One can’t help but notice how neurotic we humans actually are when we perceive certain situations/behaviours from a disengaged and aloof-enough, abstract perspective. Last night, for example, I couldn’t fall asleep because the neighbour was watching the telly with the volume at full throttle, hours on end. Now, it wasn’t loud enough to afford me (the “chance” to latch onto) the sense of the words that flooded my mind in a ceaselessly rumbling torrent of sorts, but I could pick up the tones and the sentiments, all the same, the trajectories of the sense, so to speak, [that Robert Frost called the sound of sense btw] that percolated through the intervening wall. And, given that I was trying to fall asleep, it was heck of an irritating sensation. Just neverending yapping; a muffled (but all the more sheer) onslaught of stimuli on my senses. Yap, yap, yap. Made me think of how compulsively we, you and I, all of us talk. As if constantly offloading the pressures (positive, negative, whatever) that build up inside, day after day. Talking, talking, talking. Day in, day out. Socializing and doing it small, or talking big and then nonsense poppycock [“bullshitting” as a good friend of mine characterized my kind of talk]. Confiding, analysing, gossiping, theorizing, coaching, preaching, chatting, yammering and whining. The amount of talk we bombard others and are bombarded with can be outweighed only by self-talk maybe. Maybe. Negotiating, conversing, scheming, sharing, ranting, sulking, expressing, affirming, informing, soothing, forewarning.. and so on.. and so on. And one can’t help but wonder whether all this spent air is spent not because of the actual contents that our talk is supposed to convey but because of much deeper and (by the same token) simpler reasons. On the surface we seemingly share relevant and significant stuff in our talk but isn’t it the mere fact of engagement or the fact of some form of a connection that is really relevant in all this? Evolutionary accounts aside [for one: languaging is an abstract form of grooming/intimacy that gels a group into stronger cohesion], sometimes it does feel as if we had a mysterious or some sort of primal kind of elemental and fundamentally unresolved issue that we were trying to resolve by the illusively fulfilling capacity of expression and the help of others. Like writing this very post, in fact. Communication as a sort of redemption or validation.. of one’s raison d’etre. Not bad. La condition humaine. And of course, anxiety just never let’s up, as William Gaddis once said: “one thing said leaves others equally significant unsaid.” But no matter. We try nevertheless. To tease that transcendent form of being somehow out of the block of air that pumps us through the light.. and through the others..


About The Still Small Man

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