John C. Lilly invented the sensory deprivation tank as an experiment to see how much stimulation one needed in one’s life. The question — what happens to us if we are cut off from the world? The answer — zen-in-a-box, a marketable nirvana, a substanceless drug. He created an arena to unleash one’s mind from the moorings of the world and let it float on a sea of free association. Yet, no matter how aimless, how lost one becomes, how far one travels, residing everywhere and nowhere is the ace-in-the-hole. The brain. A motor which can speed you back to port in an instant. A get out of jail free card. A save point.
The brain speaks quietly, infrequently, and subtly. The world drowns it out.
This is the Trap.
The Trap lives in a perfectly white smile. The Trap thrives in a world that never arrives, a universe of Coming Up Next and After The Break. The Trap lays its snares in tanned bodies and sparkling metals. The Trap distills the most beautiful things in the world into a reward that never comes. The Trap is a rust eating away at your rudder, a kudzu choking your engine, a bright, false constellation leading you astray.
Until you cannot start that boat anymore. Your captors will not accept your bargains. You have no more old games to go back to.
To write, you turn yourself inside out. I pulled my innards round like pants pockets, and found only butterflies. How can I make things up if nothing makes me up? I will find out. I will fill out. This may be a bad start. But it is a start nonetheless.
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