• Styles Yugen

Litost


I’ve been told I have potential and have ignored it. Worse yet, I’ve seen potential in myself and have squandered it repeatedly. Either through inaction or just plain ineptitude. I am who I am today as a result, and it sometimes seems that I'll always be this way. I hate it. I can’t ever seem to say the right words or do the right thing. I can’t even try to be who I want to be without fucking it up.


But that’s no excuse not to try.


I want to try and be better. I want to try and make something out of myself. I want to do old Luis proud. Sure as shit though, I’m going to fuck it up. Maybe even royally a time or two.

But that’s still no excuse not to try.


It’s like listening to a jazz player on an improvised solo. They’ll wander and get lost in the reeds; they’ll hit the wrong note occasionally; they’ll never be able to play it exactly the same way again. But in the end, the rawness makes the beauty of the thing. The flaws forge a part of the solo’s character, and without them it becomes lifeless, stunted, and uninteresting.


I aspire to be better through all of my fuck ups, my misteps, and my emberessments. I aspire to not drink away my youth in a bar, just to regret it when I’m old. I want to be able to see the world those crusty jazz classics imagine again.


What I’m trying to say, you magnificent bastards, is that being someone who can decide to change is worth something. Being able to change the course of your own life is something to be valued, as the opposite is submitting your boat to the rigors of a storm with no one at the helm. I have said time and time again: your life is your own. You have to live with it, nobody else does; so why not make it exactly what you want? Why live an inferior way when the beginning of everything you ever want could be just one choice away?


Do what you will, you magnificent bastards, but today I saw someone I resigned to death take a step away from the edge. I saw someone I thought incapable of understanding reality take a turn towards it. I saw something inspiring. They did something I’ve never managed to do.


And that’s my excuse to try and do the same.


Yes, I’m afraid of looking like a fool. I’m afraid of a thousand other things too, but fear can rule you. I don’t want to be afraid, so I chose to act--consequences be damned. Maybe this way I’ll have a choice between the rocks and a kraken in the storm to come. And maybe I’ll remember to smile along the way, making something out of old Luis’ investment in me.


Styles Yugen, signing off.


Litost: the feeling when one sees how miserable, poor, unlucky, or incompetent they are in a particular situattion and the desire to strike back at the source of shame--from Czechoslovakian culture .


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.