For the record, I have yet to proclaim that things are looking up. I'm not exactly dusting the canvas in order to paint a bleak picture of the future, but I can honestly say i'm not exactly seeing Water Lilies. Every day presents a distorted roadmap of a time to come, loaded with winding forks and misleading dead-ends. Each day presents options seemingly unfathomable and wholly inconceivable (yet someone managed to suggest it!), and unforeseen locales become tempting destinations (Nashville, Tennessee?). Fact progressively becomes stranger than fiction, and each day proves Sartre to be less of a beatnik and more of a profound visionary [read: Mega beatnik]. Upon finishing that last sentence, an acquaintance called me from Miami to proclaim she had just popped a Percocet and thought to say hello. As casual as this conversation went, I immediately considered the implications of people taking drugs before placing a call to me. I'm not using this as a venue for a Bitch-Fest – I just think maybe they should share the wealth.

Writing doesn’t really make things easier either. Whenever someone asks if my writing helps me cope, I refrain from retorting “do Post Its about hemorrhaging stop patients from bleeding?” I stop myself because I became aware that most people have no earthly idea of what to say or do in response to the calamities of others. They may have the best of intentions but lack the emotional-cognitive capacity to sound like anything better than a Hallmark Card. Think about it for a moment. Reflect back to a time when you coaxed someone who lost a loved one or a time when someone didn’t get into their dream college and came to you for support. Something tells me that “Gee, that sucks” wasn’t exactly paramount to their emotional recovery. In fact, it’s a good thing those little words of “inspiration” aren’t ever repeated again. People have a hard enough time as it is finding out that, though they are wonderfully considerate, they suck at communication. Truth is, we lack the vocabulary to address tragedy. Even Shakespeare confronted the trouble of encapsulating the hope and desperation of tragedy. He had to resort to distorting the English language in order to do it. We now observe actors portraying and expressing those words on stage. Therein lies my point: unless you aim to spend considerable time finding the words, perhaps it is best to devote one's time to actually listening and understanding what people are feeling. You may never be able to empathize precisely, but listening is a “lost artform” in our modern-day communication.

It’s rather disheartening how bad our society is at communicating, once you take into the account our obsession with the very means to do so. Cell phones are an essential school supply and a veritable safety-net. AIM inhibits the productivity of our entire generation (albeit not single-handedly) whether you admit to using it or not. Even gaming consoles have included headsets to provide gamers a chance to express their fondest affection for each other’s moms. The problem here lies not in intention but in execution. Between monosyllabic adoration, IM colloquialisms, and inherent conversational ineptitude, I am increasingly certain of one horrifying fact: that the rest of the world can whoop our ass in Scrabble. I swear that the ‘expressions’ “fam,” “crunk,” and “vay-cay” are verifiable signs of the (big ‘A’) Apocalypse. We’ve created numerous avenues to communicate yet have increasingly depleted our cache of things to say. Sadly, despite our obsession with the means of communication, we’ve diluted Machiavelli and utterly destroyed our communicative “ends.” This isn’t the “climax” of civilization: we’ve effectively proceeded to the denouement.

As for my writing, I view it as how I continue to improve my communication. I remain under the impression that if I am open and say/write more, eventually people will sift through the stream of conscious and find what I’m actually saying. Hell, that’s the hope (though not the requisite) for this blog. The act of writing actually has little to no effect on me, except that it produces a written account of what’s actually on my mind. With that said, the end result of writing does have an effect on the minutia of my daily life: it helps break the repetition in my thoughts. I’m able to break the cycle of having the same thought-crippling quandary revisited anew. At least once I’ve produced some reflection, I’m able to move forward and begin processing what’s next. Can you smell the segue?

Coming Soon:
Why Parker Lewis Can (and subsequently did) Lose
Evacuating For Dummies (Including taking other dummies with you)
4000+ Miles to Graceland (by way of Houston): A Mocumentary

Plus, ladies out there can find out how they too can get in on the evacuee-craze that’s sweeping the nation