Remember, there is only one thing. There are not two things.
I have developed an all-encompassing hatred for the universe. It’s me, it’s always me who is the ultimate cause of the trauma, hence I am the creator of worlds, I am god. Pain is god. There is only one thing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking there are several things, that Kamiel is a philosopher, or a poet, and then he happens to have a chronic toothache. It’s a classic mistake. There is nothing except the pain. The heart of hearts of my identity is pain. It is not excruciating pain, the suffering should not be compared to real suffering. It is non-stop nagging, and my nervous system has gotten used to it. Pleasure, unadulterated sweet pleasure of food, bath, sex, I do know it but during most of my waking hours there is only the pain. One thing only and one thing alone. Without the thing, everything will be different. I will hear bird song, I am dancing in my room, I taste, I taste my fucking food. Without the thing, with the thing gone, my universe has been saved. I can start living.
I have not been living for many long years. Scattered, lost, consumed by the pain in my jaw, that one tiny spot. Working on the job I love to hate, or just hate, I don’t know anymore, it is completely devoid of meaning, valueless – I don’t create any value which gives the positive reinforcement of the idea that I am a worthless human being, a fear of the authoritarian father who is never ever to blame. I shall be the originator of the field of meaning, and I shall plough it. That is a god-like quality. And I am plowing it – with pain. Because there is only one thing. There is one thing called pain. My identity is pain. I walk around town mumbling ‘I am pain’ there is only one thing which is called pain. Pain is the thing, life is pain, pain is life, there is only one thing, one thing alone, only one thing. Pain is the one thing, pain is the One, everything emanates from pain, pain prepares for a bizarre hope, an almost immoral hope. Pain makes me the ultimate villain and martyr. Fuck the pain means fuck life, fuck every subatomic particle whose vibrations are the beginning of a causal chain that ends with the Pain.
There is not a biography, a man who studied such-and-such and does so-and-so for a living because there is no living. My state of mind is the putrid agony of the undead, remember there is only one thing that is the fulcrum of my universe, a universe in which I continue doing utterly meaningless work in order to pay for smiling dentists who cannot take away my pain, not for 100 euros and not for 1000 euros. I hate this strand of being that is dragging my soul through this cold wasteland of existence so fucking much.
What divine hope keeps me breathing? Memories, sensations that sometimes pierce through the veil of agony? The feeling of the taste of honey, rhubarb, walnuts, fresh milk, cinnamon, coffee, the smell of wet grass, the taste of hot tea, cornflakes, white grapes, red wine, stout beer, berries, almonds, fresh tomatoes, olives, dates, warm bread yes we know we know how precious how fucking precious I see all these people every damn day walking on the street, sitting in their oversized cars; do they know? Do they realize how fucking blessed they are, if we can assume their brain is not constantly, every minute of every day, given the signal “pain. existence is not for you”. They rarely smile. I wish I could live for one fine day on their level of sensation. Oh the goddamn comfort of just being able to breathe without your skull aching on that one terrorized spot. But that is what life, the universe and everything means to me. There is only one thing. It’s not a story, a blog post, some ideology, or compassion or whatever the fuck people my say; the fulcrum, the core, the Real is only one thing.
Only this one motherfucking thing. No matter what anyone says, there is only one thing and one thing alone. There is only one goddamn thing. One fucking thing. Everything goes to shit. I read about the horrible war and the terrorist Putin, I read about corona, a crisis that many consider to be over. Now guess what, I had tooth pain long before corona and will have it long after. That dentist who took 1000 euros pinky-promised me the pain would be gone – shit only got worse and that asshole of a jaw surgeon took an expensive photo and told me off, with that disgusting smile, hands in his pockets. If only they knew that an entire existence is being destroyed, dismantle, right in front of their eyes. I was a promising boy once, when mom was still alive. Went to college, did a double Master’s, back then it meant something. There were things in the world that meant something. Now there is only one thing and that thing is tooth pain. Tooth pain. Too-toot-tooth-pain.
Those in our individualist society who need care the most, will have the least access to it. That’s the nature of the system, but what do I care about the system. What can I care about how society is structured, how these big-brained apes organize themselves, yes I know I am one of them but remember there is only one thing that is real in my world. There is only the pain. There is one thing alone. There is only one thing. Il n’y a pas deux choses. Es gibt nur diese eine Sache. Und sonst garnichts. Why didn’t you overdose, why didn’t you check out early? I entertain this grotesque hope that one day, the nerves that are responsible for my agony can be localized and ’treated’. One dentist pulled out a tooth promising me that would end the pain. It didn’t. I want to get back to that man, I want to make him feel something. I want them to say sorry because I am a human being to no matter how much shit comes out of my mouth, the same fucking mouth that hurts every day, literally a foul mouth. I am a human being nonetheless, like them motherfuckers on death row. I deserve compassion, says who?
I deserve nothing. Where does this thought of deserving come from? Where can it originate from? It must be a residu of entitlement, birth right, habit. It cannot exist because there is only one thing real in this universe and that is the fucking tooth pain, which I am of course not allowed to call pain because heck I am not screaming constantly. I am just feeling, just feeling a nagging feeling of discomfort. But I want the world to be real again, oh how sweet would tha,t be, like it is absurd how happy people without chronic pain must be, are obliged to be. Being able to taste, feel, smell all these things without the sabotage of agonizing pain, it must be almost divine, reason to dance in the streets and kiss strangers. The idea that you can ever so slightly control parts of reality, that there are levers and knobs, you can push and pull and your sensations change. That would be the most extraordinary thing. Creating your own sensations, it’s like writing poetry with the stuff around us. When I attempt it, every word turns ugly, is struck through and turned illegible. Every thought has the flavor of pain but since this pain is the only real thing, as a philosopher I must admit I cannot qualify it. There is nothing else I can compare it with.
It is a lonely, cold state of affairs, this unreal ego rotating around the fulcrum of pain, eyes attracted to it like the gravitational pull of a black hole. To forsake all the sensations, to forsake being there, and even for a few minutes, just being there, but I can’t, there is only the pain and of course it is psychological, between the ears you twat, get a grip, you are mental. No, motherfucker, you expose your tooth nerve and tell me how it feels. It is physical and in the world of these dentists (I wonder if the swear a hippocratic oath or if for them the mammonic oath suffices) it is real: flesh and bone and nerve tissue. In my world it is just as meaningless as everything else. That’s the body-mind problem right there, that’s how we ought to understand it: the mind as function of a body has the capability to experience the body as a thing among other things. But what do I care about philosophy? Philosophy is friendship I once wrote, perhaps rational discourse is among the most effective strategies for friendship, among other strategies like poetry and music. should we say strategy, if war is the ‘father’ of all things, should we see friendship as the clash of two conquering armies, our ‘nice warm feeling’ of having a friend nothing but the heat of the battlefield?
But is is too late to think. One day, I’d love to think, that day will have come when I am 3 days free of the pain (I take the 3 days from the Bible, but also from experience. After 72 hours I can be reasonably sure the pain is gone). When I write these three words “pain is gone” and mean it, my head would all but explode. I would eat ice cream, run a marathon, go swimming, drink beer, cycle to Paris, and so much more. After 24 hours, I start to write again. After 48 hours, I run a marathon, after 72 hours, I announce the beginning of a new Era. I know that’s dangerous stuff because perhaps after 168 hours the pain comes back. This rollercoaster of pain has been my existence the last decade, you cannot image, please don’t try. Look up to the sky, take ten deep breaths and be fucking thankful that you are real, that your universe is real, that there is something rather than nothing – and something rather than Pain.