Peering Through the Keyhole

Someone once told me to live life as though people are watching.
This is why I started posing in the shower.
Oh, what a soapy sight – the light shower spray gently caresses my gorgeous face as I stand, majestically, with my long hair falling down my back.
Yeah, well, I cut my hair, I’ve got acne, and the hot water has melted my mascara which now eerily runs down my blotchy face.
What a glorious image.
You’re welcome.
Instead, whichever pervert who watches my cleansing ritual will have to settle for me scrubbing like I’ve got mutant fleas.
Why live life like someone’s watching? Why assume people are watching? Are you so significant? Where do these people find the time? Do they not have DSTV or AN UNCAPPED INTERNET CONNECTION?
Mom. Christmas. HINT.
I’ve come to believe we are not sought out, stalked and watched. For whatever reason, we have attracted the attention.
Discretion, huh? You live inward or you live outward. Think of when a woman laughs. It’s a beautiful thing.
It’s also goddamn annoying.
You, you little attention-seeking brat.
Sorry. That was condescending. Let me rephrase that.
Nobody likes being called little.
Except rappers. Lil’ Jon, Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Grown Man.
These people live life and the world is watching, yet they refuse to pick better names.
It’s easy to sit and contemplate life, throw around existential questions and ponder our purpose here.
I mean, are we human or are we dancers?
I’ve got a popular song and an intelligent man to thank for this question.
What makes us human?
Bipedalism? Yeah, I’ve got that going for me. Higher cognitive processing capabilities? I don’t know. There are times all my inner ear can hear is white noise. Individuality? Bingo, baby.
We are free-willed creatures.
Or are we? Are we really free?
Are we not dancers? Do we not dance to society’s choregraphed routine, to its horrid, contemporary, rap-based tune?
I don’t know about you, but I’m krumping up in here.
Society dictates I go to school, secondary school, a university, get a degree, get a job, find a man or woman, somehow come by a child, put that child through school, work ’til I retire, welcome death and watch the cycle repeat itself.
There’s a nice corner in Berea where child-picking is possible. I’ve got my eye on that short one that looks like he’s got the least serious kwashiokor.
Look at that cycle. Look at how mundane I’ve made our lives to which we attach so much significance to be.
How very reductionistic of me.
We need food, so we need money. We want comfort, so we need money. We want a pleasant quality of life, so we need money. We want health and contentment, so we need money.
Man, we live for the dough. Without money, we would starve, be homeless and prone to illness.
Who is truly free?
I’d say little Kwashiokor Boy or Future Stolen Son.
Why is he free?
Probably because his parents died or abandoned him. Yet, in his freedom from social norms he is held captive by its consequences. Hunger and Illness hold him prisoner with an iron fist. It’s most likely he isn’t a dancer because he does not have the means to be.
Surely, there is more to it than this?
Perhaps we don’t all dance to the same tune. Maybe The Universe released an EP with 20 tracks, a karaoke extension and customized dance mats.
I krump. He tangos. She twerks. Then there’s that White guy, and I have no idea what he’s doing.
Man, do we all feel strangled by society?
The modern want to be free and the Amish just want to watch TV. The free though? They suffer.
The more we humans advance, the more we imprison ourselves with our own inventions.
Do you like Matthew McConesomeone? I like him. He was in that mini-series, Something, where some bad guys were doing some bad things.
A wise, cold man, he did play.
Our lives are linear, aren’t they?
He asked me this from beyond the screen as I wondered if he’d treat Kwashiokor Boy as his own son when we married and started our lives together.
Our birth is not a given but our death is absolute. Most of us live life similarly to others, in that we go through stages until death.
Infancy to childhood. Childhood to adolescence. Adolescence to adulthood. Adulthood to old age.
What makes each of our lives unique are the decisions we make, our nature and our nurture. Of course, our perception of free will and individuality too.
Our lives have a start and end, and whatever happens in between is a journey we, ourselves, craft.
We count years past. We live in a forward direction.
It’s all linear.
Is it though?
Hold earth in your hand for a second. What do you see?
Do you see billions of people living their lives differently in the same ways?
We are born. We die. More are born. More die.
We advance. We fight. We rebuild. We improve. We advance. We fight. We rebuild. We improve.
In the grander, universal scheme of things, we’re an insignificant speck living a cycle.
We’re here. We live.
But, just how free and significant can you really believe you are?

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