The final time The Artist Formerly Known As My Wife and myself went out to a restaurant we talked about what would happen now that we were officially separating. She talked with much zeal about how she was going to exercise her promiscuity and grab a hold of as many and as varied sexual encounters as she could. Good for her.
I said I was going to become a Monk.
I meant it too.
I have often heard others talk of this calling; of the need to remove yourself from the relational shelf once a relationship goes tits up. My current partner, El Cohen has expressed that if we were to break up she would join a nunnery and I too have said much the same (though perhaps not a nunnery for me as that would most likely cause far more problems than it would solve… or conceivably solve a few).
It is a powerful notion to choose such a strict lifestyle in the face of what is sometimes a crushing defeat. It has a lot to do with control. It’s like a straight edge movement for the more mature student. It is a fuck you, a refusal of all those baser connections and desires that leave you tied to your past and the person who has peed all over it. It is a way of wrapping yourself in an armour of abstinence, ensuring that the enemy will not get in the same way twice.
Or perhaps you just think you’ll never get laid again.
Either way, there is something incredibly calming about the thought of rising five minutes before you go to sleep to sweep twigs from a pebble. I am in love with the notion of gathering water from the stream daily using nothing but a broken tea cup and the power of conviction. The thought of draping yourself in various shades of brown and staring into the navel of the universe all day every day is somehow comforting. It is a complete removal of self, a scythe to the penis and all its impulses; a quieting of the mind and its jury of chattering bastards.
The flip side of these rather serene imaginings is to get absolutely shit faced for a period of months while slowly destroying any semblance of normality you may have once fostered. It involves imbibing so much that you not only blot from your memory the pain of your relationships end, but also your name, your address, your shoe size and your standards in sleeping with another person.
It involves wildness and abandon; insanely loud music, decisions of a highly dubious nature and a mania that is only equalled by your air of desperation. It’s fun, but the kind of fun that ultimately monkey fucks your brain and leaves you feeling like Mickey Rourke’s face.
I don’t know if either course really gets you anywhere in the end.
There is only ever the here and now and the slow, long path that will eventually lead you someplace new. Whether you ‘Om’ along it or vomit into its gutters, it will get you where you want to go eventually.
Life is a ball; a big, fucking, colourful ball and it rolls on regardless.
There is no control whilst upon the ball, there is only how long you can stay on it as your legs spindle like mad and your arms flail and your tongue hangs out the side of your mouth and you look like a twat. The ball will do what it will. All we have to do is have the good sense to allow ourselves to look like the idiots we truly are whilst trying to stay on top of it.