How do you do it.
Stay so damn calm.
I’m not calm. I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I pretend to exist in the moment, to know the answer to the Big Questions, but I’m as fucked up as anyone. The only trick I have is—Fuck this. I’m not going there.
I heard it in your voice. You know something. Tell me. I’m desperate. I need to know.
It’s something I picked up in a cruel moment. Doing Calmness:
Imagine you’re in a crowded room. People are jostling you, bouncing ricocheting from one person to the next. Nobody has time to orient themselves before, boom, they’re ramming into the next person and moving off toward an unsuspecting target. Nobody is in control. Some people think they’re in control because they see who they’re going to hit before they do, or they look back at the damaged person they just left. But this is all illusory. You realize this and you close your eyes and while you still bounce around unsuspectedly, you’re not worried about the person you’re going to hit or who you just left on the ground bleeding. You’re enjoying the moments between the impacts. That’s the Something.
You were right.
I was right.
Yeah, when you said you didn’t know anything.
You shouldn’t have asked if you didn’t want to know. I warned you.
No, your philosophy is bullshit. Keep your eyes closed to the happenings of life? Now I remember why I don’t like you. Why nobody here likes you or even pretends to like you. You don’t give a shit when you give someone a bloody nose, or even remember doing it. You’re a sociopath.
So why did you ask me how I did it? You knew how shitty my life was. What did you think I was going to say? That I have a secret second life where good crap happens and I only tell you about the bad part.
We should stop talking about this. You’re right: I shouldn’t have meandered there. We have to get this done and we’ve got nothing.
Let’s get back to it. I didn’t want to go there. Remember?
But before we stop talking, I wanted to clarify something: I don’t care about the big questions, or whatever you call it. It’s the little things: like what’s going to happen when they see this big blank page in front of us that is supposed to be filled with intelligent thoughts and pictograms of the next Big Thing. They’ll come in and check the wax in the crayons, and once they see that there’s nothing wrong with the gear, you know what their next thoughts are going to be: it’s not the equipment it’s the brains that’s the problem. This is the something I needed to know.
So I’ll draw a circle. Here, I did it. A big, green circle. Do you want me to put three dots on it? You know, for eyes and nose?
This might work.
Not the smiley face but the circle. I can see it now. They’ll understand it. It’s taking a chance but I’ve gotten away with more in other situations. Hide the crayons and stare at the paper.
Yeah. That paper. Sit around the table and wait for them to come in the room. Don’t look up. They’ll get it. They’ll understand. We won’t win an award but we’ll get past this exercise and maybe move somewhere else.
You’re not making sense.
Shush. I hear them down the hall. We’re probably next. Do what I said and stop thinking.
That’s what I’ve been talking about.