Because of You
Jean Paul Sartre, and his idea Hell resides not in some Ethereal Never Never Land, but in the Eyes of our Fellow Man/Woman, has, along with his Philosophy of Existentialism, been an ongoing subject of Controversy.
Both Secularists, and the Religious have argued over Sartre’s Materialistic Views, with many coming to the conclusion that Ideas, such as, “Hell is Other People,” are nothing more than the By-Products of a Dangerous, Self-Indulgent Man projecting his Own Misery onto the World.
Others have embraced the “Moral Relativism” of Sartre’s views believing it to be the best possible explanation for what they See, Think, and Feel.
Some even use “Moral Relativism,” as a Respite, an Excuse/Rationalization for Being/Remaining Indifferent.After all, why care when, Ultimately, Life is nothing more than a Collective, Subjective Experience?
If Sartre were still alive, I imagine he’d view these Debates as Proof that Existentialism, in general, and his statement “Hell is Other People,” specifically, are, in fact, 100% Truth.
We just can’t Fucking Agree, and if we can’t agree because of our “Subjective Opinions,” how can there be an “Objective Reality?”
And if people refuse to do our Bidding, thereby creating Frustration, Anger, Resentment, Misery, doesn’t that, at the very least, support the Argument Other People are Hell?
Oh, the Circular World of Philosophy, and Logic.
(Fuck, my head is already Hurting)
Personally, I view those Four Words, Six Syllables, 17 Letters, “Hell is Other People,” as quite possibly one of the most Profound statements ever Written/Uttered by a Human Being.
“Hell is Other People.”
“No, take your hands from your face, I won’t leave you in peace– that would suit your book too well…I won’t stand for that, I prefer to choose my hell.”
This past week, my Daughter’s Mother, and I went through Mediation, yet Again.
Simply knowing I will be in Her presence has a Visceral Effect on me. Days before we met, Anxiety was seeping in through my pores.
The Conference Room was a dimly lit shoe box. In lieu of Windows, Kitschy paintings of Horses Running Outdoors adorned the four walls. The Cheesy use of Primary Colors serving as an artificial replacement for an actual Living, Breathing World.Despite the pleasant temperature that day, the heat was on, further adding to my discomfort.
We were/are in Hell.
As she comes into the room, the familiar feeling of being in the Presence of someone outside Humanity, Returns.
My throat clinches, and my stomach tightens in Tacit Acknowledgment-
She is My Albatross, and I am forever Anchored to her Circling Shadow.
Within Five Minutes, she Lies Three Times, and Each Lie is as Irresistible as the Last.
Lying comes Naturally to Her, as Natural as Breathing.
Didn’t I tell my Attorney,
“When we bring this up, this is what she’ll say. She’s incapable of being Honest, it’s part of her Disorder?”
The room is an Unventilated Tomb, and the Valet never once offers us a drink.
Didn’t I prepare myself for the Excuses, Rationalizations, and Accusations days in Advance?
Haven’t I, in the past, viewed her Pathological Lying as a Kind of Moral Clarity?
She knows what she’s going to do, what she always does, and no time is wasted Parrying with herself over Right and Wrong.
Imagine the Freedom of being unhindered by Remorse or Guilt.
All that matters is “I,” and No Quarter is Offered in “I’s” Defense.
But despite my Foreknowledge, I always React, and she knows it, Banks on It.
“That’s a LIE!!,” I interrupt in protest.
My sweaty hands search the table for something to hold onto leaving smudge marks across its Glass Surface.
And she just sits there with that Smug Look Wrapping Itself Around My Neck, as her Attorney, Insecurity Permeating the Room like Cheap Perfume, Mumbles under Her Breath,
“Please Love Me. Approve of Me. Please…Anyone.”
But her pleas are ignored.
She is a Fool forever condemned to Meander in the Eyes of Others.
“You scare me rather. My reflection in the glass never did that; of course, I knew it so well. Like something I had tamed…I’m going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become.”
Bella’s Mother, and I have Danced the same Dance for Five Years now, and although I know every Nuance, every Movement, she always ends up Leading.
And today is no different.
My anger grows more visible, as my hands signal the Orchestra to get ready.
My Mind, Manic, as Every Injustice, Every Lie, Every Vicious Word Pirouettes through my fingertips, demanding Retribution.
There, can’t you see? Can’t you see the Look on Her Face? Don’t you understand this is nothing more than a Dance, a Performance? Look into Her Eyes!
Those vacant doll eyes…
“You are– your life, and nothing else.”
She is Expressionless, long ago Removed from the World of Humans.
Her Attorney continues to Pantomime, but she is nothing more than an Afterthought.
Our lives, despite my Protests, are Intertwined until the End.
This is Our Dance.
And per My Request, they’re Playing Our Song.
“So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS–OTHER PEOPLE!…”
“Well, well, let’s get on with it…”