Look, I Can Explain
Can we talk about something wild? The party’s over, my coat’s on, I won’t block the door too long.
Isn’t it odd how our laughs bounce off one another? We’re a concerto against your radio1. The outpouring of our hearts compliment the petty conversations cascading2, like the hush that overcomes a chattering theater. I agree. That’s funny. No, no, of course not. I’ll be quiet.
I meant to leave your house an hour ago3. We talked all tonight about how us and others don’t change, and how rude we are to ask every duck to turn into a swan, here, now…4
Maybe it’s Zeno’s paradox. Zeno thought5that before we go somewhere, we
have to get halfway there. Then, from that point, we get halfway to our
destination, then, again, halfway.6 Therefore, no one goes anywhere7.
Our personal journeys are the same. We begin as wantons8, and
we see the change before us and we believe our own reality a
bit less. We move to that goal, but we only get halfway9,
with little of us left on the grasslands of our childhood.10
I’m going nowhere with this, I know, you’ll understand.
Here’s another thought I’ve told no one else. There’s no
lie to who you are. Our masks reveal we want to wear
such a mask. Is it any different when we tell stories,
or jokes? Even after the apple from the Tree
of Knowledge gave people the illusion of
discernment between good and evil, we
still imitate fiction and, thus, strife.11
It’s pitiful that I have to stumble and
circle back and hide behind these
calisthenics with words when
I talk with my best friend12.
I suppose my body in the
doorway made my intent
to leave clearer than
words could. Soon,
I’ll stop & go13.
be near even
after I begin
in that far
off land. I
can lose a
bit of me
if I drop
1 though not exactly like that. i like adele too, it’s just not an always-on thing for me
2 but i always like talking with you no matter what, you know this
3 i can’t even blame alcohol this time. and we’re too young to say how old we’ve gotten
4 i can’t believe i never brought this up around you before
5 or maybe he joked to an understanding friend. p.s. turn down ur radio, u jerk
6 ok, i just googled the wikipedia version: “suppose homer wishes to walk to the end of a path. before he can get there, he must get halfway there. before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on. this description requires one to complete an infinite number of tasks, which zeno maintains is an impossibility. this sequence also presents a second problem in that it contains no first distance to run, for any possible finite first distance could be divided in half, and hence would not be first after all. hence, the trip cannot even begin.”
7 that would be nice. also, almost forgot to explain: a concerto’s a symphonic piece where one instrument’s featured over the rest of the orchestra. another friend said it’s like a battle between the two. i think we won
8 oh, that’s a frankfurt reference/allusion. god, philosophy’s on the mind lately, maybe i should’ve paid more attention back in college. yes, i know i’m smart. you more so than me, obviously. anyway, frankfurt argued that without any say in what we decide to want, we’re no better than a machine that has one reaction whenever someone pulls a knob. someone pushes our “i want this” button, and we become a slave to it. there’s something about first-order volitions and second-order desires or something, but i’m rambling as is
9 and i’ve said this word so much that it turns mushy inside my jaw
10 like when we were assigned different group partners for school but we still found ways to chat high-minded nonsense amongst ourselves. we never could fully leave each other
11 i’m talking nonsense. i know you don’t mind, but i do
Nick Edinger kicked depression’s butt for good in 2018. He’s not sure how he did it, but he’s certain the mystery lies in art. He writes to help others think differently and surpass their own mental barriers through wit, wisdom, and challenge.
Nick works as an editor in Austin. His writing has been published on Everyst, The Borgen Project, an anthology, and several bathroom walls. Find his non-bathroom work at nickedingerwriter.com.