Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Enoch and I went to see Tycho play at the Doug Fir last Tuesday. It was the last show on their tour and their second time coming through Portland, so we didn't want to miss it like we did the first time. I didn't feel that well but I forced some life into my legs yet, trying the deny the claim that some unknown as of yet disease seems to have on my body and mind, these days. Being sort of sickish with a cold as well, I didn't want to party hard. I was mostly sober save my cold meds and herbal supplements.

    There weren't many people there when we arrived in the basement. We moved to the front stage and as the opener began, I felt a sudden wave a panic tear through me. The room was suddenly swimming with energy, and I swore I could see it, shimmering above and around us. I felt bizarrely overwhelmed even though the room wasn't very crowded yet. As if maybe I would get lost or be engulfed. "I feel this weird sense of panic," I said out loud, and then further explained that I didn't understand why. Enoch looked at me evenly.

    "That's not really that weird. In another dimension we're probably on acid, watching this show."

    Of course.
    It made so much sense.

    I knew in my bones that was true. In another dimension, I was definitely tripping hard, on some kind of frightening but enlightening journey. In another I was drinking and dancing. In still others, I was there with friends, or some other guy. In yet another, I was dead.

    Tycho finally came on, and as they began to play and images flashed across the make-shift screen, I thought of all of the others. Not just the others of myself, but of everyone. And what it would look like if you plotted the differences of each person's others on a map. If you could draw lines of each diverging universe, would would that massive mass of lines exploding look like? I imagine it would look like the big bang. Stardust. A tangible moment, come and gone in the instant of a gunshot.

    Then all of us running...

    ...in different directions. All of us different by the tiniest fraction.
    all of us smiling and all of us singing
    and crying and laughing. Making huge mistakes and massive messes.
    All of us, killing and poaching, nurturing and poisoning, loving, fucking, needing, getting high or wasted or just sitting in the dark.
    All of us dying, too soon, too late, too fast, too god-awful slow. Raising children and raising hell.
    Endless volumes of struggle, endurance, suffering, torture, triumph and survival, destruction and shame. Everything you can imagine, happening all at once.

    Some code too complex for a mere mortal to decipher.


    And yet I've felt the clarity of a pure existence, if only for a few moments. An experience so moving that I cried because I couldn't understand why it's so hard to just fucking live. Why does each day feel like such a drag and why does it seem like no one is happy? Why are we getting up and going to work and coming home and going to bed and never questioning why we spend so much of our lives toiling away all because of the concept of property and owning things and wanting to take pride in ourselves for doing so? And why does it feel so inescapable?

    After the show, we stepped out into the cold night. I felt incoherent and distant, stretched 9 different ways and then some; all of my others running in opposing directions, stealing something that cannot be measured or seen or felt.

    And then I shut it out of my mind. And I put it here. To never take it back.

    This is who I am.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.