Saturday, November 19, 2005

A request.

Would you do me a favor?

I understand that it’s somewhat of a tall order. You might know me, at least in passing. We might smile at each other slightly as we pass in the hallway, and I might hold the door open for you as you prepare to step outside, to get yourself a well earned breath of not terribly fresh air. Maybe you know my name. Maybe I know yours. But that doesn’t always mean much. Maybe it doesn’t mean enough.

Then again, you might not know me at all. Just a passing stranger, drifting along through the insincerity of the internet, stopping only to catch your breath on the page of some tall guy with chronic halitosis. If that’s the case, then a favor is probably out of the question.

But then again, maybe not. As I’ve often said, often here, often anywhere, really, people will always have the ability to surprise you. You plan and you plan, you anticipate and you assume. You think you know, but you have no idea. Just like right now, I haven’t a clue whether or not I’m simply typing idle words. I’ll never know for sure. But just for a moment, let’s see what would happen if you bothered to try.

Please, picture a man.

At the beginning, this man will be formless. Your task is to give him form. Give him height, give him weight. Make him grow as you wish, make him tall or short. Make him however you please, to whatever end that you seek. As long as you make the choices, and you know that they are yours. Make his hair grow. Slowly at first, letting you get your bearing, seeing what color you like, how it changes the look that you have put on his face. Then go mad, make it what you will, the hair of a staunchy businessman or a sixties mod rocker, the style of an 80’s punk or your last memory of someone now past.

Make them fit. Whoever they are, make them whole. Don’t make a caricature, don’t bother with a person who has no rhyme or reason, someone who couldn’t possibly exist due to funny lacks of sensical part placement. Make a man. Someone who you could see on the street, someone who might catch your eye as you walk past. Someone uniquely to your specifications.

Now, here comes the part where the true difficulty lies. A man is not a man unless something makes him so. So give him that something. Give him a present, give him a past, conjure up a life. Did he ever have a dog? Did he pick on the weak while still only a boy? Does he still live out his days as a cruel, misguided punk, seeking only to feel better about himself by hurting others? Or is he a quiet, introspective individual, one who either looks the part or doesn’t if only in societies eyes. Is he wise? Is he kind? Is he timid? Is he foolish? Does he have a fear of water, brought on by something long since forgotten at the top of the brain, that still is known through the mischievous nature of the subconscious?

What you make, doesn’t really matter. As long as you make it true. As long as you give him a story. As a journalist once said, It’s the stories that make it real. They’ll make him a man. The man of your own design.

He’s yours now. He belongs to no one but you.

So what should you do with him, now that you’ve brought him to life?

Hit him.

Punch him in the face. Kick him in the groin, jab your fingernails deep within the soft flesh of the underbelly, digging into the meat. Hit him again. And again. And again.

Put the rest of your thoughts upon him. All of your fears, all of your ignorance, all that you know that scares you and worries you, all the things that tax you day in and day out. Pile that burden upon him and cut him down. Use whatever you have, whatever you dream, push all of the force that your body can muster upon him, wearing him down. He fights back, but it’s feeble at best, just fevered clawings beneath the face of your rage. You go on and on. Until it’s finally done.

Until the man you made is broken. Broken down, made nothing but empty flesh by the instrument of your own hand. Or rather, your own mind.


Most who have gotten this far probably did so without bothering to follow along. That’s alright, it was your choice to make. But if you did do what I asked…

Why did you do that?

Why did you take what you had created, and smash him beneath your boot heel like a glass at a Jewish wedding?

Was it simply because I asked you to?

Or was it a deep seated need, something that you had within you, that you had only been waiting to let out?

Either way, I couldn’t tell you what it means. This is my gift to you. It is my favor, to repay the one that you had done for me. The gift of a question. Hopefully, the gift of a thought.

What it becomes? Where it leads? What it means?
Figure it out. And for fucks sake, don’t hurt anyone.


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