A Distant Dream of Liberation

The system you have tried to change? You’re now a part of...

A Distant Dream of Liberation - Ran Kime
The system you have tried to change you are now a part of

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

Some days, the woods whisper my name, tempting me to vanish and leave everything behind. Work gossip about Dapper Dave or Kathy and John’s drama is noise. Your mother-in-law’s kidney stones? Spare me. I don’t care to be heard, and I see through the charade when you pretend to listen.

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

Imagine this: pack nothing, leave the mortgage, the phone, the bills, and the crushing expectations of loved ones. The burden is bearable, but why bear it at all?

I could live off acorns and moss, dig for clean water, prepare root soup. Gather fallen branches to build a shelter, make a mattress from hemlock boughs. Shit in a hole dug with my bare hands, start a fire from pure rage. Hunt down a deer, wrestle it with my pent-up fury, and wear its hide as a loincloth. Sharpen its antlers into a tool of my rebellion.

I still see her in the rearview mirror, changing out of her work clothes. Her pelvic bones, like devil horns, piercing the skin between her demonic garden.

This suicide forest is dark, eerie, a twisted sanctuary. Recluse, my mind drifts to dead poets and their laments. Daylight breaks through the canopy, coaxing me back to society with false promises of bacon and turkey off a nine-hour roast. The world beckons with its clinking glasses and the thrill of the unknown.

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

How long to ferment wild blackberries? Would the forest accept digital transactions for a rum and Moxie?

Damn the brook, it becomes a stream. Damn the stream, it becomes a river. Damn the river, it becomes a lake. Damn the lake, it becomes an ocean. Damn the ocean, it drowns the world. Drown the world, and I am free.

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

I see your efforts, your care. We all try until exhaustion sets in. The frustration of chemical imbalances bounces the leg all day until numbness prevails. Take a pill to take a pill to take a pill—each masking, never solving. Until breakfast is just pills and corporate greed. Medicate yourself until your feelings are no longer yours. Nanobots controlled by quantum mechanics run rampant in your veins, dictating every move. Deposit your paycheck here, sign there, take this pill to quell the anxiety of it all.

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

Thank you for the graduation party invite for your twice-removed cousin I’ve never met. Can I just send money instead? That’s what you wanted, right?

Let me sit against this pine tree, soak in the bird chatter, the wind’s whispers, the branches’ knock-knock jokes. Remind me again, how much do I need to retire? Can I retire? Is the market up or down today? What’s the 52-week high? What’s my account’s maintenance fee? How much did the Fed raise interest rates yesterday? The banks need our money, those poor things. The CEO and his cronies didn’t get their caviar this morning. How can they play the front nine without their Cuban cigars and $8,000 loafers? Their wives are all sleeping with the pool boys, as they’re sleeping with their assistants, who are sleeping with the janitors, who are sleeping with disease-ridden fanboys in dark alleys funded by your tax dollars.

I want to be loved, but at a distance.

The system is broken beyond repair. They dangle the illusion of change, but after years of trying, you submit. Accept that career politicians run you. They rig elections and enter office with worn shoes, only to never leave with gold-plated egos.

Beaten and bothered, I returned. Woke on Monday and stamped into work. I slave away to make the powerful richer. Take my money, I no longer care. You’ve won, you always win.

The system you tried to change, you’re now a part of.

Happy Monday!