19 Jun Alex Manley
Little Flowers That Pop And Open
When You Touch Them
Nobody likes you.
Have you figured that out yet? There’s no such thing as a person. Here’s what the thing you think a person is really is: a perception of a moment in time, gathered around a physical body. You are nothing and the people who like you now can and will stop liking you.
Do you perceive yourself in sixty years? Your friends won’t be there. Whoever you marry will be married to someone else. The most romantic way for them to disappear would be to die still thinking they like you. When you post about it you will get likes. Maybe even one hundred. But it’s not a competition.
Do you like sports? I do. Do you not think it’s sad sometimes to watch grown men play a children’s game as their job? Do you think about the salaries sometimes, the way they make your whole year in a single night, win or lose? The worst is all the secondary jobs it creates. Some people put their kids though college because they are good at holding a microphone toward a man who’s very good at kicking a ball. Explain that to a child or an alien.
Every few weeks or so I remember that the world that we consider normal is an irreparably fucked thing constructed out of other irreparably fucked things. For us to have a nice life others have to suffer. I think that’s how it works. Some people die as children, you know. Some people suffer every day. Has your block ever been bombed? Have your friends ever been killed by the police?
If you’re lucky the buildings where you went to school are all still there today. Still used as schools. If you’re lucky your parents and aunts and uncles are still alive. I think about the places that are destroyed so irrevocably that they never become what they used to be again. Playgrounds that are left to be debris. Building remains that are left unrazed, just hanging there.
Everything changes somehow. Forests become parks. Parks become freeways. Freeways crack and age. Eventually the forest comes back. Nothing stays the way it was. If you perceive things as staying the same you’re not looking for long enough. Don’t get attached.
I read on the internet that there are satellites that have travelled billions of miles away. Imagine being one of the people who worked on one of them. Imagine your work travelling billions of miles.
Imagine something you write or draw continuing to exist hundreds of years after your death. You can’t because that’s not going to happen anymore. The capacity to expand horizontally grew until the capacity to expand vertically ceased to exist. Do you see what I mean? The more things there are, the fewer things survive. It’s counter-intuitive, but then it’s also not. A hundred years from now people will be reading things from the 18th and 19th and 20th centuries and things from the early 22nd century. Not things from the early 21st century.
They definitely won’t be reading this sentence.
Sheila Heti said it was blow jobs, but the highest, purest artform of the 21st century is definitely the shareable headline.
18 Sex Moves You Totally Have To Try. You Won’t Believe What This Woman Did Next. The Miracle Fruit That You Didn’t Even Know You Were Already Eating. Little Flowers That Pop And Open When You Touch Them, Full Of Stamen & Pistil, Signifying Nothing. 1.8K Likes. Someone’s Job Is To Think Like This, All Day Long, Five Days A Week. You Won’t Believe What It Did To His Brain. Wait, How Much Money Does AOL Still Make Off Dial-Up?
So you might as well not write anything. You might as well just masturbate. No one else is going to treat your body with the unselfish love that you will. No one else will be as interested in touching you for fifty or a hundred years as you will. You are your own best friend.
Nobody likes you but you.