Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First As Tragedy, Then Ass Farts

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

I don't have a place to stay here initially.  After the trouble in Hartford and with a town this small, I don't trust finding the local scene on my own here.  I contact someone through the internet and see if they know anyone in the area who might put me up.  He gives me the number of Mort Thoups.

Again, I ride through the same miserable cold and rain.  My motivation for the trip has changed.  There's now an obvious end to it, I've blown a ton of money, and  have seen the coolest stuff already.  It's now a matter of completion and I have a schedule to keep.  I'm not unhappy to end the trip, I need money and want to establish myself somewhere again.  I've hung out with awesome people and their friends, but only for a few hours each time.  It's fun because everything's new and the people are neat, but I'm feeling that it'd be more gratifying to plant myself somewhere and get into a local scene, rather than getting a temporary glimpse of other peoples' cool places.  And I really fucking need money.

I ride by my first wind turbine.  It's real big.  I pass through small Amtiyville towns; little fishing communities which all seem to have a strip joint.  

I reach Portsmouth and drink in some bar after bouncing around the city.  A young woman sits at the bar and talks to a young man.  I think he's gay, but find out he's from New Zealand.  I imagine they have gays there too, though.  The gay New Zealander flirts with the girl fruitlessly.  She mentions something about her father being in his winter home in Florida, and I'm infuriated as I encounter another instance of the assholes of my state from their environment.  The New Zealander's older Scotish friend comes over and starts talking to the two.  He flirts with the girl in the lazy, indifferent way old guys hit on younger women, long since out of their range.  He posses no threat, but the New Zealander becomes visibly defensive, separating them with his body, flirting harder, and moaning about getting stood up by some other girl or something.

I get a call from Mort and meet him down the street as he closes up at work.  We get beer and I eat the pizza he made for me at work.  His gay friend joins us and we discuss where I fucked up getting laid on the trip and the difference in promiscuity between straights and gays.  He thinks it wouldn't have been as difficult had I been gay.  Mort offers to let me stay longer, but I already have my train tickets to be in Florida for Halloween.  Again, I love these guys.


I can't think of a good place for this so I'm putting it here.  It seems as good as any considering the stuff that exists here doesn't exist any less than the things existing elsewhere.  I took a metaphysics class in college.  We talked about all the intangible, unanswerable questions whose only support comes from intuition.  That could be said of all philosophy, but metaphysics in particular seems to lack a "common sense" theory that can be appealed to.  Even in that class we never touched existence.  How would you define it?  It just is.

The more I think about existence the more pervasive it seems.  Obviously anything perceptible has to exist.  The abstractions of thought that philosophers raise as obstacles to a purely materialist view of the universe are too manifestations of physical processes that can be traced back to existence.  Nothingness has a harder time being found.  Space looks to be full of a vast nothingness, but physicists say it's dark energy and matter.  I don't understand the finer points of these concepts, but I feel pretty safe in saying these things are extant in the same way common energy and matter are.  So where is nothing?  Is nothing just that which fills the void between atoms, or is that role held by these dark materials?  The problem is implicit in trying to finding where nothingness resides.  Nothing can't exist.  If nothing existed it would be something, and thus not nothing.  It is dictated by existence that something predicated on its non-existence would have to exist outside of the realm of extant things or be something that could exist, making it distinctly not nothing.

It was hard for me to conceptualize until I started thinking about boundaries.  Where would the boundary between nothingness and somethingness stop?  Why would one brush against the other without one giving?  Replacing nothingness with somethingness in this case doesn't solve the issues.  When do interactions between somethings occur?  Is there some moment in extremely minute measurements of time that would show causation?

There can't be existence from non-existence.  We know that atoms are composed of neutrons, protons, and electrons, and those of quarks and gluons.  That Hardon Collider is trying to find something of a similar size in the Higgs boson, but should they find it it too would be made of something and that of something, ad infinitum.  Something cannot come from nothing and movement cannot come from stillness.  If the universe is not all pervasive and infinite and exists in some metaverse, that too cannot have nothing.  I don't understand infinity and don't know if things extend in all directions and time forever or loop in on themselves.  Looping might answer the concern about origination by deflecting it.  There couldn't have been a first movement or a first mass, it has and will always be.  All I'm left with is a jumble of mass and time turning in on itself infinitely.  Nothing can't exist and everything is everything in all directions forever.

Three years in school and I get a philosophy degree so I can come unsettlingly close to being that stoner that pontificates "What if, like, every atom is a universe..."

New Hampshire Kill Count 
Rat: 2 
Squirrel: 1

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