Memories of Shell Beach

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West Virginia Mule
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Joined: 16 Aug 2002 18:16
Location: West Virginia

Memories of Shell Beach

#1 Post by West Virginia Mule » 06 Sep 2011 10:25

The following was written last year. The title and the visual, atmospheric concepts were (probably obviously) inspired by the movie Dark City. But the Dark City symbolism was merely a jumping off point, as I used the emotional undertow it generated to consider my (and maybe our) concepts of time and reality. It's also worth noting that I do not write creatively anymore, although I don't know exactly why. I just don't. And while I can't say I'll never do it again, for now this stands as the end of a cycle.

And yeah, I know, it's tl;dr for this forum, but it's the kind of thing I used to do, so..."One time for old times," as the old .38 Special song said.
KILROY WAS HERE

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West Virginia Mule
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Re: Memories of Shell Beach

#2 Post by West Virginia Mule » 06 Sep 2011 10:25

In this instant, in this space, in these passages of thought we exist in a dream. Nothing we feel or see or do is ever quite real. Consciousness is illusionary and memory—hourglass images, more self-manipulations than reality, pinned in a photograph album like the arid husks of lifeless butterflies—is a planted conspiracy created and implemented from within and designed to drape the vacant landscape of existence with ersatz meaning. We can see beyond this shroud, the emaciated membrane of chimera, but we don't. We cannot bear to look, to acknowledge what is really there, what is not really there. For our lives are a motion picture created from dust and deception, played out in a miasma and viewed by no one. There is no meaning, no plot, no pacing and no conclusion. False memories crowd into the present; false meanings direct us into a future. Societal machinations—designed to keep us misdirected and immersed in the stupor of a dreamscape—drive us into submission, force us to focus only on the immediate and the palpable.

We play out our time in a created cityscape, building and rebuilding purpose and meaning, planting the seeds of remembrance. But the effort is one of desperation, instinctual, a casting of actors to play predefined roles. I can't touch any of it. There is no substance. It’s a drift of nights and days, seasons and years, a corkscrew of mingled desolation and decay that real meaning cannot be ascribed to.

I thought there was time, once. Time not for everything, but for this one thing, this one attempt that could bring redemption and offer a defining thread for my being. For a while, everything seemed to exist in a kind of hyper-reality, to rupture with the radiance of meaning and purpose. It seemed I had exposed the lustrous cinder of a dying dream and harvested the diminishing heat and the last rays of pure magic from it. But eventually it slipped away. Like water leaking through clutching fingers, it slipped away. I couldn’t stop it. I don't know exactly when or how it happened, but it did. Do we ever realize the last time things happen, realize in that moment that that was it, the final time, the world has moved on and this moment—this point in your life, perhaps an entire era of your lifetime—will forevermore only exist in memory? Time takes it all away. All that you are and all that you love will be carried away. Existence, memory, dream. We are here and then we are gone. The physical passes and the memory passes, and I can't help but wonder if any of it is real at all. Consciousness, self-awareness, emotion—all merely constructs of an elaborate matrix of illusion?

In the memory, I can see them on the beach. And I can see myself. I'm standing next to my parents. Impossibly, they're younger than I am now. They seem happy. I seem happy. Worlds turn within worlds. But it's a false memory. They never existed. I never existed. The image skews, flickers. I'm on the beach with my children and my wife. I'm older than my parents. The world tilts on its axis, forcing a perspective from an impossible angle. None of this is real. I'm just an actor. I see them there on the beach. My children with their children. Somewhere under dark, forgotten West Virginia soil my inert remains play out the crescendo. Mirror images of time overlapping.

We saturate our existence with the belief that Shell Beach is real. We believe in the false memory of our childhood. We accept the artificial premise that time exists in a line and that our lives somehow move from point to point along that line. We trust that we can return to Shell Beach, as if we had ever been there at all. But none of it is real. Shell Beach is a fantasy construct beyond the sinister, moving walls of a dark, dream cityscape, and it is as lost to us as every minute we leave in our past, as each moment time has yet to burn.

In my memory of Shell Beach, salt-licked currents of air coil in from the cobalt waves. The air is temperate, somehow perfectly attuned to the physical. Waves collapse into the sand and then draw back into themselves. Seagulls arc overhead and etch animated shadows across the sand. Nothing has ever gone wrong here; nothing can go wrong here. Existence has meaning in this place. Happiness and family are more than forced, hollow concepts. We're smiling in the memory, suffused with a kind of happiness that never was and could never be, for in the fantasy of Shell Beach life is not the venomous, malicious, transient abstract it is beyond these walls.

Time doesn't exist here. And neither do I.
KILROY WAS HERE

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Andreas
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Re: Memories of Shell Beach

#3 Post by Andreas » 07 Sep 2011 12:21

Sounds like a depressed Hansi Smurf to me

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wade-newb
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Re: Memories of Shell Beach

#4 Post by wade-newb » 07 Sep 2011 15:12

Andreas wrote:Sounds like a depressed Hansi Smurf to me
You have no idea how similar that was to what I thought :shock: I just didn't say it :P

Really, though, I did think it was mentally evocative, but almost falling into one of those intellectual rants at times. I really like those rants, and this was very well written and probably required a broad view of the world. So, yes, it's good :)
I can't think of anything clever to put here.

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West Virginia Mule
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Re: Memories of Shell Beach

#5 Post by West Virginia Mule » 08 Oct 2015 05:23

Guys, this shit is fucking ART! :lol:

The fucking pretensions I had to write shit like that. I always wanna reach back through time and strangle the idiocy outta my younger selves.
KILROY WAS HERE

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