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is that all there is?
dreams of guns and ice cream
by robert a. melos
pop culture

Some days the only thing preventing me from going on a shooting spree is the fact I don’t own a gun. In our society, in the current state of frenzied panic over the littlest diversion from the perceived norm, such an admission could most likely get me arrested and tossed into the psych ward of the local loony bin because I don’t see the world as a wonderful place filled with people with whom I want to have close personal relationships. In fact, I see the world as just the opposite, and the fact that I don’t trust people as far as I can collectively throw them or want to spend my time socializing with people to fit into some preconceived notion of what I should be in the minds of my fellow human beings, makes me suspect of any number of crimes against humanity that those sycophants with whom I would choose not to socialize would accuse me.

Now my antisocial behavior, or feelings of wanting to avoid interacting with any number of my fellow human beings goes back to my early days when I was a wee lad who realized I just couldn’t stomach prolonged exposure to those annoyingly social creatures who considered the concept of people needing people to be an essential of nature. Sure, people need people. Hell, after a miserable day of dealing with my fellow human beings, I too need people; for target practice!

I’m not saying I hate the human race, or am going to go on that preverbal shooting spree—no gun. Remember?—but there are moments when I fantasize the glee of blowing away some of the lesser of the species doing the back stroke in the most shallow end of the gene pool. It would be like shooting morons in a barrel.

The real question is not will he or won’t he, but why does he want to? What have his fellow creatures done to deserve his contempt? Hell, in my estimation it’s more like, ‘what haven’t they done?’

Sure I could rattle off a list of the human race’s sins that have pissed me off over the years, although cyber space is only so big and the sins of humanity are far greater than its infinite borders. Most recently I could cite our overall failed ability, once again, to learn to accept each other as we are, and not try to force change in individuals through fear and intimidation or suicide bombers. I could cite the masses reactions of extremism in the opposite direction from that in which they are being pushed, or the contradictory ability of man to ‘hate the sin, yet love the sinner’ attitude that sickens me like a sweet nectar dripping from a slurpee machine in a convenience store waiting for a cup to be placed beneath the nozzle so it can release its blue raspberry slush to quench the thirst of the perpetually naïve.

I guess you could say I’m tired of fighting the good fight. You see, for all this deep thought, the things getting me down on the human race are not really the world shaking events of terrorism and natural disasters, or political buffoonery as only our current world leaders seem to be able to do, but rather the daily grind of getting up and going to work and coping with the moments that make up a dull day.

Yup, I can’t handle the insignificant seconds sitting in traffic, or standing in line in a grocery store or a bank, or waiting for the microwave to beep signaling my beef and bean burrito is thoroughly nuked to my satisfaction. I simply have no patience for the mundane aspects of life as I’ve come to know it. Yet I am compelled to go on, to continue struggling with each passing moment of listlessness of the soul in my perpetual search for real meaning aside from the obvious ‘good fight’ crap preached at me from every soapbox and sycophant standing in judgment of me.

As the song goes, I have reached a phase in my life when I look at the world situation, and my daily life, and think to myself, “is that all there is?” And I come to the same conclusion as the musical interlude drifting through the twisted synaptic labyrinth of my mind, that if this truly is “all there is” than the only logical answer is to go dancing; to have a ball and enjoy life at face value and to stop searching for deeper meaning beyond the joy of getting my whites whiter and my brights brighter.

Everything seems to go in the circle and what’s old, like war and hate and anger, is new again. Only it’s not so new when you look at history and realize its been played out for centuries upon centuries and our ancestors have already failed at the big battles and we are left with only the small stuff in which to find meaning. And the advice of “don’t sweat the small stuff,” is plastered on T-shirts and coffee mugs around the world, and still goes unheeded.

Thus I sweat the small stuff because part of the small stuff is my inability to tolerate my fellow human beings inability to tolerate my fellow human beings. So while I’m bored with it all from war to anger and hate, to grass stains and spilled chai latte dripping on the sidewalk and forming a pool beneath the café table in front of the pretentious sandwich shop in the strip mall, I’m not ready to just give it all up and cash in the chips.

Maybe it’s because I too still hold out hope against hope that at some point during the humdrum between awakening and drifting off to slumber, some miracle will occur and someone or something will brighten my spirits to the point where I won’t feel the revulsion toward my fellow human beings for a split second, and the contempt which gags me on a perpetual basis will, for a brief moment, subside and I will see good or at least less evil than usual, and like the ending to some mystical journey, I will discover complete universal knowledge or inner peace or nirvana or a really great banana split.

Of course the chances of that happening are as good as my going on that elusive shooting spree; for you can’t build the perfect banana split if you have no bananas, and I’m fresh out.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


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