The Self-Importance of Eric Gallagher

The work of a sloppy writer and an even sloppier musician.

It fills me with a familiar feeling

One of a road diverging

In a moment of multiple choice

A dry desperation

To reach out in a way that makes sense

But nothing is clear until it’s too late

So down the road you go

Time doesn’t heal wounds, it aggressively erodes them.

Three minutes

That’s it that’s all you are

Listen here if gravity has a universal constant

No that doesn’t make any sense

If you just move this one here

Put the energy in

Change this area

Just like that no no put it back

Fuck someone over

Make something open up

Down somewhere that’s tough to get to

Seven ladders up

Sequenced like the distance between how we feel

About most everything

Mostly gone

Mostly preserved in the grass

In the park across the street

Crunch crunch under your feet

We’ve stopped responding and recovered

The magnitude of the sum

The floor made of plastic bits

That would have gotten you sick if you inhaled them

Preserved and overlooked

Try for something new

The pieces flake off

I’m giving myself over

Very slowly

A thought spread out

A moment in a moment

What it is is you

Pick from me what you can

What sticks

What feels right

Resonates

And you keep it

Not me anymore

You

Whoever

And it’s a beautiful thing

Well, if quantum immortality is real, which it may or may not be (More likely it both is and is not real), then I guess we should continue to make like Ram Dass and be here now. We should revel in this temporary space, burdened by sense, and attempt to lighten the load of others around us that might be less prepared for their own endless, quantic journeys. I think I find the idea of quantum immortality being a possibility less bleak than the scenario presented in Robert Charles Wilson’s story. Maybe we will have to go through some bullshit, but ultimately the idea of such a thing would seem to me to lead to an endless, ego-less playground, not some alien torture chamber. It could lead there, maybe, but I have a little faith in my navigation skills.

The story reminds me of two things, one being a night in my dormitory when I was about nineteen. I was laying in bed, about to go to sleep, and my roommate was laying in his bed across the room. I had an idea, and as he complained that I had woken him up and that he had a test in a few hours, I presented it to him like this; “Imagine that you’re ninety something, and you’re on your death bed. You know that you’re going to die, and your family is around you, and you’re ready for it. You’ve finally accepted it, and you’re even looking forward to it a little, to the fact that you get to rest after all the work you’ve put in. So you die, and you say something meaningful and your children cry and there’s blackness for a second. Then all of a sudden, you wake up in a cold chemical bath, being prodded and stared at by these inexplicable alien beings that are clicking at you in human-esque noises, asking a litany of questions about what it was like to be human in the 2000’s.” This kept my roommate up all night. I’ve mentioned it a few times since then when we talk, and he always gets mad, saying it’s a thought that bothers him intensely.

The other thing is a dream I had recently in which I was torturing myself. It was me, looking out from my perspective at another version of myself who had built, a very elaborate chamber of horrors for myself. I would press myself into a bed of nails, I would feel the pain, I would beg for it to stop, and then I would die. I would bring myself back into the room, and then I would set myself up in another device, or I would be sent into a sort of simulator, forced to play out some horrible scenario involving the people in my life. I asked myself why I was doing this, and I said, “You are being prepared. You are going to have to feel everything, because you are all there is, and you are going to have to accept that.” For a moment I kept struggling, but then I realized that I knew quite well how to accept things, and so I did. The tortures continued for a little while, but I no longer felt any pain. I knew it would all pass, dream or not, and when the other me saw that I wasn’t reacting anymore, the room and the other me melted away. Once it did, I built nice little landscapes instead, images of nice people saying nice things, and then I woke up feeling pretty content.

I don’t know what is going on, and despite the constant input of new information, and my sharing of the information, I don’t hold any illusions that I’m closer to anything than anyone. I do sometimes find myself thinking, though, that I might have more faith than most of those who claim it often; Faith in the process, and in knowing that everything is going to be alright. And that makes me feel okay.

How trapped are you

Are you free

Is this it

Is that all you’ve got

Got

Another one passes by

Cars down the road

In front now to the right

Turning onto roads hot and old

You catch each step with a million versions

Of the same step

The same

Always the same

Never ending

The road changes names at the corner

The sign says stop

I’m running parallel to your success

An auxiliary force

When you find yourself

And find others

It kind of gets stuck in your head

But life is a high you’ve been chasing

Since you first saw your father

Since you first watched worms inch around a brand new puddle

That lingering smell of a newly cooked dish

The feel of the dirt between your fingers

And the way in which your mother’s lips moved as she sang

Replicate with rough hands

Tired eyes

And tired arms and tired lungs

It all pales in comparison

I have no desire to be defined

Pigeonholed

I’d rather be everything

I’d rather be everywhere

I’d rather float about existence as a wispy idea

But exterior forces

They need so badly to define

So I allow it

I materialize back into the fold

The pins and needles sensation of being formless leaves me

With big metal stakes I’m pinned to the ground once again

With coarse thick rope I’m tied to the wall again

You need it

You need it I know

You need me here

So I’ll let it go

I’ll let it happen

I can wait

I can wait

I’m putting in far more than I get back, with every other moment becoming more and more draining. It’s my own doing that I’m here. I”m stuck in a cycle that’s getting more and more tiring, and I’m terrified to see how much more tiring it can get. I should have kept to myself.

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