say the universe was trying to send me a message. Again. Trying to sort me out. Again. Having a good laugh. At my expense. Again.
'It' is good right now in one of those insane and synchronous ways. And all I want is to be able to sit here and negate it. I'm trying really really hard. Okay, true enough, the good is being balanced solidly by a shitload of trouble and woe (and 'shitload' is the right word here to describe it). In some sense, right now things are downright terrible. Very comforting — and validating of a good, solid negative worldview. I'm still dealing with my own fair share of death and dying.
But then this something comes along. This someone. And just blows the negativity away. And that's not supposed to happen. I was running along quite happy in my grumpiness. And now I'm being grumpy that I'm just so undeservedly happy. What do you do with that? And what just happened?
I found my beshert.
Of course, I didn't find my beshert. Because of course I'd never look, and never see. I'd never ever find all on my own. Never recognize. Never believe ...
But there she is. There's evidence.
She tracked me down somehow. She stepped into the path that I was walking and blocked my way and made me stop. And think. And wake up. Maybe that's what it is. And all these corny things I roll my eyes at started happening. We started walking the path together. Yes. You're welcome to throw up now. It's just as dumb as it sounds. Way too mushy for words. Except —
She's rational. Thank god. A thinker.
So here's my worldview, rising up to defend me. It just can't mean anything, right? It can't have purpose. It's not that 'the universe' planned to have another laugh at my expense. It's an accident much better left at the side of the road, right? No one deserves this kind of happiness with a worldview like mine. You merely step back and observe the doings of all others. Take notes and write it down. And (like the psychoanalysts) come up with something profound to say. Preferably publishable.
Humans are meaning junkies. And so, when sideswiped we seek out meaning. Stick our experiences into a box that makes some sense. Even an existential nihilist can slip up from time to time. And this one does fit into a meaning-box — and I just can't say the word out loud. I feel sick. And mostly scared. It's in the realm of feelings and not thoughts. Not my speciality. The things that I don't write about. That thing that defies rationality.
It can't be her because ...
I've got a million different reasons for negation. Reasons to deny and to demur. But the fact of the matter is problematic.
Just like at the Roundhouse, it's really really her.
And I'm still not calling.
Observe the humans. See what they do. Just watch. Take notes. Write. Present. Publish.
I mean, it can't possibly mean anything, right?