With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pain. Suffering. Despair. Indigestion.

In less than two weeks I will have a Birthday. For this reason, I am in a more profoundly somber mood than ever.

When you get to be my age, you must confront questions of your own mortality. And the limitations of language are such that no one can express the absolute horror of the unknown directly, but only through metaphor.

My life is like a train racing to an unknown destination.

New, unrecognizable speeds.

Or to be more precise, I am like a passenger on the train of life, racing to an unknown destination.

Dips and declines that are only the prelude to…

Actually, I am the train and the passengers are my experience and the track is life. And when the tracks run out…

I am not the first person to face the prospect of death.

Probably, to be sure, I am a passenger, the train is life and the tracks are time. But then there is the matter of the ground

Will I have done anything of value?

O.K. actually, the tracks couldn’t be time since time doesn’t run out, but life does.

Let’s put it this way:
Tracks=Experiences in general
The Ground that supports the tracks is Being (In Heidegger’s sense)
On Board Television=A Television, On Board
Audrey Tied to the Tracks= A Relationship I Was Never Meant to Save
The Ticket Purchased=Commitment (In Kierkegaard's Sense.)
Train Wreck=The Boundaries of Language

Now, I'm left out of the equation. Oh, what's the point?

I suppose someone may buy me something from my Amazon Wishlist. And that is worth something.

Something that gives me hope.

Still one can't help but imagine that part of the horror of life is the inability to even express the horror of life in symbolic form.

But our little exercise has not been in vain. Because while we are no closer to speaking honestly about life, we all have ample time to buy me gifts. This will prevent last minute orders, that require expedited shipping, which would cut into the money spent on my gifts.

P.S. But please don't inscribe the books, because I don't understand what most of them are about, but need to maintain a 'smartified' image, and will most likely return them for the $$$$.


Mind Curry said...

what about the baggage in the train? and what about the excess-baggage we carry at times?

Justin said...

Mind Cury,
Walking! I definitely should have
developed walking as the metaphor. I don't even know why I started on the train metaphor. J.

goldennib said...

I like trains. The vibrations make me feel good.

Justin said...

If you like trains,
You will love Earthquakes.

Jenn said...

Well the wish list is very...um...smartified, yeah, smartified is a good word.

I haven't heard of most of the books, which always impresses me.]

Maleah said...

Ah, I have the best memory from university days of kissing a god from the track team beside a rumbling train, the warm summer air rushing over us while waiting for pennies to be squashed flat on the tracks. Sort of like the relationship got squashed flat. But the kiss was good. Are there any young, perfectly built, track-gods riding on this train and can it take us BACK in time?

part-time buddha said...

What about the train whistle? What is that in your amorphous metaphor?

And posting that wishlist fully allows the title of Shameless Birthday Hussy to be imparted upon you. This is a good thing, as I am their patron saint.

Susan Miller said...

I checked out the wish list and found none of the items to represent how I truly feel about you. Really, man....it all seems so cheap, sure smartified, but cheap. Now if there had been a Cessna Citation Mustang for $2,734,600 along with some type of Amazon Gold Lifetime Membership then maybe, just maybe that would have begun to express the absolute gratitude I have for the good laugh you have given me with your blog. My favorite train story? "The Little Engine That Could"

Lisa said...

The book I wanted to get you wasn't on the list -- OED.

Maybe next year then...

Justin said...

jenn, I spent a lot of time looking for books which are obscure and probably unreadable. j.

Justin said...

maleah, umm with all this smooching...your kind of spoiling the mood of death and despair and an inability to express the pain of the same. j

P.S. But yes, there are track gods on this train, and yes, naturally being fitted with a time flux capacitor it is able to go back in time.

Justin said...

p-t b:

Shameless Birthday Hussy? I do like the sound of that. Not exactly as impressive as "Sir" but not bad either.

j-d k.

Justin said...

susan, If I have one fault it is that I tend to undervalue myself. Thanks for reminding me of a more realistic price range, for those who truly understand me. j.

Justin said...

Lisa, Oh, I guess you didn't look at the top of the list. j.

Comrade Kevin said...

J. - Hugo Chavez called and said he that there's been a mix up with your wish lists. He has your wish list of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, McSweenys book of lists, and America's Funniest Home Videos: The Bob Saget Years. He would like his own wish list back.

Sorry for the mix up.

Taihae said...

Justin. you dont need that smartified nonsense. You just need to dedicate the rest of your life to searching for the elixir of life. one sip is immortality. and i'm sure it cant be that hard to find, if you start looking now...i mean, if it takes the rest of your life, then it wont matter cause you'll find it and live for eternity! no need for all those trains and tracks and hogwash.

oh, and theres a tribute to you in one of my posts this week. since I cant afford anything on your smarmy list.

Sassy Sundry said...

My condolences on your almost birthday. May you get every last thing on your list.

Someday I'll have a place to put the full Oxford English Dictionary. Someday I'll also have a hot tub. These two thoughts get me through many a day.

Broken*Princess said...

My life is like a train racing to an unknown destination.

im feeling that way :(

Jessica said...

Cheer up, Justin! Happy birthday!

Zee said...

What about the train stops at a voting station tomorrow? Not that will make a lot of difference, but it might clear your mind. Since we have a Duocracy in the US there are not to many choices. But hey, put the warmongers back into the matchbox, that's the least we can do ...

Dirk_Star said...

Well, like the republicans say, "All we are is meth in the wind..."


something from me said...

You are most definitely not 'the first person to face the prospect of death'

And I don't think you will be the last either.

goldennib said...

We all should have written in Justin's name for president today. That would have made him feel loved.

Justin said...

So what if I stole your idea for today's post. No one will ever be able to prove it. Bwahh, Ha, Ha.

Justin said...

Something from Me,
Yes, I remember Antonius Blok. But I'm impressed by your claim to predict the future. Time will tell.

Justin said...

People underestimate the Republican's ability to come up with sound aphorisms. j.

Justin said...

Zee, the train stopped, my party got off and it was a disaster. j.

Justin said...

jessica, maybe just keep saying that for a couple of weeks. j.

Justin said...

Personally,I look forward to some kind of mystery occuring, like on the orient express. j.

Justin said...

Thanks for your wishes/sympathy.

Justin said...

Comrade K,
I'm sorry about that. Hugie was probably just messing around. He comes up with the worst ideas for prank calls. Anyway, I checked and my list is in fact right.

Although, I don't, for the record own Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and that does make me sad.


Justin said...

But I've read the wasteland. And I don't what to live for eternity, each year growing in wrinkles and losing bone density, until I am this miserable old man kept in a bottle, b/c that's how shrivelled up I am.

P.S. Nice tribute

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you that your profile is very funny. I think you may, however, be a weirdo!

Justin said...

But at least I am a harmless weirdo. j.

Too_Lively said...

You really didn't need to go into all this death and train wreck nonsense to guilt us into buying you a gift.

BTW, have a very happy birthday!

Justin said...

2 lively,
Actually, my intense and unending awareness of my eventual demise is totally unrelated to the fact that, as it happens, books, books and dvds and such would alleviate said pain.

Now that we have that clear, thanks for the birthday wishes. j