I would like to provide you with a little insight into my inner dialogue. I was taking a crap at the local massage... place? ...institute? ("Massage parlor" makes it seem like I entered and exited with dark sunglasses and a hat covering all hints at my identity.) On the wall in front of me was a picture of a cat in Japan. I thought to myself, what's it like being a cat in Japan? My inner asshole responded with:
"What the hell do you mean? A cat is a cat! It shits, fucks and eats."
"What I mean is, the basics have to be different, right? It's in Japan. There has to be unique feline cultural differences."
"It just means it shits, fucks, and eats in Japan."
"But the resources must be different. What if it gets injured? Would it be treated differently than here for better or worse?"
"If a cat gets injured, it shits, fucks, and eats with a limp."
What I believe my underlying existentialist dick wad was telling me is the level of consciousness I assume a cat has is inadequate for a personal narrative. Its identity is biological: an entity that fills this space and requires these resources (food, sex, territory, affection, etc.). The cat is not burdened by hope or aspiration or expectation. A broken leg doesn't represent lost days at work, inability to ski or surf, or an opportunity to learn guitar. To a cat, broken leg means "I feel pain as I do these chores of daily living." The pain, and more importantly the dysfunction, is now. It is not a representation. It exists.
I want to be a cat. Don't get me wrong, I adore my consciousness, as well as my sub- and unconsciousness. They provide a great deal of entertainment and distraction. The near random meanings they apply to the non-existent directions my life can motivate me. My consciousness, and more importantly my self-consciousness, allows me to expand. It makes me ten to the tenth.
The problem is that in the end, we're all going to die. And sometime in the middle we are all going to suffer. That suffering is bad enough in itself. It doesn't need to expand. I don't want the burden of the implications of my suffering to push the actual pain beyond its borders. I just want to shit, fuck, and eat with a limp.