The Starving Artist

“Life is no longer a roller-coaster, nor has it ever really been” he thought. “Life is and always has been a maelstrom filled with churning currents. We seek to define it in some unilateral sense but that is impossible. It is short sighted to think that good and bad come in waves; even more-so to think that it is all merely a matter of perspective. Perspective plays a role no doubt, but necessity drives personal objectivity. I don’t accept that personal objectivity is the same thing as subjectivity. Perhaps that is the core of my problem. It is the essence of why I fail over and again to understand others. I sleep in a static state of comparing myself with the world as the one permanent pseudo-known factor. If I could just accept my place in the world and build from it maybe I could prove myself to be a late-bloomer”.

He sat in silence for several minutes having exhausted his emotions. His hands cradled his head as he searched himself for something that he truly felt to be valuable. As was typical with him he came to no fruitful ends. He couldn’t help but make an excuse for himself: if only he wasn’t in his position of being under the constant blaring siren of necessity he could avert his thoughts to fantasy; he could manifest his true creativity. As it stood he believed that every moment he indulged his dreams was a robbery from solving the problems that he couldn’t afford to put aside. “In many ways it is true” he affirmed to himself. That nagging abyss he felt in his chest was an ever-present distraction from what might have under ideal conditions still been his bottomless potential. He knew with his every protein that there was a diamond deep within him screaming to glimmer in the sun. He also knew that he had to stifle it; that there was not time to convince the far-too-many authenticators of the world that it was not counterfeit. As his life stood now there was only time to search for a means in the endless and unrewarding savanna of civilization. He was a man with nothing and needing, trying to compete against a billion just like him; all of them together were safely corralled from what should have been the real competition. A million dystopian fictions hinted at the metaphor of his existence and not one had tipped an ounce from the scale.

The world as one voice might have affirmed to him his possession of the flawless gem. “If only they could see it” he thought this even as he felt within himself that his narcissism ran unchecked. He granted himself asylum from his usual self-defeating reproach, such self-bolstering was a prerequisite of living in the existential maelstrom. “The world seeks to tear you apart and demand tithes from the quivering masses of flesh it leaves behind, surely someone has to be the encouraging liar” his mind felt exalted to squeak out such a potent self-affirmation, only to quickly realize that he had inadvertently undermined his own point. He fell from whimsy into stoicism once more.

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