I found a pearl the other day, in the river. If I were less prone to introspection I might have merely taken it home, or even left it there. As it was I lay on the bank and admired it and its erratic beauty--it's nothing like the pearls you buy at stores. It looks sharper, more organic, more unique.

It's formed through pain. Through discomfort, through misfortune, a pearl is born. It is layer upon layer of material secreted because of pain--not necessarily to hide it, or to pretend it isn't there. It's a reaction. It's how the oyster deals with pain.

Yes, the result is beautiful--and maybe that's the point. But that's not why it was made. The oyster cares nothing for beauty, but manages it in the end.


existential angst at a fancy dinner

I don't want anyone to mistake me: the food is excellent. I've never tasted a finer wine and the chef is truly a master of his craft. The company is exquisite: I am seated next to an older gentleman who has earned a fortune in real estate, and the beautiful girl who is his daughter. I have never seen a more beautiful dress. Opposite me is a young man (moving on middle-aged) who is living very comfortably on an income generated in the information technology industry. By all rights I ought to be enjoying myself and celebrating that life is good.

I just can't. I keep thinking about "those less fortunate" and remembering the man I once knew who was barely keeping alive on his income. He was truly excited to be living. At this table there is an air of easy confidence, but also of boredom, of complacency. The girl at my left has never known adversity; the older gentleman seems disparaging of those with less money, as though they have somehow failed. The IT professional seems almost not sure what to do with his wealth. He throws it at charity. I think he feels guilty about it.

I know I do.


existential angst after shots

The room's spinning again.

I've had too many shots now and I'm barely even keeping them down. Have to touch something just to stand up and even then it's a near miss. Everything's out of focus and I feel sick. That's a lie. Not everything. I can see my date still if I shut one eye and try real hard. She's laughing. Laughing at me, laughing at herself, laughing at everything. Probably worse off than I am. No, I know she is. Fallen over twice now, keeps saying the same thing over and over, and doesn't she know how drunk she is? The room's spinning and everything's spinning and out of focus.

I just want something solid.

who i'm kidding

I don't remember the situation exactly, but the other day I found myself saying 'ah, who am I kidding?' in the tone of voice we're all familiar with: the 'I'm not putting on a show for anyone, this is me, this is who I am. Everyone would see through the facade if I pretended so I guess I'm just not pretending any more.'

Then I realized, later in the evening, that 'who am I kidding?' has an answer. Not myself, obviously, but nearly everyone else I interact with is deceived by the act. I put on a front and I do it well. I even manage to eventually convince myself that, while I'm not acting the way I would were I alone, this is normal and honest and above all acceptable.

I'm still not so convinced I'm wrong.