I am interested in making something. I'm not sure why I want to make. perhaps it's because I am studying poetry, the art of making. mostly I want to make something that is beneficial. I want to grow the world. I want to improve the world. call me an idealist. call me ishmael. call me a haphazard geek. at any rate, I think that art can benefit humans. I'm going to pretend I'm not a human for a moment, to pretend to alienate myself from all of these "people" around me. here I am using human objects. I think humans are interesting. they think they are not like each other. currently there is so much violence about difference. they are emotional. they are convinced that they can't escape themselves. they are convinced that they can't become something other than human. they think they are stuck the way that they are.
I met one man who decided to become a dog. he walked on all fours, ate meat and wandered around the neighborhood. he was naked and growled and howled. he fought other dogs. he chased cars. there was a complaint. he was put in jail for public indecency. as a dog he wasn't able to defend himself. he had to make the decision to either cease his dog-ness and prove that he was not a dog. he only would pant and lag his tongue. they put clothes on him and then released him back into the wild. he made friends with a milkman and butcher. after three years the milkman would play games with the dog at the park, and the butcher would sit, drink his coffee on cold mornings and pet slowly and over and over again, scratching under his bearded chin. The milkman would replace his ragged clothes whenever they disintegrated to the point they fell off. he didn't want his dog to go to jail. if it weren't for his wife and children, the milkman might consider bringing the dog home, but he feared ... well he feared that the dog wasn't really a dog. and at about the fifth year of their friendship, the butcher was petting his friend one morning, and the dog ran out into the street and was struck by the milkman. the milkman sobbed, and the butcher knew, and together they did what everyone does with a dog, they buried him in the forest. they resisted all the temptation to treat him as a human at his funeral. if he was a dog in life, then, they decided, he would be a dog in death. there, the butcher and the milkman with shovels in hand, growled and howled like only humans can.
this story is out of an impulse of absurdity, I'm sure, but really it's about developing a sincere absurdity. I am aware of the alienation of everything, of man to man, of man to his labor, of all the impossible connections, and yet ... and yet, I wonder about this man who completely embraces the alienation and becomes alien, who commits his life to one of a dog. I'd like to write it in first person as well.
I've decided to become a dog. I realize that this will be difficult to accomplish. So, I've decided to maintain my consciousness only to shed my external humanity, and once I've developed a convincing externality, then I will begin to develop ... or un-develop my humanity on the inside. my first step is to develop myself as a quadruped. this would be the quickest way to fulfill my true identity.
I walked to work today as a quadruped. I determined that I couldn't drive. standing is such a superior position, and I find it antithetical to dog-ness. by the time I got to work, I realized how filthy my hands were, but rather than clean them, I determined that this would be a regularity and something that dog-ness is not concerned with. I would need to develop a sort of anti-conscious, a pretended ignorance. I will have to put the adage "fake it til you make it" to the test.
my clean white keyboard (I'm a programmer) became quite dirty was I performed my work. for lunch, I was uncertain how I would feed myself, so I went to the kitchen (on all fours) and sat next to the people eating lunch. some laughed and acquiesced, tossing sandwich crusts at me. I realized that if I was going to be fed, then I would need to do this frequently. I needed to go into the kitchen anytime someone was there. I found myself keeping my ears perked and pointed toward the kitchen. someone, rick, asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was embracing my true identity as a dog. I explained that I had had enough with the human way of life, that it felt fake and unsupportable, that I was effaced by all the commercialism, and that in order to really subvert the manipulative consumerism I would need to develop myself into an identity that was wholly un-categorical, something that the culture industry couldn't absolve. but rick responded that I couldn't escape it. I told him that by the time that I was subsumed by the culture industry, at that point it wouldn't matter, I would be gone, I would have developed my mind to a regressive state of unconsciousness. he asked why I didn't just commit suicide, and I told him that this is much less violent, but I suppose it is a form of suicide, yes. and he said, man, if you're depressed, I'm here for you. and I said, I'm not depressed and don't call me man. and he apologized and in the silence that ensued between us he shrugged and tossed me a bit of his sandwich. I was so elated that he fed me that I ate it off the floor with a zealous enthusiasm. without a tail to wag, I let out a large sigh. I think I'll enjoy this mid-dog-ness for a period before I make any further descent.
if I were braver, I would be an artist instead of a writer. I would probably try being a dog for about a week, or at the very least, I would try to be a quadruped. If there are any artists out there who have done this or who are willing to do this, please contact me. I would love to work on some sort of collaboration.