Monday, January 28, 2008

the lifeguard

Everyday he would take the same route to the beach. And every day he would walk the same route from his car to his post. And every day he would sit atop his post, with his eyes looking out over the blue void and he would think about all the women he hated. He never had to look very far, they were around him at every moment; in town, in shops, in libraries, at home, and especially here at the beach. There were women with skin that darkened under the sun, women that wore little or nothing, women who laughed heavily about nothing and thought little about everything. There were women who revered Marilyn Monroe, women who were in love with their body and whose universe did not extend past their lightly freckled skin. There were women who didn’t read Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy or London or Thoreau or Nietzsche. Their gods lied within the glossy pages of a magazine, or maybe a romance novel written with the basic formula that all romance novels follow. These women had no passion in their lives; they had no art, no literature, no control, they had no purpose to their life other than tanning and fucking.
So ever day he would sit perfectly still on top of his post and stare at them through his darkened aviator glasses, observing and hating, letting the strangling heat of the sun beat down over his body. Sometimes when the heat was particularly overwhelming he would let his hate separate his mind from his crude, sweating body, and let it wander across philosophies and religion and meaning. He knew that God was dead, and he knew that religion was a crutch, and that you had to create your own purpose in life. He knew that nature was the only thing that was still beautiful anymore, and he knew that it was the only thing that could give him a purpose. He knew that someday he would be able to leave them all behind and find his own salvation. He knew that no one else could comprehend this. He knew he was alone.
First, he knew he had to gain complete control over his own body. He needed to discipline it, to ignore and abuse it. He needed to make it suffer through starvation and pain, to let his body know that it was not associated with his mind. To assert that his body could not touch the infinite purity of his mind was important to him. He would not allow himself to become one of the endless women on the beach who saw their body as a pinnacle and summation of the beauty in the world, as something to be enjoyed and relished. He knew the human form was something ugly and detestable that it in no way provided ample representation of his true self.
He could not let the ignorance of the world taint his own soul.
And this is what he would think of every day, atop his post, eyes gazing across the expanse of the ocean, with the thick heat of the sun washing over him. He loved how his hate separated his mind from his body, as well as the separation it created between himself and every other person on the beach. He knew that he was not like any of them and his hatred was confirmation. And witnessing their behavior at the beach allowed him justification for his hatred.

One day while he was lost in thought under the pressure of the sun, someone far away yelled. At first he didn’t notice, or care, but allowed it to fuel his hatred for a little longer. But the screaming grew louder and louder and soon it became audible. A woman with streaked golden hair down to her shoulders and a pair of eyes streaked by horror and shock ran towards him. She fell on the ground out of breath when she reached the bottom of his post and heaved out her words. Someone was drowning.
For a few moments he just stared at the woman, analyzing her hair, eyes, skin tone and shape. He felt disgusted and a slight grimace grew across his face as he watched her completely breakdown in the brightly reflective sand. Then his eyes moved up towards the horizon and he scanned across the glossy surface of the water. A little ways out he saw something thrashing in the water, causing little ripples in the grand immensity of the surrounding domain. He imagined the struggle and panic they were feeling; the hot flashes throughout your body, the shutdown of rational thought as the water filled their lungs. He wondered what was running through their mind now that death was so close, did they regret not thinking more heavily about art and literature and philosophy and religion? Did they recognize the mistakes of their life? Did they realize how pointless their existence had been? Or did they simply go into a frenzy, desperately trying to dig their nails into what little life they had left. He wondered if their eyes resembled those of a cow’s when they hear the wet death of the ones ahead of them in the slaughter line. He thought that they probably did. So he simply sat there and watched the little ripples become smaller and smaller until they were completely swallowed by the greater ebb and flow of the tides. And as the women beneath him continued to shake violently from trauma, little streaks ran down his cheeks, dropping salt water onto the waiting sand below.

1 comment:

G.Rosenberger said...

hey i like that i'm not the only one still keeping this up, good work.