Kay Smythe


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Friday, August 23

What Keeps You Up At Night? [Kay Smythe]

This guest column will appear intermittently; 1,000 words max. Guests are chosen at my discretion. I wrote the first one because I wanted to. 

Creature and Wonky start to sexually assault me any time between 3-4:30am. I sleep naked (so do they). I think they just need the physical contact. Oddly enough, so do I; I’ve always found it easier to sleep when there is someone next to me. The cats definitely wake me up at night, but they are not fostering my insomnia. 

I used to practice manifestations of my ideal future in order to get me to sleep. I'd look forward to going to bed, just for the opportunity to exist in some distant, brighter future far from the rainy Welsh and Devonshire winters. However, sleep seems to have lost some of its satisfaction since I reached adulthood. 

Satisfaction is a strange thing. Call it contentedness, happiness, whatever; satisfaction is what we all truly seek from our time on Earth. When I lie in bed at night, I force myself to look at all of the various areas of my life and ask if I am truly satisfied with them at that moment in time. The two things that come up most? Love and money. 

Fucking duh, right? 

It really bothers me that I think about love and money the most, because I do believe that unless we do something about the world between now and next November, love and money won’t really have a place in modern society. I know what I want from a partner, and am actively seeking it. I have a career (one that continues to nearly kill me), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I often daydream about that one man walking through the door, getting down on one knee and saying, “Kay, I will provide for you, and all you have to do is be my best friend and love me unconditionally forever, and give me children,” but that route of existence doesn't seem to have much of a practical future. 

Ugh, here it comes, the guilt. 

Here I am going through the same existential shit as all women my age, ignoring the fact that we have less than two years to ensure that we even have a future. We are all too busy watching TV, eating McDonalds, being under-educated by a society who inhales our taxes to prop up their wigs and send our troops off to vanity wars, to realize that this planet of our is about to reclaim what’s rightfully hers. Though I have given up on being civil in the conversation of climate chaos, individual climate events now sadden me more than the big picture. I am really going to miss bananas, for example. 

No matter what love or money dreamworld I come up with in my head, I always end up back at the apocalypse. 

When Bush Jr. gerrymandered his way into the White House, my father sat me down and explained to me that we were all going to die because of climate chaos. I was recently told that most families don’t talk about climate chaos at home because they’re too busy trying to feed themselves and avoid being shot by cops or peers. Back in 2000, my father was one of the minorities who saw the deforestation for the lack of trees: we were working class, and he knew that climate chaos was the ultimate natural genocide against people like us. We'll be the first to starve, first to die in civil wars, first to sent to the frontlines, first to have our power turned off. 

Now that I'm up at night knowing that the world is coming to an end, I have found myself sort of fucking loving it (and so do all of the most intellectual people I know, which is a very morally-conflicting fact). 

I know this is supposed to be a somewhat morbid piece, but there’s something about the thunderousness of the end of the world that I can’t wait for. Perhaps we deserve this? Maybe it'll be a huge epidemic, and we can all live like that show Last Man On Earth!

Whatever our fate, we have less than two years to save society from itself. That fact keeps me up at night beyond the love and money, I guess. Without love for each other or money to save ourselves, we are somewhat doomed. It's all such a headfuck. No wonder I can't sleep. 

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