Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Patterns and reflections. (Being Single Pt. 3)

Before we continue on this journey, here is a picture from my mother:

She's being deafly serious.

In others universes, I'm sure there are plenty versions of me who are professors and scientists, but in this one I was home-schooled by a crazy, deaf lady with a third grade education who has been addicted to the Internet since '93 and believes that there is an actual hearing conspiracy against deaf people.* Since I'm 34 I'm going to go ahead and take full responsibility for not furthering my own education and living up to my potential, but childhood can be a difficult self to overcome.

We are fourth dimensional creatures, but we have the greatest difficulty seeing anything outside of the first three. I am nearly blind moving forward into the future, like an earthworm pressing itself through soil, barely able to sense what's about to happen to myself and mostly reacting to reality when it hits me in my stupid face. The past is also difficult. I don't exactly remember being three feet tall, running around the pine tree at my parent's yard sale as a child, but I have vivid memories of those memories and the loss of them would almost be like losing parts of myself, or at least running out of beer (forever).

There is an interconnectedness to the Universe, a certain harmony (with mathematics as notes and vibrating strings as instruments. SCIENCE!) that has rules and patterns that determine our reality. Our species flourished because our big, fat, meat eating brains were more adept at recognizing these patterns and utilizing that harmony for our own ends. Now we have things like metallurgy, twitter, and the International Space Station. Reality is mind shatteringly, almost unrealistically huge and complex. We have developed a powerful set of filters to keep these kinds of things from distracting us eternally, but this is where a lot of secrets lie: on the other side of the veil.

Which brings us to this...

I got this tattoo done after my 2nd divorce in my 20's:

Each insect represented an ex I had at the time of the tattoo, all of them were walking around the single side of the mobius strip to represent the endless replication of the patterns we reinforce into our own lives. My first wife is the one with the biggest ass.

I don't think I intended to place so much determinism into a physical manifestation of my own philosophy, but it is very telling in the dating world that many of us have a "type" or have certain traits that we find nearly irresistible and, damn the torpedoes, we're going full speed ahead. I've tried desperately to find meaning in the choices that I feel compelled to make, feeling that there must be a way to intellectualize this process, but to no avail. And then, instead of trying to piece it all together, I just let my mind relax and suddenly it made lot of sense: everything comes down to sex and violence.

Life wants to exist, and badly. A branch of life decided a long time ago to start consuming other life and it's been nothing since but one long arms race to see who gets to exists forever (protip: NOTHING wins! Energy death of the universe is imminent, try to remember that next time you feel special). Ever since we came along it's been a lot more of the same, just with more flair. Most of the mistakes we make in picking our partners, or in losing our partners, are defined not by our own patterns, but the meta-patterns of sex and violence.

Some lucky animals get to do both at the same time.

Let's take me as a warped example. I have slept with several women who were currently in relationships. I am not proud of this fact about myself but, as I've gotten older, fatter, and unhealthier, this doesn't really happen anymore and I seem to have gained some perspective. It turns out that opportunistic mating behaviors are fairly common in nature, and it was only condoms and random luck that kept me from making those into real reproductive incidents. I was a fairly normal, adult, human male that was given the opportunity to mate without the expenditure of extra calories or responsibilities. This doesn't abdicate any responsibility that I possess for my actions, but it does explain why I felt compelled to do them. Many of our desires and attractions to our mate are programmed into us at a very deep level, and everything built on top of it is always in danger of being unstable. Conflicting tastes, experiences, and cultural influences make it nearly an impossible task to identify an efficient decision making process in the procuring and keeping of a potential long term mate. This is why your picker is broken. This is why you can't trust yourself.

But it also means that it's not (entirely) your fault. Sure, you're a selfish bastard who has to constantly remind yourself that you're not the center of the universe, but so does everybody else. The system is chaotic and flawed. Everybody is somebody else's bitch or asshole. We all try not to be, but we just can't help ourselves.

And I find a lot of peace in that fact. We are all just a complex series of vibrating strings pulsating through the cultural ether for a finite, but stupendous adventure. Meaning is to be extracted.

I think I'll start on that chapter tomorrow.

*-Next week's meeting is going to be at 7:30!


  1. I loved this, Mikey! Don't have time to write a proper comment at present, but wanted you to know how legit it is. :)