I can barely form this sentence – I want! – my mind has no patience for language – I need! All words have been conscripted in service of a craving and my executive functions are shutting down. Just as frostbitten fingers are first to have their blood siphoned away, this cold Calgary morning has redirected all my neurotransmitters to the same goal – survival. There is a fine chemical line between want and need, but once crossed, once the neural trench has been dug too deep, any stimulus will drive our energies raging down the gorge.
Because life is wild terror. Any handhold can quickly become our only handhold. But the universe, beyond us, within us, is bliss. Abandon our bodies to the flow and we join heaven. Why the hell do you think all those bald giggling monks dress alike in orange robes? Because clothes don’t matter. Hair doesn’t matter. Nothing matters, because everything matters.
But right now, caught in this blind flurry, only I matter. A craving is our most intimate human experience because suddenly all our frictions and asymmetries align and recalibrate towards one solid, if impossible, goal: survival through satisfaction. And I’m sitting here bargaining. Even this post is an act of selfish desperation. Despite the risks to ‘living the dream’ and ‘rebranding a marriage’, I made a deal to get my want (or has it already become a need?) in exchange for writing the experience of its craving. An experiment? A literary test? Rationalizations are rarely rational.
I know the biological mechanism, the science, and it’s appallingly simple. All the chemical jargon can be summarized into one clear pragmatic truth of our perception: denial of a craving is to live a life of ‘less than’.
This is, of course, bullshit of the highest order. But big-picture logic is clearly not part of the thought process. Once you’ve had sex everything else becomes foreplay. Once you’ve pushed into peak pleasures, be it anal (debatable), base jumping, or a Little-Caesars-cheesy-sauce-pretzel-crust-pizza while royally stoned – what then?I’m drowning in my most basic biology – sweaty palms, heart racing. But if I am a fool, I am one of the grand old fools. Because I have tasted heaven, and it wasn’t enough. I put in the years, escaped my ego, lifted my arms and have been swept up into the swirl. I am bliss. And so are you. But is isn’t enough; nothing is ever enough. Because we cannot exist without the raw ache of this moment, it is our genetic hold on time.
I cling to its narrow icy ledge, my fingernails tearing, bleeding, as it melts away. Today, there is no temperate observer, no cognitive separation from (and thereby negotiation with) ego. There is only Cymbria, weak, wanting, and determined. I love her. And of all of the stupid things I’ve done for love, today will hardly even register on the scale (more bargaining?).
And now I’ve glamourized this temporal lust beyond all chemical proportion. So much so that its absurdity is shocking, not to mention embarrassing – especially if you knew what I was craving. But still, I thrill to the submission. It will not satisfy. I will pay, as I’ve paid so many times before, along with all my other loves. But I don’t care. Because in this moment only I matter. And because orange is so not my colour… and, damn it, I have great hair!