EXCRUCIATING BEAUTY

Sometimes everything looks so beautiful I can’t stand it. I’m serious, sometimes my optic nerves are sending tsunamis of ecstatic pulses to my brain, and it’s painful. I’m not just talking about a golden tree under a streetlight, this also encompasses a beat-up cardboard box at the foot of my bed and a Swiffer mop lying on an alternately shiny and crumbly basement floor. I can’t escape it: I close my eyes and see an Abstract Expressionist light show. I stare at my to-do list, hoping to be distracted by the archive of guilt enshrined on its pages, but all I see are fascinating hieroglyphs punctuated with wonderful red-Sharpie cross-outs. There is no haven. I almost think I can understand what it must be like to be autistic. It’s just too fucking much.

Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often. More often than not, I stare at the beat-up cardboard box at the foot of my bed, holding old sneakers and worn-out jeans and a tablecloth and think “What am I doing with a goddamn tablecloth?” I don’t care enough to dispose of the box and wouldn’t know where to take it anyway. And I’ll think, “Ah, ennui! I’m not going crazy after all.”