Thursday, March 02, 2006

Useless Roads and Stores

Albert Camus

Have you ever been aimlessly walking down the street or driving your car through the city and suddenly been dumb-struck with the sheer pointlessness and absurdity of it all? In that one perfect moment of enlightenment, all the sheer nuttiness of human existence comes coalescing into a focused moment of awareness in which no amount of voluntary muscle control can prevent your windpipe from thrashing vehemently and the sides of your lips from trembling. You may have laughed, you may have cried, or something in between, last it happened to you.

The last time it happened to me was in Davenport Iowa, an impoverished and desolate town left standing in the cold midwestern praries dick in hand after John Deere corporation divorced it for some sexier piece of financial ass elsewhere. I was sitting in the passenger's side of a friend's jeep at a stoplight where I could see a dozen fast food restaurants, a shopping mall, at least three gas stations, two banks, lines of cars in four directions, a schizophrenic arguing with traffic, and miles of flat space filled with a bunch of nothing going quickly nowhere for no observable reason other to ensure that the same thing happens without a hitch tomorrow. I begin chortling and laughing, even screaming to the extent with which the pressure in my ears could withstand it while banging my hands on my knees and the dashboard..."It's nothing but a bunch of roads and stores! Thats ALL there is! FUCK! It's nothing but a bunch of useless roads and stores!"

I turned to look at Sam and somehow I expected him to understand exactly what I was intuiting as he swiveled his head around hoping other drivers didn't see us.

Philosopher of existentialism Albert Camus died when his car smashed into a tree on the side of the road. Supposedly he accidently ran into it taking an oily corner too quick or something, but personally I know it was a suicide. Or perhaps an accidental one. I sometimes wonder if his hands just slipped the wheel as he was speeding around a corner shouting and banging on his knees, the whites of his eyes reflecting in the rear view mirror.


Dreamy said...

Or, he could have been trying to pick a piece of meaningless gum off his shoe when... oops!

Aaron said...

He was actually masturbating. We've all done it.

Dreamy said...

We haven't all got confused as to which tree we were hugging though. Not that I have a tree.