The earth is just toilet paper for us to wipe our asses with until it’s all gone

Published October 10, 2012 by Sandee

When my friend Jeff lived on Fourteenth Street in the eighties it was sleazy. He lived in an SRO, a three story walk up. I went there once and we smoked a lot of cigarettes. He introduced me to Charles Bukowski, underground comic books and OTB.  He wrote me a poem that had the word ‘equatorial’ in it. Sometimes he was called Angry Jeff. Fourteenth Street isn’t what it was years ago. But nothing is what it was years ago — silly me.

Now there are modeling agencies in that region so there are gorgeous people parading up and down that street. Union Square is there with that farmer’s market everyone loves. Whole Foods is there and DSW. I like to go to that Halloween store on 10th St. Today I went looking for green spider webs and purple candles.

When I left I walked across Fourteenth Street to the west side. There were so many people sucking at the air. You had to scoot and slide to get around them all. Oh my — I’m glad I didn’t breed. There isn’t enough air. Some of the people didn’t look happy to be here. I always say I wouldn’t want to create another lost soul. There are just so goddamned many people and a lot of them are populated here – oh I know there’s China but – good lawd!

What are all of us doing here? I suppose we buy things, use energy. Some of us think we’re special but if we thought about how many of us exist, maybe we’d change our minds. How could so many of us be special when there are so many of us?  It’s like bugs.

There was a tall man in green scrubs on the train. Maybe he was a doctor. I guess we should make more people to fix other people. Doctors are needed to fix all the people being born. And people have to have cars, so there have to be people made to make all those cars. And then there have to be people made to sweep the floors and there have to be people to put in jail so other people can feel lofty.

So I get it — generally, people have to be here to make stuff for others to buy and use. That’s it. In other parts of the world they have different notions but the idea of having stuff even in those places is seductive. The ‘good life’ is pushed on us like heroin. A lot of people imagine they’re here looking for something better or to be a part of some phenomenal movement that they’re going to start and they think their kid’s gonna help. Maybe. But like I always say, maybe the earth is just toilet paper for us to wipe our asses with until it’s all gone.

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43 comments on “The earth is just toilet paper for us to wipe our asses with until it’s all gone

  • Remember when Union Square was just a big drug den and all the shops around the square were all run-down and sad? Different times. Meanwhile, we’re consumers, aren’t we. Buyers and users of things. I hope we don’t use up the earth but we’re doing a pretty good job at the moment.

    • Yes — that’s when my friend Jeff lived there. We are doing a really good job. I’m still trying to figure out how I can be a gypsy 🙂 Only thing I wouldn’t try to dupe people or anything like that — maybe I’m just trying to be a hobo maybe…

  • Life can be a puzzle, no doubt. Somedays you feel purposeful and meaningful, and the next day you just feel like one more ant in the fray. Hmm, I wonder what today will be? 🙂

  • I’ve been having the same sort of week. And I too turned to the gypsies:

    Gatlif’s other film on gypsies called Gadjo Dilo (Crazy Stranger in English) is even better. I think – Liberté – that’s what we crave.

  • I love NYC sometimes and then others, I get a little freaked out at the amount of people. One year I went to Macy’s near Christmas and I was coming down the escalator and the sea of people was astonishing. I told hubby — I don’t care what the sales are I gotta get out of here. We had to shoulder our way through to get out of the door — it was scary to me. I’d never seen anything like it and I long for wide open spaces at times. I hope we don’t think of Mother Earth that way cause that would be really sad.

    • Wowww — I can just see that swarm of people on the escalator — sometimes I okay with that scene, other times I’m not. Like Carrie suggests, it depends on the perspective. Sometimes I actually enjoy observing the people and being part of it all. Yesterday I had that feeling you probably had that day in Macy’s — which I hate going to by the way 🙂

  • NYC is probably not the best place to see beyond the consumerism, but there are a lot of people who care an awful lot about this world — and not just well-meaning but powerless Lorax types, either.

    Visit a few rural places, Ms. B. See the folks who live by creating more than they consume. That always restores my spirit.

    • I like the way you put it in terms of restoring the spirit. One of my recurring ideas is that I’ll be hermit living in the woods — which is probably also not so great as it would mean I’d be isolated. Thank God I don’t feel the way I did yesterday all the time.

      • I have plans to live a more rural existence, myself. Not a hermit in the woods, but a place where the air is clean and the spaces are wide open.

  • Didn’t want to create another lost soul, that perfectly describes how I feel about situations when it seems like I am the only one who is clued-in. I am not the only one, I don’t think.

    Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the masses and joke that I want to start an island nudist colony–but have it just be me and my future husband. It’s becoming a better idea all the time…and will surely lower my blood pressure.

  • Everything is so spread out in Cali that I only get those kinds of feelings in malls during Christmas. But I get it. People are often the worst thing about the world. I’ve given up watching most of the news again because I keep getting depressed about how awful we all are.

