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THE GUINNESS BEER ACROBAT SPEAKS

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This Guinness commercial has been haunting our dreams. Who are these little men? Why do they die every time we drink a Guinness? What goes on in their souls? And why are they wearing helmets? We get inside on of their brains in this piece below. No, we're not on cold medicine.)

I look so tough: the chin jutted forward, the helmet down. I don't even know why we wear helmets: there's the boom, the whoosh out of the cannons, and then the meaningless impact, chaos, and disintegration that is my life.

That may look like bravado. But it's only looks. You see bravery. I see a hollow man rocketing toward the only destiny he's ever known or ever will know: falling, gravity, and ultimately my demise in a mist of droplets of what used to be my soul.

I'd kill myself if I wasn't into being efficient. Life does the job for me anyway every day, one stinking cannon shot at a time. Doing it myself would be a waste of energy.

It's only when you think that's the problem. Look at me. I'm hurtling along through space, propelled by forces I don't fully understand, just close enough to see that others are being put through the same hell I rocket through every day. Wake. Eat. In the Tubes you go, the stinking, beer-reeky tubes that vomit you outward like so many spermatozoa spinning through a barren womb.

The worst part is watching the other guys go through it. You know it ain't fair for you to go through with it, but them? Why does someone else have to go, too? This could have been a one-man show, and then you'd only have to put up with your own suffering. Others didn't have to be involved, dragged into this shit sandwich and forced to be accomplices to this. Look at Simpson, Johnson, and McElroy up there. They're dying, and I have to watch. Who's the victim here?

I die a little each time they go into the drums. It's hell.

It's kind of beautiful, though. We all roll out each morning not knowing why, drinking our coffee and wondering when, if, and how it will end. We put on the suit. We put on the pads. We drop the visor, stand in the tubes, hit the drums and slide down the harpstrings. We look at each other with the need and dread of those caught in a situation we'll never understand and that we cannot escape.

But you know, every now and then, way up in the stratosphere, you get to kick the edge of it all, and see that maybe there's hope beyond this veil. Up there, there's light, and the glimmer of something beyond. I don't know what it is, but it feels like...hope. Meaning. Up there, something tells me that we couldn't just be meaningless particles evaporating in a cold, uncaring brew of a universe. We just can't. I know this for a fact. How?

I just feel it, man. Despite all the shit, I know I can't be doing this for no reason, only to be consumed. I just feel it. That's all I can say.

Gotta go. They're playing my number. And if I'm lucky, I'll kick the cymbal today.