I could have sworn I had something. Somewhere in the sleep deprived delirium, looking down upon the last scraps of humanity stumble, bumbling and fighting their way down Bourbon Street. It was something sad, but poetic. A long, drawn sigh… sounding almost sweet after being strangled out.
I felt I wanted to say something, but what it might have been has since slipped away.
But what a thing it is!
To want anything at all. And then to be so bold as to want so many things, as though a whole lifetime could be spent attempting to get them. And we all do want. So very often. From a baby towards a bottle, to the slow dying man begging for swiftness. Peace, sex, meaning, love, drugs, silence, admiration, understanding and even death- these plagues of the human condition can be found beating the desirous heart of everyone in the neighborhood. Not all of them in everyone, but it is likely that many folks would surprise you regarding their unthunk urges.
And it is want that makes us so human. All other beasts tend to tie closer to a pure instinct. We still have those urges, but they have become complicated as the millennia have rolled along. Abstraction upon the basic so much so that insatiability becomes rampant. That we can never have enough, resulting in the morbidly obese, sex addiction of varying degrees, serial murders, politicians, etc. For most predators kill to eat. Only man kills from boredom.
But evolution has not drawn us only towards darkness. Our wants, and even the insatiable ones, can ring about some vague sense of morality. The failed romantic is often the hardest trying. What primitive parenthood does to only keep their spawn alive, us biped hairless savages strive to instill ethics and intelligence to make progress go beyond simple reproduction.
And the want to make noise has given us music. Perhaps the most peculiar and wonderful gift of madness around.
So, why is it that we want?
And to be honest…
Fuck if I know.
Sorry. I could guess, but a neurologist could likely put up a better argument against whatever it is that I think.
So, then… how to want?
If only things were so simple. I implore you to believe that I wish very much that I could tell you how it is that you must deal with your desires. But as one who struggles far too often with bad habits and long away emotions, I cannot say that anything that would work for anyone else. Especially since I cannot seem to get a grip upon them myself.
When is not up to the person doing the wanting.
Who, is usually less so.
Where is almost always inapposite.
Maybe if I go around the unspecific nature of my own wants, something could be got at.
(Exactly the sort of thing a self-loathing narcissist would say.)
So, what is it that I want?
At times, I truly do believe it is the simple things. An easy love. A comfortable life. A fulfilling area of work.
To view myself as above the base urges that drive people into decay and destruction.
Yet, I know this is not the truth. Not totally.
For the darkness is there, as I imagine it is in everyone. Even if what I may have been after seemed pure enough, my pursuit seems to never avoid any emotional puddle or consequential mudpit. At least mildly.
Desire confuses action. It can block logic and reason. It makes the smart act stupid. And the stupid fall further down that road.
Yet, I know I want. Things and people and otherwise. I live with a desire not only to understand the workings of the universe, but to share such thoughts for recognition. If I did not, I would not be writing this now.
I want love. And have love. And yet with living knowing the unconditional type of love from parent to child, I still crave the romance of a young man. Luckily, I don’t have the total sort of emptiness that leads to destitution.
And I want a greater success that what I have. And even if that grows grander and larger and more recognized, I fear that I shall still be seeking more.
But I know there is purity. And I can break it down, well enough. I want to be a good writer, so I make sure I write at least every week for self-publication. I want to be a good father, so I spend the time and patience I have to raise my daughter, despite any difficulties or logistical complications. I want to make music. So, I do. And I play with those who want the same.
And I want to be in love. So, I have been. And have failed. And have tried again. And will, try again. And again. And luckily enough, I rather enjoy when the odds are against me. Even hopelessly so.
Yet acknowledging all this desire appears to bring me no closer to understanding why they are. It could be vanity. It could be loneliness. It could be egotism or masochism. It could be the mind attempting to fabricate reason for base impulse.
Of the many things I could be, I cannot say which it is. That is assuming that it is not because of something else entirely.
So, maybe I cannot tell you the who, what, when, where, why and how’s of our human wants. But I can say, that I have gotten something from it.
A want to say something perfectly polite, but out of the ordinary to a stranger has led to romance. A want to not fail as a father has brought me success, thus far. A want to be better has kept me trying, even through the darkest of routes. A want for admiration has kept my work ethic focused enough to improve. And a want for good music has helped me make my attempts at making it.
So. I guess. Go on wanting. Just don’t fall prey to it. And certainly don’t use you want to hurt the wants of others. Not if you can help it.
Want the best. Even if you cannot say for sure what that might be. And if you cannot possibly try to for the best. At least want for something better.