Wednesday, June 23, 2010
If you meet an anti-buddha on the road, who should kill whom?
If you meet Buddha on the road you must kill him. Excellent, but what if you meet an anti-buddha? And what if he's a pissweak fool of an anti-buddha who only wants to spend the rest of his life eating chocolates and cakes and watching Fox Sport on the TV? Can you kill him? Or is that too harsh? Me, I piked out. Instead I've spent the last four years aiding and abetting this anti-buddha (er... that would be my father) by keeping the fridge full of chocolates and cakes, and perpetually resetting the TV back to Fox Sports when he gets in a tizz and moronically sits there watching the steak knife channel. Ain't life swell.
Be warned, I hereby give the game away. Forget all that stuff about me as self-declared Buddhist railing at the death cult etc. Truth be known I'm a fellow with a heart full of hate who wishes his father was dead. If he carked it tomorrow I'd sing hallelujah. God, that's dreadful. Who the hell says such things? Perhaps I'm a small time death cult member? Or just a mamby-pamby bullshit wannabe? Perhaps I'm the death cult's Walter Mitty? Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa went his slippers as he shambled off to the toilet again and put paid to me wondering if he's dead yet. I tell you what, this dying caper would be so much quicker and easier if one didn't have to keep getting up and going to the toilet all the time. But then, thirty cups of tea a day will do that to you. Here, tea drinking, like going to the toilet, like every goddamn thing, qualifies as pathological.
What does it mean that my answer to the perennial question, 'How is your father?' has become, 'Don't ask me because I don't care. He's still alive it seems, but he's been that way for quite a while now. And shall continue, I expect, until we've all run melancholy mad. Or at least until I have...' Actually, that's the clever me. The real world me says, 'Don't ask me. I wish he was dead.' I apologise for saying it of course - I mean you have to what with the shocked look on the face of whoever's asking me. But really I'm past it now - I've ceased caring. Every second in this place has become perfectly and utterly hateful. I haven't hated a thing this much since my first year in China.
It's the mind games that got to me in the end. It's his idiot pretence that he's doing it all for other people, which is to say me since there's no one else here. Nearly four years of this shit and he's still asking me if I mind if he changes the channel. Which sounds normal until you realise that I've declared in no uncertain terms that I detest Fox Sports, that if it was up to me I'd throw the TV out the goddamn window, and that he should never ask me about changing the channel again. Ever. He's just being polite he says.
There isn't a single question I can ask him about what he'd like to do that isn't answered with, 'Well, what were you having?' I ask him if he wants any more salt and pepper and he says 'Well, what were you having?' Seriously, I'm not making that up. Now I no longer unravel the idiocy of such an answer and instead just shout at him - 'For chrissake, it's a simple question. Did you want more salt and pepper or not?' 'Er, no thank you.' Goddamn! It's like pulling fucking teeth! Every fucking time! Sign me up for the fucking death cult! Jesus!
The perversity is that I'm the author of my own misery. The only reason he's alive is because I keep calling the bloody ambulance. He'd have been dead at least four times over except for me. Trips to the emergency room aside, in between his truly insane consumption of processed sugar and grease, I pointlessly feed him healthy food. He eats half, throws out the rest and then has a piece of cheesecake. His thirty cups of tea a day is made with water I distil for him. Actually, I distil it for me but he drinks it all, about four litres a day. And that's the game we play. His role is to speed his demise and my role is to prolong it. The irony runs rampant what with him not quite wishing to die and me not quite wishing him to live. But as if anything ever made any sense here.
And then there's the retroactive aspect to it all. The nth degree perversity of my life here has cast in stark relief the fact that it was always this way. The only thing that was missing was that last little wafer thin mint to take us to the obvious conclusion. It's clear to me now that he was always a self-obsessed, self-pitying fool. I doubt that there was a man more cuckolded than my father, nor one who deserved it more. With every aspect of my childhood now viewed through this glass darkly, the family snapshots have turned into a series of Ralph Steadman illustrations.
For the last couple of years I've been wondering what I'd say at his funeral and just lately I've decided that I'm not even going to go. Fuck it. The only people who'll be there are my brothers and I've long since ceased caring what they think. Besides which, God spare me having to listen to their mawkish efforts.
Like I said - the world's crummiest Buddhist, me - a man who talks about selflessness all the time, and who goes through the motions, yet all the while his veins run with a fetid black ichor. Compassion? Compassion... I don't even know what it means anymore. Is it compassion to assist an anti-buddha in his delusional self-obsessed spiral into zombiedom? To feed him another spoonful of ashes and him with his mouth already full? The TV sport, the sweety bonbons, the silly mind games, all of it fodder for a hungry ghost who eats and eats, tasting nothing, and never to be sated. What's the point? It's all so purposeless.
Perhaps the right answer is to be possessed of limitless patience and to devote myself to his happiness. But what if the only way to make him happy was to sit and watch Fox Sport with him, be his chocolate buddy, and play the designated role in each of the various mind-game charades he perpetually comes up with? Or to put it another way, join him in his anti-buddhadom? While I'm at it, I'll buy the latest fashions, get a haircut, sign up to facebook, learn how to twitter, and join the Liberal (conservative) Party. God, I'd make his day.
He's everything I want to leave behind and yet here I am shackled to the fucker. Buddha left his wife and kids you know. Easy for him - if I left the old man would be dead in a week. If I stay he could live for years. Hoo-bloody-ray. Would anyone be surprised if I said my hair is falling out and my face is covered in a stress induced eczema? No really, I look like hell.
Oh shit, he's up now. There goes the morning. Ah, Fox Sports news. Fantastic. A fifteen minute bulletin that gets repeated over and over. And within that bulletin is a riff that gets repeated 50? 100 times? Who knows. I'd do the math except I can't think straight. How marvellously loud it is. Sing along - ♫ Dundun dader daderda dundun ♫ Dundun dader daderda dundun ♫ Dundun dader daderda dundun ♫ ad nauseam...
Run Away! Run Away! Down at the library it's time to tie things up - cue the soaring conclusion, the rolling rhythmic build up, and the step-off-the-precipice ending! Or maybe not. Nothing is a lock in and patchiness is the best you can hope for. I gotta tell you, I can barely think straight and it just gets harder and harder. So! Lest anyone wonder what's going on round at nobody's place, it could well be insanity because I've just about fucking had it.
But then again, the nature of monkey is irrepressible. No doubt I'll be back in a couple of days with a new peice and no one will ever know that I've secretly been going bonzo zonko. Whew! And let's hope they never find out!