Thursday, June 19, 2003

Impulse Actions




Say it slowly, feel how your lips come in just a bit when you begin the word but push out a rush of air when ending it. I suppose it is not considered an example of onomatopoeia in the most traditional sense but consider its sound in relation to an impulsive action. Princeton University defines impulse several different ways: one, the electrical discharge that travels along a nerve fiber; two, an instinctive motive; three, a sudden desire; synonym: urge.

Think about that rush of air from your lips when you get to the second syllable, pulse, your tongue hits the roof of your mouth and the air pushes itself out ending with a slight hiss. Aren’t impulsive actions most often an urge, a rush? Other than fight or flight, does that which results from impulse ever really bring anything good?

When does admiration become lust; when do lingering thoughts of temptation become sin? At what point does an action, which results from some forethought become pre-meditated as opposed to impulsive? Just how close can you get to that fire without being burned? How far can you push the line before you actually cross it? Can an action resulting from forethought be anything but pre-meditated?

Why is life so black-and-white for some and so nebulous for others?

Here’s the scenario: you know you have a weakness in a certain area, say, alcohol. You go to a bar, or a party, with friends, and surround yourself with others who are consuming martinis and margaritas. You smile as if you have not a care in the world, while drinking your seltzer but in the back of your mind you’re thinking how good that tequila would taste. You fight your desire for a drink all night long and having seemingly won, you pat yourself on the back with a little pride at your self-control. However, at the last minute, as you’re walking out the door, you notice someone else’s discarded margarita, grab it, lap your tongue around the salt, suck on the lime and feel the burn of tequila in your belly. What a rush, how sweet the forbidden fruit tastes.

Then comes the reality, the gravity of the situation, in essence—the guilt. While alcohol poses no problem for me I can identify with a four-letter word. DIET. I’ve been on many of them. I know the gnawing hunger inside when you’ve only eaten lettuce and some chicken and you’re salivating over a Krispy Kream donut. I know the feeling of desire over chips and salsa or denying yourself tortillas for your fajitas. But, the thing is, you cannot hide inside forever. At one point or another you must merge with the rest of the world and face your temptations head-on.

So, if you purposefully put yourself into a tempting situation can your possibly inevitable fall be considered on an impulse? Who is to blame in such an incident? I suppose, for the sake of self-preservation, we all seek to “pass the buck.” It is usually in our own best interests to appear blameless.

I’m just trying to figure out how it all began and where it’s going to end.

Whole body tingling,
down low, hot.
Feel like I'm falling
so fast.
I don't want to stop.
Breath is shallow;
eyes are closed.
I’m ready to crawl
into your upside down world.

You know my secret sin,
all my dark desires.
Save, just one word,
could be my life upon the pyre.

Why do we risk
all we know?
We should not
for a thrill;
we should not.
For a fuck
we will press our luck.

Copyright 2003 Perpetual Platitudes.


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