swimmerguy's picture

I wanted to make a journal about lines. Because we see them all the time, and we rarely think about them.
As I look around my room, the amount of perfectly straight lines is staggering, I'd fall asleep if I tried counting even the number on my laptop, because that'd have to be every key has 4 little straight lines on the outside, and all the straight lines in the letters and even in that which I'm writing.
It is a fact that lines are something that we humans quite often see.

There is another kind of line, too, other than the physical kind or the mathematical kind. This is a restricting line in behavior. When they have a sign up that says SCHOOL RULES all I see is a bunch of lines.
You can't do this, you can't do that, don't cross that line.
I'd like to start this with an experience I had this morning.
It was 1st period English, and we were taking a test. I was writing an essay, and all of a sudden I stopped, and looked around.
I looked around and saw that I was in a perfectly square box, with 2 perfect squares for the ceiling and the floor seperated by 4 even rectangles, to allow space inside.
I was sitting at a desk, another mess of lines itself, and on this desk I was writing words between lines.
I was in this box early in the morning with a bunch of people whom are mostly boring, writing these pre-determined words in a pre-determined space on this paper, in between the lines.
And when I thought this, it was so depressing I literally started to tear up and panic, thinking how I was going to escape this prison of orderly lines.

Because we humans like to make lines. They please us, because they're easy, and neat, and all-encompassing.
In the beginning there were no lines. If you go into the forest, you'd be hard pressed to find lines. The vertical lines of the trees going up and down, maybe, the horizon far off, if you can see it. But nature is a place of curves. Most of us are unaccustomed to walking on floors not flat and laser leveled, hence why we might trip if we go hiking on a craggy trail.
And we didn't like that. So, physically and metaphorically, we made lines.

And there's good reasons for why we started. As we became intelligent enough to make our own decisions, and make weapons capable of killing thousands, we had to make lines that we could not cross, ethics and morals we called them, to sustain society and keep it in order.
During the holocaust for example, the SS soldiers lost a lot of their lines, they realized they can be crossed, that you can descriminately kill thousands with no consequences whatsoever except that of your own conscience, and if you ged rid of your conscience, nothing can stop you.
Dr. Mengele, the famous Nazi doctor, was never punished for his terrible deeds, he survived, escaped, and lived a long, full life in South America and died a natural death, unlike hundreds of his "patients".

But sometimes we get a little carried away with lines.
First, now that I really look at them, I really think they're ugly. Just looking at lines all over the place reminds me again and again that I am in modern society, the place most depressing and most isolated from the natural state as can be found on this planet.
Same with lines as morals.
There's all sorts of them, good ones such as do not kill, do not rape, and do not torture.
But then we create ones that just make us feel good, make us think we're somehow being more "virtuous" and therefore must be making us live a somehow "better" life, although I think it's less happy, lines such as no extramarital sex, no drugs or drinking whatsoever, or, our all time favorite, no homosexuality

We make lines to restraing ourselves because nothing else will.
And really, lines are nothing at all, only what they are in our minds.
I could say to myself I'm drawing a line here, it would be wrong to go downstairs and have sexual relations with my father, but nothing is stopping me. If we both did want sexual relations, it would be so nasty I might puke, but if we did, the Laws of Physics wouldn't stop us, and neither would anything else.
The only thing that stops us from doing anything is the lines we draw, which are really nothing at all.
Which is kinda terrifying, if you think about it.

The stigma we attach to lines is the only thing that stops us from crossing them, which is why I imagine it would be rather surreal to get fucked by my own father, while it was happening. Because this was so outside of what I had previously allowed myself, it felt weird, but nothing stopped me. (hehe, I hope none of you think I actually did or even vaguely want sexual relations with my father. Bleh.)

So, after this morning, I've determined there are things I want to do.
I don't always want to spend life living between the lines, I will for now, because I can't afford to, if I started drinking or any other shit now my parents would probably disown me and leave me out to die.
For college, too, I imagine I'll keep living between the lines.
But afterwards, I'll be 22, still plenty young to do whatever I want, and I think I'm going to take a trip. Probably a very long trip, reminiscient of Chris McCandless in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
After college, Chris McCandless drove off into the southwest, lost his car, burned all his cash, and then stuck out his thumb and hitchhiked around the country for 2 years, eventually heading on a trip up to Alaska, hiking up a little known trail, being trapped by a flooding river, eating a poisonous plant, and dying of starvation.
But, before he did, he took a picture of himself with his last goodbyes, and I've seen those, and those have convinced me that even though he was so young, had so much life left ahead of him, and he was dying here, he didn't regret any of it and had lived a fantastic life.

