Aug 28, 2005

Open the blinds.

I got blackout curtains a couple days ago!

Unfortunately, it involved a precarious excursion to Wal-Mart. I feel like a hypocrite for preaching against such an establishment, yet strolling in there whenever I am seeking a commodity that I wouldn't know where to look for anywhere else. It's lamentable that the "if you build it, they will come" adage applies to Wal-Mart in such impeccable fashion. The entire store is a monument of ugliness, a temple of gluttony and greed, a monastery of lazy, overweight slobs thanks to general lack of education, willpower, and abundant availability of terrible processed fatty foods. The store represents the entire country of America in a confined little acre lot, and there are thousands of stores nationwide just like that one. And with a McDonald's built right into the store, people can look forward to waddling right over there for dinner just after they've finished shopping. Gotta love the American way, huh?

...No, not really. The utter lack of culture or character to be found in that store; the way it reflects America at large; the way the smell of McDonald's grease at the entrance for some reason reminds me of what a hopeless, delusional retard the president is and how many pathetic droids believe in his lies and constant spewing of bullshit all over his throne... it's very depressing. Stepping into the store from outside in the town of Hilo is like stepping into an entirely different world. That could help explain why I often feel like I'm dreaming when I walk into Wal-Mart at night. I transgress from the muddy amber street light halos in a sleepy city into a store illuminated brightly as a microscope slide. From there, I could be anywhere--Kansas, Florida, perhaps even Flint, Michigan. In any case, having achieved my purchasing goal, I promptly trotted out of the store and into my charming little sanctuary on the other side of the river, thankful it didn't involve bounding over endless grids of wheat fields.

My excursion later that evening was far more inspirational; it quickly erased all remaining traces of my Wal-Mart blues. It was as simple as riding my bicycle into the night, down along main arteries that were queerly desolate in the afterhours. When I caught sight of the half moon ascending above the bay, I was seized by blissful sensations that sent shivers coursing through my body. Nothing affects me quite like the moon. Any hint of weariness I had been feeling prior was quickly eliminated as I watched her rise above the cottony clouds. As I circled around Banyan Drive, my imagination kicked itself into high gear.

This street, which wrapped itself around a small golf course inland and a few hotels and restaurants along the coast before looping back to the main highway, was relatively active that evening. Plenty of parked cars filled the lots, and plenty of humans loitered around them. I heard a decent breakbeat minus obnoxious rapping about thug lyfe, which is pretty impressive considering the sort of crap that's standard around here. I could have stopped and weaseled my way in to see what was going on, but I honestly did not have enough interest. Instead, I could not help but imagine how things in that particular area would have been in my ideal world... the world that I knew was far too good for reality but fit together perfectly in my mind.

The road was closed to vehicular traffic at both entrances from the highway. Those with cars had to park by the boat ramps, but bicycles were allowed past the barricades. Even at the entrance to Banyan Drive, I was an involuntary but very receptive participant in an aural orgy of music that I knew would truly move and infect me. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into, but I was deeply intrigued, slowly following a crowd down the streets. The air of anticipation was intense. It could be seen in everyone's friendly faces, their jovial body movements. I few people looked at me and smiled, as if to say, "welcome to our celebration, friend." And I did feel welcome, very much so. The slogans and graphics on the clothing of many depicted things I knew and loved, from animals to musical artists to favourite video game characters. I felt like anything but an outcast as we approached a brilliant array of sweeping multi-coloured lights, bathing the steet in their inspiriting glory. A pulsating trance beat emerged out of nowhere and infected my body, so that I could not help but move in rhythm with it. The crowd became more and more compacted the closer I got to the stage, but I did not care. I felt happy to be around these human beings so much like myself, and would have shuddered at the thought of walking down dark streets alone. I squeezed through the crowd of individuals who kindly manoeuvered out of my way while resuming their liberating dance grooves. As I drew closer to the stage--apparently one of many, I was enveloped in an awe-inspiring tunnel of royal blue light. Suddenly, a voice announced, "tonight's festival is dedicated to that marvelous tropical storm due to slam into Hilo in about an hour... it's going to get wild, everyone!" The music resumed with pounding beats, the DJ's on the set chemically manipulating the crowd with their euphoric creations. Tourists on the balconies of the hotels, young and old, could be seen with their hands up in the air. And when it suddenly started pouring rain, the crowd only became more energised, as if nurtured by the pristine water falling from the sky. With each heavy rumble of thunder that could be heard over the music, everyone cheered along with me. There was not a single drug to be found at the celebration; it was all natural euphoria infused in everyone. I hugged a random stranger, and was immediately hugged back. Peace, love, unity, and respect. We all had our minor differences and quirks but knew we were all similar underneath, and we all felt deeply compassionate toward one another--we all somehow knew this inside. I could not sense a smidgen of contempt or apathy radiating from anyone. Absolutely everything about the experience was positive, and no one had to worry in the slightest about being ridiculed for their behaviours or passions. Not able to erase the smile from my face, but no longer caring to project aloofness, I shuffled over to the golf course. It was no longer a golf course, but a verdant field full of souls hypnotised by the ethereal musical works of Sasha on stage. When the strong, cold breeze hit me halfway through "Magnetic North," I felt as if I was flying. It was then that a brilliant bolt of lightning seared across the sky, and everything vapourised.

In reality, it was a pair of high beams that were shining upon me, shattering my deep trance. I shook the sand off my bottom, picked up my bicycle and carried on farther down the beach where no cars could go, wondering why I hadn't done so the first time around. That powerful daydream reminded me distinctly of the Electric Daisy Carnival, that June 25th event which literally proved to me that there are quite a few wonderful, like-minded people to be found in the world, even in a place as close as California. Never had I felt so at home in a crowd, and I probably never will again until I go to my next rave. It was one of the most inspiring and soul-liberating events I had ever experienced.

Reality in essence is very, very dismal. It's characterised predominantly by rules that can never be broken, uncontrollable outcomes and consequences, and unpleasant circumstance. If I were, on that evening, to take Banyan Drive exactly as it was, I probably would have become depressed. In reality, several people looked at me funny, looking entirely lost in their own selfish worlds of self-serving standards. People were gathered around their cars drinking light beer and listening to rap music. They would all probably go home in a couple hours, leaving the streets dead again until revived by the next brutal sunrise. I recalled that night that my imagination is, in fact, a system of self-defense. It serves as an outer shell, a buffer if you will, which protects my sensitive heart and spirit from the misery and hollowness of the outside world. Living in a dream world does not necessarily cause any harm whatsoever, but rather does quite the opposite for me. I need not a psychotherapist nor anti-depressant medication when my vivid imagination can readily compensate for the shortcomings--and there are many--of reality. Somehow, I can strike a perfect balance between imagination and reality, creating an optimal effect. For example, the wind that night was real, the rain was real, a few flashing lights could be seen here and there, and that actual area would have been ideal for a rave. Many of the elements and settings were already there, so that I could focus more attention on adjusting other aspects of the stage to their ideal setting my mind. If life is but a dream anyway, one certainly should not be afraid to ...hold themselves back.

...Which brings me back to blackout curtains. It may seem rather absurd or silly that I should be so rapt over new curtains, but then again, not being disturbed in the morning is rather important to me. That, and I need my own private space in the world, one where no stranger can possibly see inside. One in which I can create any variation or spin on reality that I choose, and not be chastised or shunned due to someone's perspective of it being too "ludicrous." If I consider one thing to be remarkably ludicrous, it's being advised to snap out of my fantasy world.

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