THE ABSURDITIES OF AUTOLYCUS
proverbial rebel in whose image gods are made. On the other hand, I am Nothing, not nothingness, but nothing known to exist. Speaking for my absurd self, whom I do not know except as a congeries or coincidence of qualities, and a bundle of contradictions that move whatever I am, together with what I am told by the others, which does not make a whole lot of sense, I see that my absurd art of living at present is literary. Camus had his down to earth, everyday moral actions, his humane deeds to do, but what does an alienated writer, without a cosmos to know, do in Downtown Kansas City? Boost the power elite's real estate projects, no matter how absurd they may be? Become a reporter who does not know the difference between news and advertising, sniff around City Hall, jump onto the
lap and write tail-wagging reports about her toilet, or be one of City Manager
“naysayers” to be ignored? Or
just live and let live. I have become aware of the platitudes, of the fact that, whomever we might be, we live a few clichés over and over and over, and that even the devices we use to cloak or style the recurrent themes are themselves variations of a small set of themes. Art expresses in certain ways the monotonous repetition death-life-death or life-death-life, nothing-something-nothing or something-nothing-something, up-and-down and down-and-up, round-and-round, back-and-forth and forth-and-back, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. Everyone wants an escape from the blind path, yet there is no escape but into Nothing. Give me liberty or death? Well, now, absolute liberty or omnipotence or living forever without impedance is death to us all as individuals for resistance is needed to fashion the individual. Methinks we mostly prevaricate: we want more to belong than to be free. We are alienated the moment we are born, hence we cry for our mamas and would return to the womb rather than be independent. The original sin is simply being born individual. But we cannot go home again until death doth part us from our unwilling independence. We exchange mother's milk for mother's words and weave one illusion after another to avoid the outcome we instinctively still want; some of us go much farther, and try to escape our fate in hot air balloons and starships. But our destination is the same; the beginning
the end, and vice versa. How absurd! Shall the truth set us free from the illusion that we are free? Well, now, the truth is that we are imprisoned and there is no escape. Every means of escape is in turn another form of prison. So never mind the unmitigated truth, and embrace the relative truth. "This is our liberty," my friend Joseph says of his libertarian dogma, "so just accept it."