Anyway, Chris said "I don't like having money, because then I can go out and buy food. I like having to scrounge around for my next meal"
So, as of now, for me, my plan is, after college, I will see if I could do some of the things Chris did, quit living between those suffocating lines (be born, go to school, college, get a job and go there every day until you're old, have a few laid back years, die) if I already know exactly what's going to happen in my life, it's like I've lived it already.
So, I'd like to do some of the things he did, maybe not quite so severely, and hopefully without the tragic end, and this trip might take years.
And it will be dangerous, and it most definitely won't be easy.

But that's the reason we made the lines in the first place, it was easy. It's easy to design buildings with only lines and no curves, because curves are hard. Breaking the established lines are hard. But I'm not interested in easy, I'm interested in joy and pleasure, and I believe I'll find both.
And, after this journey, maybe I'll be refreshed enough to return to society and get a job that hopefully doesn't involve sitting at a desk all day pushing papers around (kill me now), and continue to do adventurous things in the future, and maybe, when I'm older, maybe 55, I'd quit, go on one more journey, and just die.
I'm not really interested in living to decrepit old age, at least not between the lines.
But we'll see where my life leads.

As for this second, it leads to me going to bed soon and saying Good Night Oasis!


Dracofangxxx's picture

Your journals always help me sleep XP

Cause they're so well articulated and thoughtful that I stay up thinking about them.

Anyways, I dunno. I like round things. I enjoy sleeping in a ball, on my side in fetal position. I like closed rooms and I circle my things around the middle of the floor. I don't HATE lines, but I generally go againt them.
Like drawing, it all starts with circles. My favorite beautiful women are the ones that are curvy and a little chubby, but healthy round, not fat round. That's why I look in the mirror and I don't think I'm too fat or something, I think I'm a perfect size, because I'm just so curvy that I'm like "damn son". I look at unhealthily skinny people and I just see harsh angles, which is gross and sharp and pointy.
Amazingly offensive <3

swimmerguy's picture


if I look around and I think about the how many lines I'm looking at, I wanna barf or something.

Dracofangxxx's picture

By the way...

We should go on an epic, unplanned destination road trip sometime. You seem like the kinda person who needs it XP
Amazingly offensive <3

swimmerguy's picture

And what

Dracofangxxx's picture

Hop in a car,

Start driving and don't turn around until you find something awesome~ XP We could sleep in Wal-mart parking lots! XD
Amazingly offensive <3

elph's picture

"But afterwards, I'll be 22..."

"But afterwards, I'll be 22, still plenty young to do whatever I want, and I think I'm going to take a trip. Probably a very long trip, reminiscient of Chris McCandless in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

A beautiful dream... make it happen!

But... don't you think it may be a tad selfish if this experience will be remembered and enjoyed just by one? You.

For me (am I that so much different?)... all "joys" must involve another...

Such an exotic adventure would be so much more meaningful if it could be shared and enjoyed with at least one other... someone who means the world to you!

Hopefully, by the time you're approaching the end of your undergraduate studies you and another (bf-?) will be certain of each other. A year off (or, maybe, just a term) before graduate school would be perfect timing... for both of you!

Riku's picture


Why aren't you an artist?


I'm reading all you're saying about lines and thinking "You could do so much with that, visually" >_>

I love how well thought out your journals are though. Like Shelby said, you're really articulate.

Ask Tell Deceive's picture

The concept of realizing that you COULD cross the line...

Is called angst. It is walking along the cliff with the knowledge that you could jump off of a cliff and *nothing at all will stop you.* You're right about everything in this, I'm impressed. For someone rather young, you're very intelligent. I enjoy reading this. My fiancee, Jessica, wanted me to read this and it very much made me want to comment. You're wise for your age! I would love to read more.

With admiration,

Ambition15's picture

Exactly! Totally agree with this journal!

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win." -M. Gandhi

Yamamoto's picture

I didn't get it :(

I didn't get it :(

elph's picture


...that you could not understand the content... or that you take issue with swimmerguy's comments?

Yamamoto's picture

I didn't understand

I didn't understand content... and the fact that everyone did is why I put a frowny face :P