When I say that I enjoy failure, it’s not some clumsy euphemism about the thrill of facing an insurmountable challenge. Neither am I referring to the opportunity to gain wisdom from past mistakes. Rather, I’m talking about the delicious sting of failure itself. The knowledge that neither the sum of my resources nor the strength of my will was enough, in the end, to see me through. And all the better if this truth, that I am unequal to the task at hand, that I am no more effective than a jellyfish in a blender, is witnessed by as many people as possible. Let the world know—I should find no opportunity for extenuation or sanctuary.
I like to feel the full brunt of inadequacy, and not because of any kind of cultural guilt or unresolved childhood issues. I’m not playing reverse psychology with my expectations, or attempting to forestall cynicism. I do not court failure by aiming low, for that would be as pointless as aiming ridiculously high. In fact, ideally I would aim square in the middle, right for that sweet spot, then still fail, forsaken by my very instincts. I enjoy the flavor of incompetence. I do not fear success, I simply have no appetite for it. I like skunk smell. It’s not a fetish, it’s a preference, and if it should lessen your opinion of me, then I’ll thank you to tell me about it in excruciating detail.
That ubiquitous need to succeed, that all-too-common attitude of righteous entitlement, they do not visit my den of blight. I wish to have less—or better yet, to have what is mine summarily taken from me through my own inaction. And I want my friends to watch it happen. “He had it all,” they will say, and I will agree with them. “I know,” I’ll say, “I did have it all, and I deserved most of it too. But in the end I was equal neither to improvement, nor upkeep, nor even to mere ownership.” I will say this to their backs.
Let it break or wither or stop working for no apparent reason, and let me never understand why. I don’t even seek the easy satisfaction of answers. I’ll make do, instead, with failure in any form, large or small. A typo or a train wreck, it makes no difference to me. They say you can’t fail if you don’t care, but I don’t care: I want to fail. I’ll cling till I suffer, a victim of circumstance, a boil of determined resignation.
I know what you’re thinking, but when I say that I enjoy failure, it’s no lie geared to catch you with your guard down. I’m driven to tell this through neither humility nor pride, but rather so that you’ll understand when I don’t live up to expectations, when I fail to raise the bar, or to even find the bar. In fact, the bar is broken, and it’s my fault, and I’m admitting it now. Blame me if you must. No sweat off my back. I am a hapless creature.
But I still got your girl.
» “Being You” (01 of Jan, 2005)
» “A Hero's Lament” (09 of Dec, 2004)
» “Entropy OS” (03 of Feb, 2004)