Welcome to Existential Tea Horoscopes, with Mr. Aubergine.
Christmas lights are created en mass in a land far overseas, produced of materials torn violently from the earth, sold from vendor to company to you to further a dysfunctional and deeply inequal system of capitalism, but you know them for the last truly sacred object left in this world. In the taste of honey and cream and those pale, yellow-white flowers, you find the feeling, however brief, of warmth against the dark, cold winter night. The abyss knows your name, and someday, the two of you might become friends. But you do not think you will still be drinking chamomile tea when the time comes.
Life is made of heat and spice and the absence thereof. You stand out in the minds of others like a burst of flame, a sharp whiff of incense, the sudden burst of laughter. You understand that the world is too big and bright to ever be seen, let alone tasted and touched, let alone processed and analyzed and loved with your whole heart, but you find happiness in trying. When you are gone, your ghost will haunt the chimes of bells in temples and churches and your memory will bring a smile to the lips of the righteous.
In the deepest recess of your mind, you possess the annals of human history, a Jungian subconscious of a dream, of which you can never quite remember more than the mere residual feeling, a half-recalled imprint of cold touch with no discernible point of origin. You can almost smell the fur of the woolly mammoths in the winter cold, can almost feel your eyes burning in the sandy brightness of the white pyramids. All of the hopes and the despairs of the past clash in the shadows of your mind and cancel one another out. You are left with a vision of the future spectacular in its clarity.
You could read and write mirror writing as a child, but you’ve lost the skill. Sometimes you still dream of a wonderland where playing cards lose their heads and griffons smile the rictus grins of the unrecently deceased. The worst part of finishing a new book is the jolt of the realization that the world therein is fiction, and finished, and you are here, and never done. It feels like missing the last step on the stairs. You never feel safe when you are sober. You are not sure you even want to.
You want to fall in love. You want to truly fall in love; not like any movie or couple on TV, not like your friends with their PDA, not like your parents or grandparents. You want to fall in love so deeply, so suddenly, and so completely that it changes who you are in your heart, in your manner, in your very being. You want to fall so deeply that your hair turns white from the shock, that you take to your bed like the deathly ill. You will become one with this person, this lover. There will be no gender, no time, no fragile and earthly human bodies. Presently, you are too cold and too realistic to consider such a love. The fantasy lives in your bones and in your organs, but not in your head. It will stay where it is.
Every morning, you are reborn with the cacophony of your alarm, and every day, it is as brutal a matter as any birth, of blood and screams and creaking bones. You drag yourself into wakefulness and productivity though the taste left in your mouth is bitter and foul. You look for change wherever you can find it, and you refuse to fear loss. You tell your friends that the world is in flux, and secretly, you wish it was quite a bit more in flux. You know yourself to be prepared for any eventuality, no matter how unforeseen and how unlikely. It is not merely the first aid kit in your bathroom, nor the dusty cans of mushroom soup in your cabinet. You know that preparation is a state of being. You are waiting.
Milky Tea/ Milk, one sugar/ Milky Tea with Honey:
You understand that someday, you and everyone you have ever or will ever love will be dead. You have raged against the setting sun, you have bargained with the divinities without result, and you have turned to the writers of fictions and fancies for comfort and deception. By the time you pour milk into your tea, at 10:15 AM on a rainy morning at the office, you have made peace with death, and with life (the latter was harder). You look at the picture of Earthrise, and you truly do understand, in the deepest place in your heart, that every human who is and who has ever been is pictured there. It is what it is. There is beauty here.
You live by the seasons, counting the days from holiday to weekend to the first day of spring and ever onward. As your ancestors applied colored pigment to the stone walls of dark caves, you apply colored pixels to the digital walls of blue websites. Your choices as to what you consume are as ruled by the exact angle of earth to sun as are the life cycles of a tree. You romanticize the idea of gardening, as a way of controlling (if only a small plot of) the earth that dictates your moods and desires so completely, but your interest wanes. The mint grows like wildfire, and chokes out the rest of your dying herbs. There is always enough for tea in the morning.
You are a mystery wrapped in an enigma at the center of a hedge maze in the forests of a sunken island. When you speak, it is in a long lost language no one else quite understands, but we all listen regardless. The melody of your words are too beautiful to turn our ears away. The vowels marry the consonants and dance in patterns and duets and we are content to search for the meaning of your speech, however fruitlessly.
Pumpkin Spice Tea:
Before you are cold in the grave, you will meet the devil at the crossroads of the world, which is to say, Times Square. There, you will listen to a story he tells you, and you will be sympathetic. You will sell your soul for an undisclosed return, and you will consider yourself to have gotten quite the better end of the bargain. You know that the devil is a metaphor; you know that with applied time and distance, everything and anything might be a metaphor. You know that there is hell and there is hell. Hell is Times Square. Hell is eternity. Hell is where home is not. You are pragmatism in human form.
You prize the truth above all other ephemera, and you search for it in the coils of the world, in the deep, dark things, in seeds and bones and the forgotten tunnels beneath a living city. Your dreams are always wreathed in darkness. All deceptions and misconceptions and fantasies are but static noise to you, inoffensive but unimportant. There are days when your feet are too heavy to lift, but still you search.
You suspect that you might share a frame of mind and a method of thought with the tyrants and despots and monsters of the world; your friends laugh when you suggest such a thing. You wonder what you are capable of, but you do not worry. You search for advancement in all things, and you never look back. The nostalgic perplex you. The future is at hand. You plot, and plan, and turn ever more inward. When you are unhappy, it is because you have been wrenched out of your internal spiral and must begin your plotting anew. There is a seed in the center of you.
which is a kind of tea, if you don’t think about it
You have internalized the voice of your mother. You have internalized all voices you have ever heard, and many that you have never and never will hear. They come to you in the night, in the quiet spaces before dawn, and they speak to you: sometimes lies, sometimes truths, sometimes assurances, and sometimes in agitation. You have made peace with these voices. There are wrinkles in the fabric of the universe. All is one and one is all. .
This has been
Existential Tea Horoscopes
with Mr. Aubergine, a production of
Onion and Artichoke Purveyors Of Fine Literary Reviews
Thank you for joining us. We hope you have enjoyed your time here.