Domestic Madness

This is a plea against domestication for all my fellow shitheads.

All my successes, though they be minor, have came from not listening to other people and having a very small support group. All my failures have been a result of taking too much advice outside of my support group.

Life is situational. Broad strokes don’t work. Specifically, someone else’s broad strokes won’t work for you. Only be concerned with the steps you need to take to achieve personal fulfilment. Hint: it’s personal steps you take for personal fulfilment.

My entire existence I have heard theories from every broken, sad, dead eye’d adult on what I should do to be a secure, stable adult. Not that I ever signed up to be anything. Nothingness was really ideal for me. I’m here by accident. I’ve got no stake in expectations in an unexpected life.

Life theories are poison. Divisive guidelines, rarely proven effective, but repeated enough to be passed along by people with nothing to give, but plenty to say. They include commitment to a fickle, unstable market. They include commitment to insurmountable debt for education. They include commitment to a national identity. They include a commitment to social presentation. They include commitment to some suburban junky myticism that is intangible and ever fleeting.

Personally, I can’t commit to an idea, a lifestyle, an economic aspiration, or any of it. None of it makes sense. It’s one preacher yelling at another preacher about why his God is more real. It’s one dealer swearing he’s got the best orange kush at twenty a gram. It’s one mom swearing she’s got the most talented daughter in town. It’s a dude that swears the reason women won’t date him is because he’s too nice. It’s every day madness. Simple domestic madness.

I don’t mean to piss on anyone’s solid foundation, but my misery comes from the projection of others’ values on my life. There’s no measuring stick for effective living aside from how many good moments you can have and share in a day. So your god, your crossfit experience, your ideal American citizen, your Jesus, your presidential candidate, your empathetic limitations, it’s yours. Stop projecting on me. Stop killing my energy. Stop killing the hope of young people. Stop telling us we can be anything. No one means it. Tell us truth. Tell us we can be soldiers or we can be ostracized, bullied, and belittled. We can be whatever you want us to be, and that’s it. Tell me what you really want to tell me. I must get in line, or I need to get out of the building. Your building. Your life. Your social infrastructure.

One of the best parts about all the advice from sad broken adults is what we can be has to be earned, worked for, and sacrificed for. We have to work to get to where others want us. Work in general. Always and forever. Through sickness and good health. Till death has milked us of the last production evaluation.

I genuinely don’t understand the death march to lesser debt and material comforts either. I don’t understand the eighty and ninety hour work week. I’ve done it, but I don’t understand it. Sure, I needed a car at the time, but the car got repossessed when I went back to forty hours a week. Why I do it in the first place?

Immediate need for a vehicle. Immediate need to keep working. Now my credit is even more fucked, and I’m even more exhausted from walking to work.

Why, in 2016, are we still working this much without alleviation from financial ruin? Why do I work all the time to own nothing and be treated like nothing? How did I work so much throughout my twenties and here I am walking into my thirties with only more time cards to fill out week after week, month after month, year after year? Bad choices? Sure. I’m a musician. I make bad financial choices to keep making music. But the mechanism of survival in capitalism is indentured servitude for us living at or below the poverty line, even if I wasn’t a musician. We’re here, and statistically,  we’ll always be here.

Super big questions: why is everyone so miserable and dead inside if it works? If this American capitalism is such a well oiled machine, why are we sicker, more tired, working more, and profiting less as participates in the experiment? If it doesn’t work, why should I listen? Why should we all go to work tomorrow? Buy more shit? Pay off shit we already bought? Buy a better car to drive to work, so you can pay off that new car you’re now driving to work? Maybe I can buy a new guitar? I don’t have time to play. Buy an xbox one? Maybe I can play it an hour a week.

I use large portions of my income every month to pay for things I will never own. I work very hard to own nothing. Very hard. Jesus fuckin’ Christ, living is stupid.

My safety net is my sanity. It comes first. I went a long time without happiness and emotional stability. I can’t participate anymore without it. So if you see me wilding out with a smile on my face, don’t be concerned about me, be concerned with why you need to police my happiness.

I’m going to be fine, and if not, that’s fine too. Nothingness is always there.


About Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

Charles Ray Hastings Jr. is a musician, producer, and writer based in Huntsville, Alabama. The twenty-nine year old Alabama native has written, recorded, and produced over twenty-five solo and band albums and has had essays and short stories published through webzines, small press, and magazines like Before Sunrise Press, Two Dollar Radio, Flaneur, and That Lit Site.

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