  • I, too, go back and forth about living in NYC where you can pretend you are not alone by going someplace like Macy’s with a good sale, or wanting to kill myself for the ride on the subway I am on. I like being a homebody but I am not supposed to be one, I can’t figure out why. I also like to wander – that I understand, I have “Gypsy” blood – Romany blood. How do I see that film? The Romany’s have been persecuted and maligned for centuries.

  • There are times when NYC’s noise and crowds get to me, but for the most part, I passionately love this city. When I’m away from it for any length of time, I get terribly homesick. It’s in my blood. I’m addicted to soot and snark.

    • I go back and forth about it . I’m known to say I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Though where I live in the city’s pretty neighborhoody — in Inwood across from the park which is at the border of the river — not bad at all. And I work in Riverdale, so I don’t have to be in the center of it all the time. I used to live on 57th Street and work in midtown — but I was a young buck and I could take all that stuff…

      • I’ve never been far from the hustle and bustle in the 30 years I’ve lived here. A few times a year I visit family in the SF Bay Area and that’s when I get my fixes of nature, but I am at heart a very urban animal that thrives on the energy of this town. There are the occasional days when this place gets to me, too, but I’ve never seriously considered leaving it. Culturally it has so much to offer. I’d miss that so much.

          • The first film my parents took me to see was “West Side Story” in 1962. I was 3 and psyched out of my mind. It was one of the best days of my life since I was also given my first pair of sneakers — PF Flyers and I was allowed to pick the color — I chose red. That film blew me away. It exposed me to a million things all at once — Leonard Bernstein music, Jerome Robbins’ choreography, Stephen Sondheim lyrics, Puerto Ricans — I fell madly in love with Rita Moreno’s Anita while singing “Maria” at the top of my lungs and longing to be a Shark or a Jet. It also put New York City on the map for me and from that day forward I always knew this was the place I wanted to live. And where do I reside in the city? Where else? The Upper West Side.

            • Yeah that movie took place around the Lincoln Center area — what a coincidence — I was just thinking of West Side Story and that Dance at the Gym scene — it’s my favorite! I wanted to post it a while back but I couldn’t find a good one… At least your dream came true 🙂

                • Yeah — as we speak I’m writing up something now about it — our conversation made me think the universe must me telling me to do so!

                  I wanted a clip with just that part where Maria spins around, leading to the beginning of the dance. I like the music and dancing there. I didn’t want to include the “Mambo” part — but this is the one you mainly find on youtube.

                  I found a clip that includes all of it, the shop where she spins around, the beginning and the mambo part — it’s 10 minutes (too long). I thought I could tell readers, minute wise, at what point to click on the part I’m referring to.

                  • If there’s a way to edit a YouTube video that’s not your own I don’t know how to do it, nor do I know how to transfer a clip from a DVD to YouTube, but there are so many clips on YouTube this must not require a doctorate in video engineering to master. Still, I’m useless right not.

  • If every walk along 14th St brings such heavy introspection, may I recommend the M14D? 😉
    But yeah, human life has value, but no ultimate purpose. While we are here, we may as well enjoy the ride.

  • Hey Sandee, I would have commented earlier but for some reason this post was coming up all gibberish and scrambled on my computer. Okay, so now it’s normal.
    I get that feeling a lot when I’m in the city. I feel like it’s an ant colony or a bee hive and there are worker bees and queen bees, etc. Everyone’s moving around and doing their thing but it’s like shoveling smoke. When this is your perspective it sort of freaks you out and makes you depressed.
    For the record, I personally think there’s more going on. We just can’t see it. I know your dad is watching over you, for instance, and he wants you to be happy. I think there’s so much more that we can’t comprehend. That’s how I choose to see it, otherwise I’d go bonkers. And one more thing… If you did breed, I think a little Sandee would be incredibly sassy. Pretty darn cute and funny.

    • Aw Grippy you say such nice things and I appreciate it. I like reaching out in the blogosphere and getting great feedback — it’s very helpful.

      I’d like to think my dad is watching over me. Either way, I say it’s important for me to pass on his legacy of a creative life and be as alive as I can be — my special brand of being alive.

      As negative as this post may sound, I was actually in not so bad a mood that day — just deciding to look at things in that way. Thanks for reminding me that there’s more going on. I just talked about that with a social worker acquaintance of mine who says the same thing essentially, that there’s something else. I likened our existences at times to being a rat in a maze while actually if we broke certain trends we’d see that outside of the maze is a marvelous wonderland.

  • Auntie Sandee,
    I just read your three last posts with my coffee this morning. It was on my checklist: read Auntie Sandee. You have always been a serious blogger, and by serious, I mean kick-ass, and not something like a Merchant-Ivory character, but it seems to me lately that you might even have upped your game….
    Le Clown

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