In a curious coincidence, I watched Fight Club again last night, trying once again to figure out just exactly when things went horribly wrong. Yes, I know that the correct answer is to say that it would be about the time of the narrator’s psychotic break which actually occurs before the story begins. I’m not there, though. I’ll confess being swept up in the vision of Tyler Durden to a point, and I think that point changes depending on my state of mind.
The most common break for me is the aftermath of Operation Latte Thunder. I’ll readily confess that the idea of destroying a franchise coffee bar with a piece of corporate art struck me as tremendously funny. That said, Bob’s untimely death really disturbed me, as did the chant that began when the narrator attempted to reassert Bob’s identity. For me, it was then that it became clear that the whole thing had spiraled out of control. What began as a group of dissatisfied men seeking experience that was visceral and real had descended into the realm of personality cult.
That’s where I find my limit.
In spite of everything that’s happened, and in spite of my occasionally losing sight of it, I still have a sense that I have a lot to lose. I still entertain fantasies of the mustard yellow colonial on the banks of the Concord River. On some level, I still accept the roles that have been placed on me.*
Perhaps it is simply my unwillingness to let go or maybe I just don’t like pain.
*There will be more on this later. The idea of living out a pale shadow of someone else’s dream led to a gut-wrenching session (or two) with my special friend, but I’ve not been ready to write about it.